The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hey from China!

  • Pin It
Linuxalexa's picture
Linuxalexa

Hey from China!

Hey everyone!

I'm new here. (obviously!) I stumbled across this little corner of the web while looking for a way to travel internationally with an active sourdough starter. I'm an American by birth and heart and I'm living with my husband in Beijing for the next year for his work. I grew up in a house that practiced all varieties of self sustainability. I enjoy baking many things, but my Chinese kitchen limits me as I do not have an oven like the one I am used in the United States. Due to this lack of an oven I am limited to a bread machine. :(

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

do it all the time.    Welcome to The Fresh Loaf!    

Won't be long before you find yourself a mini oven to bake with.  :)

Linuxalexa's picture
Linuxalexa

How do you travel with your sd starter? I made a flour heavy dough-ball that I then shoved in a new 2 oz plastic jar and had that in my "liquids" bag that TSA wanted. They didn't even look at it twice. I tucked a second jar of dough and tucked in my checked luggage. That one was double bagged and that was a good thing because it broke the plastic jar!

I'll find a mini oven. I just have to find one that will work for my needs and not break the bank. (I can't live without my specialty brownies for a whole year.) My husband can help me with the translations, but in the meantime, I'll keep playing with my bread machine.

Again, thanks for the warm welcome!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

taking dough up to high altitudes does two things, raises your dough (even if you don't have yeast in it) and any trapped air will be forced to expand.  What that means is that one needs to press air out of bags and bottles and any sealed jar before taking it up.  (also includes shampoo bottles, toothpaste, and face creams)  

If you limit the amount of moisture in your starter, it can still stay alive yet not be encouraged to expand too much in transport.  The secret is to take your peaked or ripe starter, double the volume with water and add enough flour to make crumbs.  Pinch the starter with the flour until blended but it should be beyond dough, it should be dry-ish and if you pack it between your hands to make a small pingpong size ball it should have enough moisture to just stay together.  Pinch it between your thumb and index finger it should explode into crumbs again.  Now roll the pressed ball into flour and drop into a labled zipper bag, one for each lower corner sandwich size and press the air out. Seal.  Toss into the fridge until you're ready to go.  Leave a big note where you can't miss it reminding you to take the starter with you. (been there!)  You can bag it a second time but as the starter is so dry, there is not a problem with expansion.

At your destination, toss into the refrigerator, or if not, you have a few days or more at room temp before you need to refresh the starter.  It will slowly soften when fermenting.  Check Craig's list for an oven.

When you get to your kitchen, drop the ball (or bag of crumbs) in some water (enough to cover) and let it rehydrate.   Refresh around 24 hrs. I have also let one ball sit as back up in the fridge.