Chocolate, Cookies, Kid Friendly, Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

pb choc chip cookies 3

I love a good cookie.

And after working so hard for over a month to avoid carbs, well…. it was time for a cookie!

I have to be honest. I’d prefer a plain chocolate chip cookie most days but for some reason, I wanted to try something different.

I was thinking bar cookies would be my best bet, but when I came across this recipe I decided to try it instead.

Of course I doubled it because I think it’s crazy to make a batch of cookies so small that they’re gone within hours. I’d really prefer they hang around for awhile.

These cookies are delicious! They are so chewy on the inside with just the right amount of crunch on the outside.

Now, to get back to the low carbs…

After I have one more cookie.

pb choc chip cookies 2 - Copy

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups peanut butter (I used creamy but you could use crunchy as well)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pkg Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Cream butter and sugars.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and beat til fluffy.
  4. Add flour, soda and salt and mix until all ingredients are combined.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Drop on ungreased cookie sheet with cookie scoop, flatten a bit with your hand, bake approximately 13 minutes or until the edges become golden brown.

This makes 8 dz. Can half the batch for 4 dz cookies.

http://www.becauseican.me

recipe found on and adapted from The Baking Chocolatess .

Much love,

Teauna

Uncategorized

Making a Lifestyle Change

keto-diet-what-is-it

Surely by now you have heard about the low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet that is so popular.  I mean… it’s been around for a long time, but it is in the spotlight at the moment because it is working for so many people. All the famous actors are doing it, it’s working for them and they’re looking amazing. I have some great friends doing it as well and feeling better than ever before.

It has brought me to a point of some serious research. I wanted to know more. I wanted to know why it works so well. I wanted to know what you were allowed/not allowed to eat.  Mainly, I wanted to know if it was something I’d be able to maintain as a lifestyle. I’m ready to make a lifestyle change and be at a healthy weight.

Who’s with me?

Are you so sick of losing, then gaining it all back? Plus 10? I know I am.

After many hours of researching and taking notes, I’ve decided to go all in. And I’d love for you to join me if you think it’s a fit for you as well.

But first, let me fill you in on some information about the Ketogenic diet. It really helps jumping into something if you’re well-informed.

It really makes sense to me.

keto diet pie chart

This is the breakdown of the Ketogenic diet in a nutshell.

By eating a low carb diet, you will have proper nourishment from whole foods and your body can continue burning fat for fuel. And who doesn’t want to use your fat as fuel to lose some unwanted pounds?

When our bodies are in that fat burning state, it is called “ketosis”, thus the “keto” or “ketogenic” diet.  Your body at this time (in a state of ketosis) breaks down fat molecules into ketones to provide energy. You cannot achieve ketosis with a high carb intake.  Essentially, our goal is ketosis.

If you’re taking in too many carbs, you’ll instead be in “glycolysis”. This is where carbs are burnt for energy. Your body will use those carbs for energy and will never have the chance to get to the fat. This just means that your fat stays right where it is… and grows there too.

What is it exactly that will put your body into ketosis?

Reducing your carb intake as drastically as is necessary to put your body into ketosis will naturally reduce your insulin resistance. This is a HUGE benefit of putting your body in a ketogenic state.

Add some exercise and it’s even better. Although I am reading many different statements saying weight loss is possible without much exercise.

When your body is in a ketogenic state, you no longer have cravings or get hungry unless you should be. Your body only wants food when it’s required for nourishment. Naturally you won’t intake nearly the calories because of the natural appetite-suppressing state your body is in so you will lose weight even faster.

The one thing I’ve learned thru all of my research is that you are destined to get the keto flu during the first little part of your diet change. Aches and pains and flu-like symptoms occur while you are breaking away from your addictions, namely sugar and carbs.

I hear that by making sure you take in the proper amount of electrolytes, you can help correct and sometimes even avoid these issues. Also, during this time, the caloric count isn’t as important as just making sure you are eating very low carb and high fat foods. Whole foods.

Many pros of the keto diet suggest drinking chicken broth when you are having symptoms of the keto flu. And salt your food.  I have been lucky enough not to get the keto flu. I have actually felt amazing since day 1.

