Sourdough bread from home-made starter

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coloradoclyde

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Nice crust and crumb structure.... :thumbsup: :hatsoff:

Instructions please.... :grin:

How did it taste?
 

David Cassera

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1 cup starter
2 cups water
3 cups flour
1 tbsp. salt

I believe that sourdough bread making might also be good for camping except for the 4.5 quart cast iron Dutch oven. Maybe a cast iron skillet with another cooking pot as a cover. Would like to hear suggestions and solutions you may have already tried. Best wishes, Dave.
 

Black Hand

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MasterChief said:
I believe that sourdough bread making might also be good for camping except for the 4.5 quart cast iron Dutch oven. Maybe a cast iron skillet with another cooking pot as a cover. Would like to hear suggestions and solutions you may have already tried. Best wishes, Dave.
Bake the bread at home and bring it to camp...

In what context (i.e period, place and person) would sourdough baking in camp be appropriate?
 

coloradoclyde

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I thought it looked like a high hydration dough cooked in a high moisture environment....

How did you make you starter....
 

coloradoclyde

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MasterChief said:
I believe that sourdough bread making might also be good for camping except for the 4.5 quart cast iron Dutch oven. Maybe a cast iron skillet with another cooking pot as a cover. Would like to hear suggestions and solutions you may have already tried. Best wishes, Dave.
I have beaked many a loaf camping...A Dutch oven works great....It's what it was invented for...
 

David Cassera

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It takes about 7-to-10 days to cultivate your starter from scratch. It needs that amount of time to gain vitality and oomph required to do its job leavening the bread. Live starter can then be stored indefinitely in the fridge and revived a few hours before making bread.

You will need: A 1 quart jar (old Mason or Bell jar) with a few small holes punched in the lid. White bread flour or all-purpose white flour. Bottled, distilled, purified or filtered water containing no chlorine.

Start by adding 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water to the jar and mix well. The exact amounts are not critical. Attach perforated lid. Let jar sit on kitchen counter for 12-to-24 hours, out of direct sunlight and drafts. The wild yeast present in the flour and your kitchen will start to grow or ferment.
Repeat "feeding" with 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water, once or twice a day until jar is about half full. At this point you should detect weak activity in your starter culture as indicated by a few small bubbles and a slight sour smell.

Now you have to begin discarding some of the starter prior to each feeding or you will soon require a 55-gallon drum to hold it all. Just maintain the level at about the 1/2 full point in your 1 quart jar. After about the 7th day of feeding your starter should be responding more and more vigorously to each feeding by bubbling up and expanding in the two-to-four hours after feeding and the starter should have a noticeable sour smell. A small amount of liquid(called "hooch") will form on the surface of your starter between feedings which is normal and is just stirred back in.
When the starter is fully developed you can begin making bread or store the starter in the refrigerator.
To revive the starter from the fridge let the jar sit on kitchen counter for about 2-3 hours, then feed as usual. After another 2-3 hours your starter should have bubbled up vigorously and is now ready to use.
 

David Cassera

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"Bake the bread at home and bring it to camp...

In what context (i.e period, place and person) would sourdough baking in camp be appropriate?"

When would it be inappropriate? Perhaps inconvenient but maybe some of the folks want to experience the task as a primitive skill while in the outdoors. Alternatively you could mix the dough at home, haul it with your other gear and proof/bake it in camp. Heck, you could wrap the dough around a green willow stick and bake it over open coals. Sort of like primitive hunting or starting your fire with flint and steel.

Best wishes. Dave
 

Black Hand

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This will be time, person & place specific. As an example, it is very unlikely Frontiersmen in the East or Mountain Men in the West would have baked bread in camp though baking was possible in towns, forts and other settlements. The availability of wheat flour is also a consideration - common people had corn (primarily) and corn flour doesn't work for a yeast bread since it doesn't contain gluten and doesn't rise.

In other words, you are doing something that in all likelihood WOULD NOT have been done in camp.

Now, if you were demonstrating cooking in a Dutch oven (another item unlikely to be dragged to camp), you'd be good. But if you are trying to demonstrate what would have been done while out in the field between 1700 and 1850, you'd be probably would be in left field.

It all depends on what you are trying to achieve...
 

coloradoclyde

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Thank for the info.... :thumbsup:

something I have always wanted to do is culture a sourdough starter to the point of no longer being sour... Easy to do in a petri dish, but I want to do it the old fashioned way....or at least try.
 

Kansas Jake

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I agree unless you are the wealthy European venturing west with a retinue to cook for you. Now if you were venturing to the frontier and leaving a settlement, you might have a loaf or two of bread for the first couple of days. After that it would either have been eaten or my have become spoiled. Most likely eaten.
 

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In the journals of Nicholas Cresswell and James Nourse, Sr., kept as they traveled down the Ohio river in canoes in spring of 1775, bread is mentioned many times. They obviously baked it often while on the trail. They usually don't say how it was made or how it was cooked, with one exception when Nourse mentioned that they "baked a little bread on sticks for supper." Each man in the party was issued his share of flour at the beginning of the trip, and when it ran low Cresswell said, "Must make no more bread but save our flour for soup."

