One of the things I’ve been working on recently is growing a starter. A potato flake bread starter, to be exact.
See, my family loves homemade bread and I like to bake it for them. Kind of. But being the frugal-wannabe-housewife that I am, I had to do the math. Is homemade bread worth it? I was honestly a little relieved when my calculations found that it is slightly cheaper to buy sandwich bread on sale at the store (and that didn’t include the cost of running the oven and my time). With six bread-eating people in my family (three being male, which seems to make a HUGE difference), I decided that unless I could come up with a more frugal alternative we would stick to store-bought bread. Happy claps!
Then I happened across an article about starters, which are little concoctions of yeast and a few other ingredients mixed together. You follow a schedule to grow and feed it and then use it periodically to bake in the place of yeast (which I find is my most costly bread ingredient). Intriguing! My homemade bread dilemma was instantly reignited and took on new inspiration.
I’m totally in!
I’ve told myself how the starter couldn’t be THAT hard to create. I could grow it. Hey, I’ve been able to grow four humans (so far) and keep them alive. (God is laughing at my arrogance now.)
But my first attempt at the little-starter-that-could died miserably. From neglect. Forgotten in the fridge to ferment its way into oblivion.
After his kitchen-sink burial at sea, I vowed a better life for his future siblings. Apparently, this bread starter child thing CAN be done. The infallible (ha!) Internet says so. The WWW is full of forums and websites boasting different recipes using the by-product of other people’s decades-old starter children. There’s even pictures! One woman said she travels with hers, so she doesn’t neglect it (which is rather complicated due to the liquid carry-on rules of today). One site I read said there are starters out there that have been handed down through the generations. Wow!
“It can be done, and it will be done.”
See, Winston Churchill even says it’s possible.
Right now, the success my second-born potato flake starter child is being tested. My first attempt at bread-making with it is in the final 24 hours. This time tomorrow I will know if it’s a success. If edible bread will emerge. Time will tell.
I’ll update you with the results! I’m sure you are as excited as I am!
UPDATE: Click here to read the results!
My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.