The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

The old fashioned cattle drive

thewiseknitter's picture

The old fashioned cattle drive

After watching so many old cowboy movies and tv shows, I became interested in the old fashioned cattle drive, and what it took to feed the crew of cowboys.
 The average cattle drive consisted of 1000-2000 head of cattle being moved along by a crew
 of 12 cowboys for a 1000 mile drive.
 I read the list of food stuffs, which is extensive, and on the list was sourdough starter.
 What really boggled my mind, is that it said 50 pounds of sourdough starter.  Why would they
 need 50 pounds of starter?.  Considering it would need to be fed every day.  I think that might 
 of been a typo.  The life of cookie on a cattle drive wasn't easy.  Hard, long hours.
 From the wild west, (which wasn't as wild as people think) to the California and Alaska gold
 fields, the sourdough starter was a precious commodity.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and was more likely a few low hydration lumps of sourdough packed in large 50# sacks of flour to be hydrated when  preparing for use after setting up camp.  Cookie more likely drove ahead and set up camp for a day or two waiting for the cows to catch up.  In that time a good number of loaves and biscuits could be made and eaten at camp or sent back and forth to those watching the cows.  Going ahead and staying ahead of the herd would insure a cleaner water supply before the cows got to the watering holes.

Anyway, that's how I picture it...  Home,   Home on   the Range....     ....wonder how much deer and antelope play...

Does harmonica/guitar music improve the rise of sourdough?