My Bread Journey - Sourdough and Others

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by Bear, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Aloha Monkeys,

    Yeah... I put this here in Bushcraft... Why????

    Because in my "silly ole bear" mind... seems pretty fitting...

    Our forefathers and foremothers made tons of bread... no bread machines, no bakeries or instant yeast... seems like centuries ago... someone figured out how to grab that out of the air... go figure...

    Seems pretty primitive and "survival like" to me...

    and making bread is actually one of things on my "bucket list"... Including all the guy things... A guy needs to know how to change a full explosive diaper, sing a lullaby, sew, wash clothes, clean a toilet, vacuum, cook a full Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey with all the trimmings and dessert from scratch... and MAKE BREAD WITH NO INSTANT YEAST...DARN IT! lol

    Why sourdough ? (which is actually one of the more healthy breads you can eat - who knew?)

    Well because one of my absolute favorite magazines had a great article on it... that's why... it stirred something primal in my soul... hammering on steel and making bread seem to go well together ... don't you think?... an iron hand and a gentle hand... LOL....

    Anyway... posted some pics below.... but that's what stirred this old bear into action to knock one off the "bucket list" and gain a new skill...

    So I cheated... cause I'm impatient and while I read all about how you can just grab the rising starter out of the air... this simple mind just couldn't grasp it... so I went with a kit... yeah... I can be taught with a kit first... "That's the ticket... Yeah".....

    Went with these folks....Sourdough Main Page | Yemoos Nourishing Cultures $30 kit for all I need...
    (remember ... I'm not that smart... sometimes a little help is necessary ... and this concept of growing your own started was just not computing dang it!)

    Sorry I didn't take pics of the kit when it arrived ... but it was nicely packed and had absolutely everything I needed and very easy to follow instructions... just the thing for a simple minded old bear....

    So it began... and the first day was awesome... a little at a time... but by the second day I figured my starter had failed (sorry I didn't take pics... it was gross and depressing)...

    My starter was gross... it looked like all the flour I fed it was sitting on the bottom of the little glass container and there was this sickly disgusting looking clear liquid sitting on top of it... with a thinner layer of foamy stuff floating on top... FAIL FAIL FAIL!!!!!! BEARS DON"T LIKE TO FAIL.... Sheesh... how hard can this be... I followed all the instructions ... DOOM ON ME!... no bread for me!

    But bears don't give up easily... what the heck is that urine colored stuff and why is it in my starter??????

    Look it up on the net dummy!.... WHAT THE HECK IS "HOOCH" ?!?!?

    Well I'm sure everyone one who bakes sourdough is laughing their Monkey Butts off right now... but for this old bear... (and maybe a few others)... that liquid is called "hooch" is a by product of the living breathing organisms that will make your bread rise... is an indicator that your started is starving and needs to be fed!... duh! "FEED ME!... FEED ME!"

    The instructions said wait 12 hours?????... why are these so hungry????....
    Lesson learned... you don't always have to follow the instructions... everything, everywhere, temperature, humidity, planet alignment and your zodiac sign all play a role ... ;)
    Just FEED the "Critters"!!!!!

    Ok... so stir equal parts of whole wheat flour (won't go into the details but supposedly that's the best for the starters... and as you can see by now... this old bear needs all the help and advantage he can get!) and water... and FEED the darn thing!

    Voila! no more "hooch" and the sucker is rising with all kinds of bubbles! SUCCESS!!!!! I AM A CHAMPION!... felt like Tom Hanks in that movie when he finally made fire on the desert island (now you know why I put this in Bushcraft)....

    Actually started another starter because I though I failed miserably on the first one...

    Posted some pics below of the starters... the rubber band on the jars is where the level was when I fed them... they are still rising... the lower one I just took out of the refrigerator and fed for tonights dough making... Hope to make up some dough tonight and let it rise overnight and then bake tomorrow... one in the oven... and one in a dutch oven with coals...

    Stay tuned Monkeys....

    Oh... and you can stop rolling on the ground laughing now... I'm a simple guy with big dreams... I just fall down a lot ... but keep getting back up...

    I'm sure the dough making part will be just as "interesting"... will take some pics along the way...

    Oh and now that I get this whole "Starter" thing... gonna try my hand at growing my own starter instead of the "San Francisco" starter I purchased... that should be "interesting"...

    Thoughts and comments are welcome... I love bread... especially fresh bread... and sourdough is my absolute favorite!

    Come along on my journey.... hope you will enjoy the fun!

    Have a great Friday evening everyone...

    Take Care and God Bless,







  2. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Darn it!... I just had to mention "Explosive Diaper" in the above...

    I just took the pics above before posting the first post here... and then went back to check on it... and the "Diaper" was way way full!!!!

    Just a like a baby... I found out what happens when you feed your starter too much... ;)

    Look familiar all you Daddy and Mommy Monkeys out there?????....

    Luckily... this doesn't smell bad ... LOL...

    The "Journey" continues....

    Take Care and God Bless,






  3. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Lovely! Thanks for the pics. So you do know you need to halve it and feed it daily? Use half and refeed unless it's in fridge? Just checking

    Can't wait to see how making your own goes. Don't get discouraged if the taste different. Every wild yeast has a different flavor. So suggestion if I may. Start several use a different location in house shop or car and see what wild yeast flavors you pick up.

    I predict you will be packaging and selling it soon as 'wild bear sourdough mix' ;)
  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Great experiment @Bear!
    Can't wait to follow this one
    Hanzo, Ganado and Bear like this.
  5. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    My way is way more boring than how Bear does it. :ROFLMAO:
  6. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Aloha @Ganado,
    Thanks for the tips... of course I didn't know those things...
    Bears don't read instructions... we use "The Force"... we are somewhat related to Chewbaca ... even look similar ... LOL...

