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Monday, March 2, 2009

Transforming the starter - Part 1

Last week I was given a bag of Amish Friendship Bread starter and recipe. After sampling the actual "bread" I decided that I didn't want to maintain the starter with the intent of baking the Amish Friendship Bread recipe (a little too unhealthy for eating on a regular basis). Instead, I decided that I would attempt to transform the starter. This is purely experimental as I have never cultivated a starter of any form, much less try to change the recipe. Here is current status of the experiment:

2.23.09 - AFB starter day 1

3.1.09 - Change in ingredients:
Added 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup light soy milk, 1/4 cup Sugar in the Raw to feed the starter. This was a day late according to the original directions, but it seems to be doing okay.

Next steps:
1. Change the container:
The starter is currently being kept in the 1 gallon plastic bag it came in, but I am thinking about moving it to a glass jar based on suggestions made by others online. The only thing keeping me from moving it is that I don't have a large jar to put it in.

2. Bake a non-sweet bread using the starter
The 10-day cycle end is approaching on 3.4.09 and I will have to use some of the starter
for fear that it will explode all over my kitchen. I will try to make this Grandmother Bread recipe using the starter.

3. Further alter the "feed"
The plan to is wean the starter off the milk based feed and use water. Perhaps the light soy milk is a step in the right direction, or maybe I am just confusing it. Either way, the next time I feed the starter, I will use warm water.

4. Break the chain of distribution
I am not a fan of chain letters and the waste that is involved with perpetuating them. This is a chain letter of sorts, so I will not be distributing the starter as prescribed. If someone asks me for some, I will happily share, but I do not want to impose this on others unsolicited.

In the meantime, I will be preparing for the next steps by gathering materials
and ingredients. Part 2 will be coming soon with the latest status of the experiment.


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