Hey. Long time, eh?
I could tell you all about my personal angst and mental gymnastics and procrastinations that might explain my absence a least a bit, but they are truly unoriginal and boring. Keeping things current, today, I’m avoiding the following:
- Mayer Lutheran’s website update
- The weather
- My insane closet purging and cleaning phase
So I’ve been sitting at my computer doing things like:
- Trying to figure out &^%$ Spotify, and the difference between “Save”, “Favorite” and “Thumb Up”, because: wtf?
- Troubleshooting WordPress update after my months-long blogging absence. Admin screen went blank and I was close to simply saying, “Fine. Done with blogging forever.” But as you can see by this post, I prevailed. Because: I’m that good.
- Finding funny bitmoji’s to send to Hope Salonek because… well, if you know Hope, then you know why. 🙂
Out of desperation to find meaning and purpose in my day, for the inevitable text or phone call from Dave asking me what I did today, here I am. All sunshine and roses. Back in the saddle. Ready to regale you with my wit and sarcasm. The question is: are you ready?
This morning, for literally the fifth day in a row, I walked into my kitchen and immediately remembered what I promised myself I would remember before going to bed and then didn’t: FEED the SOURDOUGH STARTER.
Now, let’s be 100% clear about something that is very important to remember: you don’t need sourdough starter to make bread. So, on any of these previous four days, I could have easily made my old standbys, without the damn starter. I mean — why bother?
As far as sourdough starter goes, I’ve been there, done that. I abandoned baking bread with starter literally years ago. It’s a pain in the ass and — for me and the bread eaters in my family — not all that distinguishable from bread not made with starter. Because, I’m not a true-blue sourdough fan, so I wasn’t baking it for the tangy taste. I used it for the novelty. To say, “I use sourdough starter.” To give the bread a longer shelf life — which, let’s be honest: it didn’t need with Charlie in the house. Plus, it made me sound cool. Even if the bread snobs I know (and you know who you are) dismissed me out of hand for my blasphemous use of a food processor and Kitchenaid mixer. To them I say: go ahead and be all virtuous with your big strong arms, I’m happy flipping a switch.
Baking with starter isn’t hard at all. It simply involves having your starter “fed” and “healthy” and “strong enough to rise dough.” In order for those prerequisites to be met, you need to “feed” it on a regular basis. Which requires you to remember TO FEED THE DAMN STARTER in the first place. And, if you want to make bread with it rather than dump 3/4 of it out every time you feed it, you have to remember to feed it the night before you want to bake.
OMG should this be so difficult?
But, apparently, it is.
Which brings me to the title of this post, which of course should be split into at least three posts, because WHO HAS TIME TO READ THIS RAMBLING?
This morning, I googled many iterations of the following:
- “forgot to feed the starter want to make bread today”
- “baking bread with unfed starter”
- “bread recipe using starter and commercial yeast”
…and so on (and on and on and on and on). Google: you failed me today. Because: I know I’m not the only person who forgets to feed her starter and wants to make bread with it anyway.
Or am I?
The point is. I learned nothing. I could not find another post in the first three pages of google results (I draw the line at 3 pages, cuz, like, I have things to do, man) saying “go ahead and use the unfed starter and just add some commercial yeast” like I thought I would.
No, instead I saw all kinds of crap about the nuances of healthy, fed, bubbly sourdough starter. Oh — and a ton of ideas for things to do with “discarded starter.” Pizza dough! Cinnamon rolls! Banana Bread! Waffles! Pancakes! Muffins!
And I realize I’m not really a baker after all because I have zero interest in making any of those things except very occasionally.
But anyway, here’s the really puzzling thing: WHY AM I EVEN BAKING WITH STARTER IN THE FIRST PLACE?
I honestly do not have any answers for you other than these:
- It’s trendy
- It’s supposedly healthy
- Adrienne Escher keeps posting these ridiculous photos of her #starter #levain #delish and I want to be just like her
- I’m a well-known martyr and masochist (thanks mom)
So there you have it. As an empty nester (!!!) I clearly have too much time on my hands because logically, I should just pour that shit out and be done with it. Instead, here is your permission to bake bread with your COLD, UNFED SOURDOUGH STARTER.
You heard it here first folks. There is literally no problem with it. Unless you are some uptight puritan who has something against using commercial yeast (you know who you are, now just move along to a different website), just add a bit to your recipe and proceed as normal.
After doing exactly that, I FED my starter and plan to make the exact same recipe using only starter to rise it. I will compare the two and report back with an update. But honestly. Someone please. Just come kidnap my starter so I can be done with this lunacy.
Well, maybe not yet. That actually looks pretty good.