Most people losing weight on the keto diet look more fit naturally because the weight loss doesn’t affect muscle. You lose the fat but you keep your muscle. Doesn’t this sound better all the time?

 

 

keto food pyramid

These foods are suggested on your diet:

  • Red Meats– Beef, Goat, Lamb, Venison, Veal
  • White Meats– Pork
  • Poultry– Turkey, Chicken, Wild Chickens (grouse, pheasants, etc)
  • Fish– Pretty much all fish
  • Fruits– Berries and avocado
  • Vegetables– I think all GREEN vegetables are good choices. Stay away from starchy vegetables.
  • Nuts & Seeds– Almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Dairy Products– Cheese, yogurt (Greek is best), sour cream, heavy cream. Full fat. Avoid any lowfat or fat free dairy products.
  • Fats & Oils– Peanut Butter, Other nut butters, flaxseed oil, avocado oil, EVOO, almond oil, BUTTER.
  • Eggs

 

Do your very best to avoid these foods:

  • Grains– Wheat, oats, corn, barley and rye. This includes most breads and pastas.
  • Artificial Sweeteners– sucralose, equal, aspartame, Splenda, etc…
  • Processed Foods– everything processed, avoid it!
  • Low-fat products– stay away from pre-packaged low-fat meals, drinks, diet sodas, etc.

 

You do need to keep hydrated and it is very important to drink your water!!

drink water

(I love the little flavor packets you put in water but do my best to avoid them after realizing they have carbs in them!)

A LCHF (low carb high fat) diet reduces your hunger greatly. This makes it so much easier to not snack throughout the day. I have found myself forgetting to eat because I am simply not hungry. However, if you do get hungry between meals, it generally means you need to add more fat to your meals. Instead of counting carbs, eat until you’re satisfied.

There are also many health benefits of this lifestyle change and so many people are seeing life-altering benefits! I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. I’m not claiming to be. I’m just passing on the information that I am reading. Please be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any diet or exercise regimen.

Ketogenic-Diet-NIH-FB-Square

Don’t fear fat…. Fat is our friend now!  Make sure to keep it to the healthy fats!

I know…. I keep going on and on but I am trying to give you all the information I have so that you are well informed if you decide to take the plunge with me. Just bear with me for a few more minutes.  There are just a few more tips I’d like to share to help you with this lifestyle transition.

I keep my carbs at or below 20 g per day. By eating LCHF Whole foods, this is pretty simple. I’ve been seriously shocked!

There are so many different apps for your phones or tables to help you track your carb intake. I suggest getting one of these and keeping track of your carbs. The app with this little pig is the one I use and I love it!

keto app

Mine keeps track of proteins, fats, carbs and calories. I don’t pay attention to any counts other than the carb counts for now. But as long as my carb counts are where they’re at, the other counts have been just fine.

Also… there are so many good reads on the internet.  Use them all to your advantage. And Pinterest is a fantastic place to find additional information and recipes for the keto diet.

There are so many different ways to track ketosis.  I have ordered these ketone strips off Amazon.  They are like $7.50 for 125 strips. You just pee on them and you’ll know if your body is in a ketogenic state or not. I have read several places thru my research that it generally takes a couple weeks of eating LCHF to obtain ketosis. Today I am on day 5. My ketone strips should be here day 8. I will test daily and let you know when I fall into ketosis.

There are also some amazing products that help you put your body into immediate ketosis.  I have tried them. I like them. But they are pricey. So, if you can afford to add this supplement to your diet and want to lose weight even quicker, then message me and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

Have I mentioned that you need to keep hydrated? It really is super important. You may also want to add a stool softener or Metamucil to your diet until your body adjusts.  All the higher fat foods may stop you up a bit. So drinking even more water should also help with this issue.

Brewing tea is great! Use sugar free sweeteners if you need to sweeten them up a little. I love Passion tea. I brew a cup. Let it cool. Pour it over ice, add a little sugar free Torani French vanilla syrup, and a splash of cream.  This is a super refreshing drink. Adds a little fat and a lot of flavor into your day. It’s my kind of treat.

