The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gidday from cottager!

cottager's picture

Gidday from cottager!

I live in Southern Victoria, in Australia.

When I created my starter, I used the warm pumkin water (from making a batch of pumkin soup) and added the flours that I had to hand (organic wholewheat, rye, buckwheat, a bit of spelt).

On day 3 (or 5 ... I'm not that good at notes either, unless I absolutely have to), the starter got "his" name (it's definately a boy ... he farts a lot!). His name is George, named around the time he smelt like banana's.

Then he went quiet. Hmmmm.

It's cold here, so George got moved to new digs, on top of an ice-cream tub filled with warm/hot water, contained inside a broccoli box (polystyrene box with a lid).

So now George mostly lives on the bench (in a very tall jar, sometimes George of the Jungle is a bit TOO enthusiastic!) in the cold (it's Winter here) ... but when it's time for wake and bake ... he goes to the warm place, to express his jungle happiness :)

I bake, just like I keep my starter. It's all feel/smell/see, and that looks right (poke), and hmmmm ... looks like it needs this or that. Maybe that's why George likes me :)

Seriously ... I'm studying microbiology, brought about by a family member who is allergic (not just sensitive) to fructose, according to her medicoes. I'm beginning to suspect that it is the bacteria pathways/outputs that are having a lot to do with this ... so the bread-making, in seriousness, begins (in the same way that I started making soap, it comes out of necessity, to relieve a person of suffering).

It turns out that I rather do like sourdough (only, not so sour ... I keep having to "fight" George, so I can have a sweet loaf with a soft-ish crust.

I have baked for a long time, in my ad-hoc kinda way. My son cooks in the same manner. He makes THE most amazing cakes ... and every time I look at the ridiculous mess he's glooped together, and think nah, won't work. Always does, of course. I can make bread, he makes the cakes :).

Now that I have (created?) George, I have learned much already from sourdough aficionado's on this website, so hat's off to you all, because my "intuitive method" is built on collective knowledge, which you are a part of.

So, Thank-You to you all and Hi!

shastaflour's picture

...And welcome to The Fresh Loaf! I couldn't help laughing at your lively, fun description of George and ensuing adventures with him. It sounds as though he does indeed like his home and keeper. (Do make sure you keep him from going fishing or taking balloon rides, however. :)

Love your part of the country, having lived in Collingwood, Melbourne for a couple of years (right across the street from a fragrant hops-processing plant complete with ride-hitching field mice. One day we found one in the toaster. Eeek!)

Your quest to help others is a noble one. It does lead down all sorts of interesting pathways, doesn't it? I hope that in some way my own efforts accomplish the same.

In any case, blow a kiss to the Great Southland for me, and I look forward to hearing of your further baking adventures. :)

- Marguerite