In that time period it was common for people in settled situations to use what was essentially a sourdough starter, but it was a dry one. They simply pinched off a piece of the dough they were baking with, after it had been yeasted, and kept it until the next baking. It was a starter which they called a leaven. I've done that, saved a chunk of dough by burying it in flour for five days, then reconstituting it with milk before incorporating it in a new dough. It worked very well. I have collected a description of that exact method from a fellow waiting on navigable water at Fort Pitt to float down the Ohio to Kentucky, 1788.

I have never found evidence of its being done, but this method could have been done by backwoodsmen or longhunters. If they carried flour, not a problem to stick a lump of dough in it. People traveling the Wilderness Road, for instance, were on the trail for weeks, and carried most of their gear and supplies on horses.

Bread was very important to those men, it is mentioned multiple times in their journals, especially if they were forced to do without. I think they would have gladly put forth some effort to make it on the trail if possible. And they could have baked it in Dutch ovens. In 1779 James Nourse, Jr., traveling the Wilderness Road, tells of breaking their Dutch oven and losing the lid in the snow. He traveled back along their trail 10 miles looking for the lid.

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thanks for the directions for making sour dough starter. Got one mixed up and sitting on the counter.

I was putting in the fridge some IPA liquid bread and a bottle fell out and broke the seal. So, I could not waste it. I added a little to the flour, cant hurt, might make it better.

thanks

fleener
 

coloradoclyde

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fleener said:
I was putting in the fridge some IPA liquid bread and a bottle fell out and broke the seal. So, I could not waste it. I added a little to the flour, cant hurt, might make it better.

thanks

fleener
Indeed!....should be interesting...

Lactic Acid Bacteria are inhibited by hops, high gravity and low temperatures. You can adjust sourness by increasing or decreasing these variables. More than 7 IBU, gravity above 1050 or temps below 65 F will increase the time to sour or lead to reduced overall souring.
 

Loyalist Dave

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Yeah, as some say you can bake it at home and bring it to camp..., a little less time consuming buy a loaf, uncut, from the local bakery and bring it to camp. :shocked2: :haha:

I think the "fun" is producing it IN the camp, eh boys and girls?

Maybe a cast iron skillet with another cooking pot as a cover. Would like to hear suggestions and solutions you may have already tried.
I was playing around at Fort Fred in between wind storms this weekend, and looking to reduce the weight of my "camp" cookset to closer to my "trekking" cook set. I have an iron pot, and I have a medium Dutch oven.

So I tired a folding trivet to hold the iron pot, and I have a steel skillet that has a bottom small enough to fit inside the rim of the iron pot, BUT the side keep the skillet from dropping down inside. So..., I filled that with burning coals and placed some underneath the pot as well, and tried some baking. Basic biscuits, nothing fancy, yet.

So the first batch on the bottom of the pot...burned the bottoms of the biscuits, but I thought they might. So next..., dropped in two S hooks, (who needs a dedicated piece of iron to hold the baking tin off the bottom?) and used a tin plate for the biscuits (one could use an aluminum casserole insert from the grocery store)...and voila, biscuits. So..., I can now omit the actual Dutch Oven and use this rigged up contraption. A lot lighter than the DO too.

I would've tried basic bread BUT the temps in camp were never very high, being in the 50's or less, due to the wind...

Used the same set-up for pot roast, and beef and broccoli with brown sauce, and for mac-n-cheese.

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interesting thread as I've never tried to carry starter on a 'trek' which I no longer can undertake - shot knees and lower back.
I inherited a family heirloom which is a cast iron deep skillet about 7" dia with a lid that can also be used as fry pan - the pot is likely Civil war era but maybe earlier, no legible marking on it. I toted it along a few times, was very convenient but alas fairly heavy. I used it for stew/soup and the lid for 'bannock bread'. a shooting buddy took a good sized black bear years back and I rendered (at home) the fat for lard. this was good stuff. the leaf lard had almost a sweet taste. I carried self rising flour along several times and made fine drop biscuits and dumplings.
 

Spence10

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Loyalist Dave said:
I think the "fun" is producing it IN the camp, eh boys and girls?
I've never tried it on a trek or in a reenacting camp, but did a fun experiment once with sourdough bread in a modern mule deer hunting camp in Nevada. I kept a standard flour+water sourdough starter for years and was curious how it would work at high altitude. Deer base camp was at 11,000+ feet, so I took a small jug along and tried it. It was pretty chilly up there, too, so the process took longer than I was used to, but it worked well enough. I made sourdough biscuits. pancakes and loaf bread using a dutch oven and it was a lot of fun.

After I had kept the flour sourdough starter for quite a long time with good results I switched to a more modern one using instant potato flakes and sugar. I baked many different types of buns, cinnamon rolls, etc., with that one over the years.

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