If you’ve been a soda drinker, find something else to calm the soda craving. Take it from me. I LOVE my Coke! I also thought it was going to be much harder than it has been. I have drank Coke Zero & Diet Coke here and there to help with the craving. I used to drink at least a couple 44 oz Coke or Dr Pepper drinks a day. Now, if I drink it, I drink diet or Coke Zero and I’m good with the smallest cup available and there are times I can’t finish it. It really hasn’t been difficult to wean off of.

I am now doing my best to replace my Soda addiction with other drinks. I’m getting at least 200 oz of water in every day. And I’m adding teas and flavored Sparkling waters to my menu.  Always check the nutritional facts and ingredient lists. Make sure you’re not replacing carbs with more carbs.

Okay… I feel like I’ve thrown out all the information that my brain has been hoarding for this post. I’m sure as I go thru this process that I’ll have much more to add in the future.

 

Join my support group on Facebook for even more information!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/249864945486133/

**this post includes affiliate links so you are able to help me make a little extra money to keep putting towards my blog while costing nothing extra to you. Thank you for your support.**

 

Much love,

Teauna

Appetizer, Healthy, Snack, Veggies

Spicy Carrot Refrigerator Pickles

spicy refrigerator carrot pickles

Growing up, we would go visit my Grandma and Grandpa and the first thing we would do was ask if we could go down to the pump house and grab a bottle of her hot veggies. I couldn’t eat many because they would upset my stomach. But I always went for the carrots and cauliflower. Thank heavens my brother liked the green tomatoes. I’m just not a tomato eater.

I loved the crunchy texture of the carrots and that little bit of heat.

I started bottling hot veggies when my kids were little and I loved that I still had a piece of Grandma with me every time I popped open a jar.

I plan to bottle hot veggies again this year when I have a garden and can use fresh produce. There is just something about fresh-from-the-garden hot veggies.

I was searching carrot cake recipes the other day on Pinterest and this recipe popped up.

I was so excited because it looked like it could be the next best thing to Grandma’s Hot Veggies.

They don’t take long at all to put together. I got 2 quarts stuffed full and shared one.

I think they’d be an ideal treat to have with burgers instead of having chips.  Your carrots stay delicious and crisp and they have just the right amount of heat.

I also think you could probably add your cauliflower and celery sticks and they’d be delicious as well.

Spicy Refrigerator Carrot Pickles

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb bag of carrots, peeled and made into carrot sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, cut into 4ths and seeded (you could use more or less)
  • cilantro

Directions:

  1. Add water, vinegar and sugar to a sauce pot.  Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Mix with a whisk.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Peel garlic, chop into rounds and add to vinegar mixture.
  4. Cut your carrots into lengthwise pieces; cut and seed jalapenos as well.
  5. Add carrots, cilantro and jalapenos to 2 quart jars.
  6. Pour vinegar mixture into jars.
  7. Keep at room temperature until cooled; Store in refrigerator.
  • I felt like they were good a couple hours after I put them in the jars. But 24 hours later, they were delicious.
  • Original poster said these should be eaten within a week. No problem!

recipe adapted from A Dish of Daily Life

 

http://www.becauseican.me

Much love,

Teauna

 

Salad

Teauna’s Coleslaw

Teaunas Coleslaw

It’s that time of year where we finally can see grass instead of all the snow and we can start thinking about barbeques and get-togethers.

I love cooking outdoors!  It’s one of my favorite things.

Being able to keep the mess out of the house for the most part is probably my favorite part :)!

I also love being able to have a big ol’ spread of yummy foods. Salads, desserts, and fresh FRUIT!

Oh my! I seriously am getting anxious for all the cook-outs.

This is one of my most favorite salad recipes I came up with years ago.  I love coleslaw!  And I love dill, so I put the two together in a salad and voila! This is what I came up with!

