Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Between Nails and Thread

There has been a little more going on during the days than just the sewing room…. redo and quilts.

My sister, discovered Sour Dough Starter and was loving it so much she sent me some (from King Arthur Flour), and then pestered me until I mixed it up and got it growing.

It’s a cold starter, so it spends it’s off time in the refrigerator, not on the counter collecting flies and stinking the place up.

To know why she was so persistent you have to understand. We spent our early years in the Bay Area of Cali, and sour dough bread -specifically Fisherman's Wharf Sour Dough was the BREAD. Offer me seconds at the table and I would have chosen sour dough bread and butter over just about anything else…. even if I was FULL I could manage one more piece of bread and butter.

It was a staple in the family. Salami, not just any salami, Italian Hard Dry Salami and sour dough was an appetizer!!!! or lunch or a snack. To me it brings back time spent with my fathers side of the family.Immigrants from Italy and restaurateurs in San Francisco in the early part of the 20th Century. My family can lay claim to the ‘Bohemian Movement’ in San Francisco. You can read a bit of a description here and more about the actual attendees and murals here. This is an image from the book by Warren Una chronicling the creators of the murals, diners and the restaurant.

coppa mural

Any way back to the bread! I got the starter going and made my first loaves!

Oh wow and yum and can you say gone! I have made it a couple of more times, but I have a little problem. The smoke detector, (near the kitchen) does not super-tangy-sdlike sour dough baking. It goes off, while the bread is in the oven…. and when you have 6 or 7 of the things telling you all at the same time …. about smoke being detected…. it is a little annoying to say the least. To add to the noise level, Axel sings right along with the smoke detectors. It take the better part of a day to make 2 loaves of bread. We don’t just like tangy, we like SUPER tangy…. to get that flavor takes a little over 12 hours- of feed, mix, rise, rise and bake!  This is my first batch- need to work on the shaping of the loaves. I have I think figured out a way to fool the smoke detectors. I have a small fan that I point at it and force more air past it. The last time it worked and it was a very quiet 30 minutes.

More Later!


  1. Very cool family legacy and that bread looks yummy! I grew up in Vancouver, B.C. and we weren't all that far from San Fran. I'm not sure when or where I was introduced to sourdough, but perhaps it was The Old Spagetti Factory in Gastown. Doesn't matter, because I remember the sourdough starter hanging around my house as well, probably sometime in the 70's. Does that date me? LOL!

  2. I don' think my home ed teacher mom ever baked sour dough bread - just everything else under the sun and know what - my sis and me just longed for store bought bread LOL.
    Today I love sour dough, but have never baked it myself (lot's of other breads though) but I might try it.
    He - did the fan work on the singing Axel too? ;-)

  3. Yum! I tried sourdough, but always let me starter die (much as most of my houseplants). Love home made bread though, and make it often :).

  4. Sourdough is the best! Sadly, mine died -- maybe you can share some of yours sometime...


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