From Scratch

In a world of knitting, I still have to eat.  (Don’t you ever just get so annoyed that you have to stop the stitches in order to make the food?  What a nuisance.  That’s why I like making bread.  I can knit while it rises.)

The thing about us knitters is that, well, we like to make things from scratch that can easily be bought in a store.  Socks?  I’d rather spend $20 on a ball of luscious yarn and take a week to make them, thankyouverymuch.  Sweaters?  I can totally make a nicer one than that cabled one in the store that’s on sale for $10.  

Sourdough bread?  I think I’ll grow my own wild yeast and wait a week for it to get all bubbly… at least once in my life, anyway.  Kind of like my vague goal of someday knitting my own lace curtains, from my own pattern.  

It turns out that sourdough starter is much easier to make than lace curtains, though.  I pulled out my trusty, clunky copy of The Joy of Cooking (much like the newly re-released Principles of Knitting that’s the biggest reference book on knitting I’ve ever seen, TJoC is a huge, fat book full of everything I could ever think to do in a kitchen, including make three different kinds of sourdough starter).  I chose the simple one: mix 1/2 cup of flour with 1/4 cup of lukewarm water, then let it colonize itself from the wild yeasts in the air.  

Is that not the coolest things you’ve ever heard?  I mean really:  wild yeast?  Who knew!?

I’ve been feeding my little blob every day, twice a day, for about 4 or 5 days now.  At first, it just sat there, looking all doughy and cute.  But each time I fed it the same, boring meal (1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup water), it changed a little.  It got looser, and fatter, and it started to bubble.  And now, it looks like this:

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I think it has enough leavening power in there to make some bread soon!  I’m pretty excited.  I’ve been feeding it and loving it, and soon I will be eating it.  I think I will name it Jennifer and keep it forever.  In small pieces, at least.  It’s big enough now that I could easily take 2 cups out and still have more left to feed and love.  Maybe I should knit it a sweater and a little matching hat, just to show my appreciation for its bubbly-ness.  What exactly does sourdough like to wear?  Fair isle?  Or simple garter stitch?

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