The past couple of years have been revelatory for me in baking bread. Up until two or three years ago, I was a quick-bread type of person; yeast terrified me. Part of that was intimidation — my mom is a terrific breadmaker. White, wheat, baguettes, marble rye, dinner rolls, etc., she makes them all. Eventually I realized I’d never get the technique down if I didn’t start trying. So I made some really bad loaves and some passable ones. Now they’re consistently decent to great (great bread seems to depend on weather patterns and possibly how happy the bread gods are). Having the technique down, I’ve decided to try my hand at sourdough.
My grandpa made sourdough, but usually not as bread. He made flapjacks, delicious flapjacks (don’t call them pancakes!). Sourdough was his specialty, along with campfire coffee. I don’t know exactly how he made his starter, so I’m using a basic starter recipe that I found online from a guy who is really into his sourdough, S. John Ross http://www.io.com/~sjohn/sour.htm. Starting the starter worked exactly like he said it would, and now I’ve moved the starter into the fridge to keep, feeding it once per week. He also has a bread recipe on the site, which I haven’t tried yet, but plan to before the week is out. As for Grandpa’s flapjacks, I need to get in touch with my cousin to see if she has the recipe. I’ll let you know how they turn out!