The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How obsessed with bread are you?

Herbsman's picture

How obsessed with bread are you?

I bumped into an old friend recently, and ended up chatting to him for the rest of the afternoon. He invited to the pub to meet some more old friends - none of us had seen eachother for a long time. Lots more old friends were due to show up. It was a pretty awesome reunion, and I was having a great time, until... suddenly the alarm on my phone went off, and I made my excuses and left quickly (I told my friends that it was an emergency).

 The alarm was a reminder for me to feed my sourdough starter 

dmsnyder's picture

You mean you went out and left your starter alone? Unwatched? No one to appreciate the bubbles slooooowly forming? 

A shame, I say! ;-)  


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

experienced of course, with a BA-AB degree, just in case there's an emergency. 

Mini O

sphealey's picture

=== Next time, hire a sitter

experienced of course, with a BA-AB degree, just in case there's an emergency. ===

That's silly - a high school student should be able to do the job.

As long as her Advanced Placement Chemistry teacher certifies that she has an A+ in lab technique.


dmsnyder's picture

I don't know about hired help, whatever their paper credentials or references. 

My wife has a B.S. in microbiology from Berkeley and a Masters in Public Health from UCLA. She is an expert in quality control. I wouldn't leave my starter with her when a feeding was coming up. 

Of course, if I personally trained her and supervised her early efforts ... Hmmm ... I do need to get out more ...


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

leaving a starter alone for the first time can sometimes be difficult, even traumatic, but I assure you, with the right help, and fortitude, in the long run....

...a famous closet baker once was filmed playing the piano and was caught between his love of music and that of his sourdough. Part of the 1936 film was later changed from "Murder over Sourdough" (which brought it very few viewers and little attention) to "Tell your Children" and then again to "Reefer Madness." Naturally all the words were changed but you can see what not feeding your sourdough can do to the dedicated.   HERE is the clip. (not for weak dough hearts)

Mini O

mcs's picture

This is more of the type of scenario that happens about once a month at our house.

23:00 as we're asleep in bed,

me: "OH SH@%T!!!"

my wife: "What? What?!" (probably thinking that an intruder is breaking in)

me: "I forgot to feed my baby!" (that would be the starter)

my wife: "Do you have to do it NOW?!"

me: "Yes I do."

my wife: "Ohhhhh."

This is how a baker without children lives.


holds99's picture

Mini O,

Sooo, that's what happens when sourdough starter is neglected.  Not bueno.  Incidentally, don't know where he's buying his "weed" but it sure looks like he needs to find a new supplier.  He has all the symptoms of an overworked pastry chef in need of very loooong vacation.    The lady piano player looks familiar.  I think she plays on weekends here in St. Augustine, at the World Famous Oasis Bar and Grill. GREAT clip, thanks for sharing.  I better go feed my starter before "madness" strikes.


dmsnyder's picture

Lots of young couples get a dog to take care of before they "start a family." Sourdough bakers don't need dogs. 


Paddyscake's picture

Reefer Madness....OMG ..what a classic for the children of the 70's..

Starter Madness...OMG..what will our children think?

Still crazy..after all these years   


ehanner's picture

hehe, there is no way Mark is old enough to know about that movie. He'll just have to take it on faith that his generation didn't invent everything.


mcs's picture

But I definitely knew about Reefer Madness.  I just didn't see the first screening of it in 1930whatever.  Ha ha.


leemid's picture

I took to heart the recommendation to keep off the grass.

And I don't allow my starter to run my life. If it's hungry, tough. Remember, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I don't always get to eat when I want, and my starter always shows signs of bloat. I believe in moderation so it gets fed only once a week.

And they, the two of them, are not my children. Someone else begat them, I only watch them. Fact is they are quite mature, although quite unable to fend for themselves. Nevertheless, if they expect to be pampered, they can lobby congress for an increase in my pay. After all if the public expects them not to be seen wandering the streets causing mayhem, I can expect to be compensated for my trouble. Until then I will give them only as much as I get from them, which is an occasional rise, a slightly acid wit, and the ability to allow my bread to sit on the shelf for longer periods of time. But it's not like an investment... my bread eventually gets stale, it doesn't grow in value like a good investment should. Of course, that is better return on investment than midnight basketball and many other government projects...

I am slow to believe many of your floury descriptions of joy garnered from endless late night feedings and nursings. I recommend you all grow up and smell the coffee -- neglect is the way to go.

That's my story,