I am giving this sourdough starter thing one more chance. Please bare with me. I’m obsessed with making sourdough for two reasons: 1. Because I feel like a magician. Making bread appear–out of thin air!– in my mind is akin pulling a rabbit out of a hat. 2. Because I know it was done in the past, so I am determined to figure out how it was done. My mother thinks that some 19th century knowledge, like wild yeast starters, have just been lost to the ages. But I’m determined to rediscover it. So off I go to grow some pet yeasts.
This time, I’m attempting to make a yeast starter using two different methods. The first is courtesy of my friends Kristina and Chris in Alaska, who discovered a local woman who makes bags of pre-packaged yeast starter. They cornered her with questions on my behalf, and purchased a bag of her started as a gift to me.
“In 1849, the Boudin family struck culinary gold. Wild yeasts in the San Francisco air had imparted a unique tang to their traditional French bread, giving rise to “San Francisco sourdough French bread.” Today, the Boudin family’s initial recipe lives on in the hands and hearts of our expert bakers, with a portion of the original mother dough still starting each and every sourdough loaf we make.”
They still use the same recipe as they did in ’49, and little molecules of 1849 yeast are still awash in their starter! Awesome! I am really looking forward to visiting the bakery someday.