I really wish I could show you….

…the things I’ve been working on lately. But they are all Christmas presents and I want to keep them a surprise for just another day or two. (The photo above is a hint.)

I think I am finally finished. Ready for the holiday. Literally wrapped up. If it’s not done now, it’s not getting done. We’re off to Portland for Christmas with our sons. Yee ha! One of the last things I finished making this morning, was a batch of English muffins. Something I can show you, and proudly too. This batch was an experiment; the first time I used only the sourdough starter I captured from wild yeast last summer. I haven’t trusted the starter to be active enough to rise a huge batch of dough, that gets handled this much, so in the past I added  just a little yeast to the starter to give it a boost. Not this time. I’m happy to say that “Wild Miss Islesford” is one active mother!


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2 responses to “I really wish I could show you….

  1. holly kellogg

    beautiful muffins!

    and how, exactly, do you capture a wild yeast? lure it in with a sugah? how do you recognize it when you have one? where does one store a wild yeast captured 6 months ago?
    your OVAL SPIRAL looks cool…would love to see a picture of the results!


    • Barb Fernald

      Hi Holly,
      I made my own “starter” or “leaven” or “levain” last summer by mixing equal amounts of flour and water, letting it sit on the counter in a bowl with saran wrap over it, and small holes punched in the wrap. I stirred it every 12 hours and “fed” it with equal parts flour and water every 24 hours. In about a week it was getting foamy and I used flour and water to feed it again, let it double in size, and then stored it in the refrigerator for about a week. I then used the ratios that another baker gave me to feed it every week. 140 grams of levain (throw out any extra that is left over), 150 grams of water and 250 grams of flour. It makes a pretty stiff starter, but then I can add more water if I need to, depending on the recipe I’m using. The English muffins use a much more liquid starter. But I keep the stiff one as my “mother” because that is what has worked out best for me. She doesn’t care if I ignore her for a few weeks at a time either. But I try to be pretty regular about feeding her.
      It is best not to start a starter like this during fruit fly season!


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