    Half and feed... good tip... probably explain why mine overflowed....
    I worked so hard on the starter... just can't bring myself to throw away half... ;)

    Yup... after 5 days of nurturing... I put it in the fridge to slow it down.... then about 4 hours before making the dough... I took it out and fed it again so it would be nice and bubbly for the dough...

    Gonna start on the "Bear Starter" ... tomorrow... just finished up making the dough... now the recipe says let it rise for 18 -24 hours... although every other recipe was a 12 hour time frame... maybe fresh bread will be ready for lunch or dinner tomorrow...

    Time to break out the cast iron dutch ovens... made two batches... gonna do one in the oven and one with charcoal... 500 degrees... 30 minutes.. if my memory serves me correct that's 36 coals... 12 on the bottom and 24 on the top... or something like that... LOL... I may just end up with sourdough charcoal.....

    Thanks for the comments and tips... just what I was hoping for...

    Have a great weekend!

    Take Care and God Bless,

    Hanzo, Tully Mars, Motomom34 and 5 others like this.
  7. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Thanks @melbo
    Been thinking about this one for a long time... finally getting it done...
    Really want to get baking bread in a dutch oven with coals down and in the memory... never know when it will come in handy...

    And this yeast growing thing... now that's pretty cool....

    More pics below of the dough ... hopefully it rises....

    Have a great weekend!

    Take Care and God Bless,

    Hanzo, Tully Mars, Ganado and 2 others like this.
  8. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    LOL @ Brokor... boring is good... simple is good...

    First thing I really wanted to learn how to do is get those wild critters pooping and farting in my mason jars... so I can make bread...

    Lower glycemic and all those other benefits... can't go wrong.... ;)

    Have a great weekend!

    Take Care and God Bless,

    Hanzo, Ganado and Brokor like this.
  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I like to make mine marbled @Bear -if you ever get the chance, make some sourdough normal and another batch with molasses! Then, as you knead the dough, mix the two and get a marbled goodness. It looks great, tastes awesome, and you can impress others. :)

    I can't wait for this bread adventure of yours to yield some goodness!
    Hanzo, Tully Mars, Motomom34 and 4 others like this.
  10. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Ok... boring stuff... making the dough...

    Easy enough... I used a rice scoop... don't have a fancy bread or dough scoop... and the rice scoop is super non stick... works great...

    Also picked up a tip to stir the started in the warm water before adding to the dough... we'll see how that works...

    Two sticky messes in their bowls... yeah.. I only really had one... the other is a storage container....

    Covered with a clear plastic garbage bag... no plastic wrap... LOL...

    Onward and forward as we "Bread Making Monkeys" say!

    Have a great weekend all!

    Take Care and God Bless,






    Hanzo, Motomom34, Ganado and 2 others like this.
  11. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Thanks for the idea @Brokor .... hmmmm... sourdough and molasses.... now that's worth a try....

    Thanks for following along... sort of wondering if the bread will rise ok... high heat and humidity around here lately.... if what I read is correct... the dough should rise faster and be more sour?...

    That's the next challenge....

    Then it's baking... not so worried about the oven...

    The dutch oven and coals is going to be "interesting".... LOL...

    Have a great weekend!

    Take Care and God Bless,

    Hanzo, Tully Mars, Ganado and 2 others like this.
  12. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    Bear can u please shim you oven up so it is even with the counter tops it is driving me crazy ....
    No im not OCD dont judge me...
  13. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Ok chewy ;)

    Take half out ...make bread with it and refeed. .. no need to waste wild bear sour dough

    @Bear you think of the cleverest things to post. I never would have thought to post bread making. You my friend have a twisty mind. Love it!

    Edit: a sour dough tutorial (scroll down as there is other stuff on this link) just in case you ever need some directions. ;)

    D.I.Y. Projects | Frühlingskabine Micro-Farm
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
    Hanzo, Tully Mars and Bear like this.
  14. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    This would benefit from some bacon grease i reckon.
    Hanzo, Tully Mars, Bear and 2 others like this.
  15. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    Very cool! I have to try this. I have 3 batches of peach peel vinegar in the makings right now, why not add a sourdough starter while I'm at it? :)
    Hanzo, Bear and Ganado like this.
  16. MountainMariner

    MountainMariner Clearly Ambiguous

    Wish I could make sourdough.
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    All I've ever seen of these sourdough breads is in round configuration. Can you do them in a regular bread pan?
    Bear and Ganado like this.
  18. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Well all I know is, my Mother made sourdough bread a minimum of a couple times a week for the house, and since the ladies guild at the church had a bake sale after mass on Sundays, she baked 6 or 8 loaves for the bake sale every week on Friday and Saturdays. Hers were all done in big loaf pans, not round dutch oven pots. They were delicious and so bubbly, they reminded me of all the big bubbly holes in English muffins. Her loaves at the bake sale were priced at $5 from 1994-2008, and sold out fast at the start of every bake sale. I failed to learn this skill from her. Someone should give me a good kick in the butt.
  19. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    LOL @KAS That's been that way for at least 2 decades... remodeled and added an addition and got a new stove way back then... and the contractors cut the counter so I could slip in the new stove... not a great job... but oh well....

    Works and doesn't bother me... but I don't have a wifey to bug me to fix that ;)

    Have a great weekend!

    Take Care and God Bless,

    Hanzo, Tully Mars and KAS like this.
  20. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Aloha @Ganado ,

    Yup... good idea....

    Thanks... did a search on making bread posts... not to many with pics... hope to shoot a short video when it's ready to come out of the oven and off the coals... we'll see...

    Thanks for the tutorial... I need all the help I can get... old bears don't bake well ;)

    Have a great weekend!

    Take Care and God Bless,

    Ganado and Mindgrinder like this.
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