Sourdough. Mystical, magical, create puffy bread that rises out of seemingly thin air. There's endless lore around sourdough, with aficionados waxing poetic about the provenance of a starter or even mentioning the terroir like they were talking about some fancy wine.
I suppose, though, when people can literally trace their sourdough starter back generations, there's bound to be some lore and myth and (dare I say it) pride.
The first time I tried sourdough, from starter I made myself (it's not hard, by the way), I was scared of it and closed it up tight in a back corner of the fridge, pulling it out every now and then to feed it. I honestly cannot remember ever making bread from it, although I must have.
It died an ignominious death when it exploded in the galley one afternoon, spewing alcoholic glue so far into the reaches of the boat I was still cleaning it up three years later.
Jeremy banned me from sourdough after that.
Until a friend gifted me a jar of starter last winter. She rolled down the window at carline after dropping her son off (I'm a teacher at Mountaintop Montessori) and handed over a ribbon-tied Mason jar that had a pretty cloth top on it. There was a piece of paper wrapped around it. "The instructions are there! Enjoy!"
I walked around with it gingerly, afraid it might explode like its predecessor.
After a couple of weeks, I screwed up my courage and unscrewed the jar. Time to feed this thing.
Feeding sourdough? It's pretty easy.
In a week or two, I'll post a video of making bread with this starter. Meanwhile, though? Create some starter and feed it. There's something curiously satisfying about the whole endeavor!