Cherokee Bread Starter
Cherokee Bread Starter
This is an antique recipe converted to modern measurements. It was brought to Oklahoma by my Cherokee ancestors in1839.
|Prep time||15 minutes|
|Cooking time||1 hour|
|Total time||1 hour, 15 minutes|
Bring water to a boil and steep your peach leaves for 15 min. Remove leave and add enough water to make 3 c. again. This will be a rather odd shade of green, don't worry it's supposed to be. Peal hot baked potatoes and put through food mill or sieve. Scald your cornmeal in 1 c. of the liquid until thick. Stir constantly to avoid lumps. Combine everything in a glass mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Cover with a bread towel and let ferment for 24-48 hrs then stir and pour into a clean glass jar or salt crock with a loose lid. Keep it on the kitchen sideboard until ready for use. Feed it a pinch of sugar every other day and a batch of starter minus the peach leaves once a week, the leaves are only needed to start the process. Make sure to stir often, do not let liquid set on top of the starter for more than a day this will encourage mold growth and kill the starter. If you don't bake often enough to maintain the level of your starter in its home share a cup with a friend and tell them how to use and care for it. You should not use all of your starter up ever. The longer any starter grows the better the flavor and the better your bread will rise. Although this starter was originally used to make fry bread it may be used in any recipe calling for sourdough or yeast starter.
A couple of basic rules for starters. Never use metallic utensils or bowls or tap water when making or maintaining starters as it will kill them. You will find people that disagree with the whole don't touch it with metal rule and say that stainless won't kill them but it does, I can tell you that from personal experience. NEVER put your starter in the fridge, the whole point of putting things in the fridge is to slow or stop bacterial growth, and that is the opposite of what we want. I do not know when people starting thinking they should do this but they shouldn't, historically starters are kept in a warm corner of the kitchen where they can continuous grow and improve. The use of whole grain flours will make the best tasting and best working starters as they contain more natural nutrients and bacteria than the separated and bleached flours.