Today I gifted some of my sourdough starter (affectionately named “Herman” by my mother) to a friend at work—this is the third coworker I’ve had the opportunity of sharing my starter with, which is pretty cool! I love the community and DIY spirit that fermenting foods creates.
I also shared with her a recipe for sourdough pizza crust, which I used to make these incredible heart-shaped pizzas for Jordan and myself on Valentine’s day. I will definitely be making more of this dough and freezing it for future pizza Fridays around our house.
You might be wondering about good ol’ Herman. I created my starter the old-fashioned way: leaving flour and water on the counter for a few weeks, feeding periodically until it would bubble and double in size overnight. I use all-purpose flour, which I know is a no-no, but it’s been working for me and will continue to work for me until I can buy whole-wheat flour in bulk. And, hey, my starter is 9 months old now! I must be doing something half right!
I’m also itching to make another starter. I got this book on bread baking for 50 cents at the library, and it has some instructions for creating a sourdough starter that I’d never heard of before: heating yogurt and milk on the stove, leaving it on the counter, then adding flour once it starts to bubble after a few days. The idea of incorporating dairy is so strange to me; I feel like I need to try it and report back with my results.
But as much as I want to make another starter, I’m also hesitant about collecting too many starters… I would rather not wake up one morning to discover I’ve somehow managed to cram 10 different sourdough starters into our refrigerator. Fermentation is a slippery slope. (As we speak, I’m in the process of growing a kombucha SCOBY on our kitchen counter and planning a batch of blackberry mead.)
Last night my husband told me he’s glad I have inexpensive hobbies like “putting things in jars on the counter and looking that them.” I should probably take that as my cue to just make another starter already, huh? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