Have you ever eaten sourdough bread? As a child, I remember my mom’s friend, Pat, making us the most delicious sourdough bread. I loved it! I didn’t even need anything with it. I ate it straight away. As an adult, I had only had it when in restaurants, because I thought it was difficult to make and I assumed you had to join a secret lady cult to get a bit of starter to make your own bread. I had no idea I could just make my own.
But that’s exactly what I did. I took the plunge and made my own and it’s been such a wonderful success that I want to share it with you. Oh, and if you’re gluten-free, keep reading! This starter is gluten-free! Note, this is a 5-day process, but totally worth it!
How to: (for five days in a row, at about the same time of day, do the following)
- 3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP gluten free all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup water (left on counter overnight – I keep mine in the teapot)
- Wooden spoon (you can also use silicone or plastic, but avoid metal)
Add ingredients to bowl (clear is best, so you can check for bubbles). If you don’t have a clear bowl, don’t despair. I used an old Poinsettia bowl my mother gave me. Stir vigorously. Cover with clean kitchen towel and upside down plate and set on counter so it’s out of your way and away from the stove. You want it to be at a near-constant temperature of around 72.
By day three, you should be able to smell the somewhat sharp, warm yeasty smell and you should see bubbles in the batter. When you stir, it should seem fluffy and airy.
By day five, your starter should be full of air bubbles, as pictured above and that means it’s ready! You can begin using it immediately, or you can store it.
Ways to store your starter:
- Open air on the counter
- In the refrigerator
If you choose to store yours on the counter, you’ll need to feed it every day. To maintain, you can simply feed it equal parts flour and water and stir vigorously before covering again.
If you choose to store it in the refrigerator, you can place about 1/4 cup in a jar and loosely close the lid. Feed 1 TBSP flour and water once a week to maintain.
I’ve been making a point to live life in the slow lane this summer and I have to tell you, there’s some magic in that. Even when I have things that need to get accomplished, I make a point to take a breath, take a stroll through the garden, and watch Mother Nature do her thing before I start.
She doesn’t rush. She doesn’t freak out. She doesn’t get anxious or stressed. She just does what needs to be done.
Right now, a few of the leaves are beginning to yellow on the trees. During yesterday’s storm, I watched a cascade of gold fall to the grass below. It was beautiful and I thought about changes and how Mother Nature embraces them. She embraces her cycles and rhythms with such grace. She reminds me to take a breath and to not take life too seriously.
I tend to get worked up over things that ultimately don’t matter. For example, yesterday as I worked on a new art piece, I got stressed about what I was doing. My daughter, always my teacher, calmly told me that sometimes it just takes time and it’s okay. I also thought about what Sadhguru might say about art and failure or accomplishment and how really, none off it matters. It’s all a state of mind.
Failure is nothing more than what we think. Art can all be considered a waste of time, but it’s a delightful occupation at the same time. It depends merely on how we view it. After hearing my daughter’s words and thinking of Sadhguru, I was able to relax and work joyfully.
There are teachers all around us, if only we open our eyes and ears to hear them. They’re in the trees and whispering on the wind. They’re in our children and funny Indian men on You Tube. We are so lucky to have so many teachers around us every day, but I think the most important teacher looks out our own eyes.
As adults, we can settle into a sort of comfort zone, where we have few new experiences and we can forget what it’s like to be unsure, to be unknowledgeable, and to feel anxious about doing something. Our experience with new things declines with age. This is why I think it’s a really good idea to watch children and re-learn how to approach live with a deep sense of curiosity. This summer, that has been my goal and it’s been a really wonderful experience.
I hope to carry it on into Autumn.
What are some ways you can slow down and enjoy each of your beautiful days on this Earth? What are some ways you can share your light and love with the world around you?
The world needs you.