Teauna's Coleslaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cabbage
  • 3 carrots (peeled)
  • 1 1/2 cups mayo
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp mustard
  • sprinkle of onion salt
  • 2 tblsp + dill weed

Directions:

  1. Slice cabbage really thin and shred carrots.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all other ingredients.
  3. Pour over cabbage and carrot mixture in a large bowl until just moistened.
  4. (I had 1 cup dressing left. If you have extra, either add more cabbage or refrigerate for later use:))
  5. Chill until ready to serve.

original recipe from becauseican.me

Much Love & Happy Spring!
Teauna
Breakfast, Sourdough, Yeast Breads

Sourdough English Muffins

sourdough english muffins 1.jpg

I’m hoping you’ve had enough time to get your Sourdough starter bubbling away. I find it so fulfilling to have my starter sitting there waiting for me to use it. Everything I’ve made is absolutely delicious!

Is it weird that I look forward to feeding it?

And to top it off… everything made with sourdough is easier to digest. Did you know?

All that healthy bacteria helps with digestion and many people with gluten intolerance are even able to eat it without problems.

I think this may be more true for those recipes without yeast, as in my opinion, yeast is part of the problem for those with a gluten intolerance.

I have never made English Muffins before. I always wanted to but I think the long process and cooking them on the stovetop vs in the oven always intimidated me.

 

They are not difficult. Time consuming, yes. But they aren’t high stress. The process takes the majority of a day. That doesn’t mean that you hover over them the entire time.  I was able to clean my house, do all the dishes, and I even ran to a garage sale. So, although they take the hours, they don’t require your constant attention until it’s time to cook ’em up.

The part that you cook them on your stovetop is so crazy to me! But seriously awesome!

And it answered my question that I’ve always had about store-bought English muffins… Why are they just slightly pre-sliced? Well, simple.  They don’t look cooked thru, so you are seriously tempted to cut into every one. I resisted fairly well.  I cut into a couple and realized they were cooked just right and then I wasn’t so worried about the rest.

My family thoroughly enjoyed these Sourdough English Muffins. Not one was wasted!

Sourdough English Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 1 cup sourdough starter, fed or unfed
  • 7 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • cornmeal, for coating

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the dough ingredients, except the cornmeal, in a large bowl
  2. Mix and knead by hand, electric mixer or bread machine.  You are wanting to form a smooth dough.  The dough should be soft and elastic, but not particularly sticky; add additional flour if necessary.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and set aside to rise for about 1 1/2 hours or until it’s noticeably puffy. For most pronounced sour flavor, cover the bowl, and immediately place in the refrigerator (without rising first). Let the dough chill for 24 hours; this will help develop its flavor
  4. Gently deflate the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, cover it and let it sit for a few minutes to relax the gluten. Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, roll 1/2″ thick and cut into 3″ rounds. Re-roll and cut all remaining scraps. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough.
  5. Place the rounds, evenly spaced, onto cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheets. Sprinkle them with additional cornmeal and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until light and puffy, about 45-60 minutes or so. If the dough has been refrigerated overnight, the rise time will be doubled.
  6. Carefully transfer the rounds (don’t crowd them) right-side up to a large cast iron pan that has been preheated over medium-low heat. Or you can use an electric griddle preheated to 350 degrees.
  7. Cook the muffins for about 10-12 minutes on each side. Don’t be alarmed when the edges feel soft.
  8. Remove the muffins from the griddle or pan and cool on a wire rack. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze for longer storage time.

adapted from King Arthur Flour website

http://www.becauseican.me

Much love,

Teauna

Uncategorized

It’s that time again…

hello spring.jpg

I have always loved flowers. I love warm weather.  To me, the new beginnings of spring is like breathing new life. Every blooming flower makes me happy and fills my soul with happiness and warmth.

I planted some spring flowers in pots in the house so that I could enjoy them while I was healing up from surgery.  They have all bloomed now so today Kenzie is going to help me plant them outside so they can continue making me happy for years to come.

They deserve to be able to be outside reaching for the sunshine.

Happy Spring everyone!!

Much love,

Teauna

Bar Cookies, Cookies, dessert

Sugar Cookie Bars

sugar cookie bars

I can remember the first time I made these sugar cookie bars and posted them on my old blog.

I’m a huge fan of sugar cookies, but I keep my recipe to myself. It’s one I just don’t share. Maybe someday I will.

Doubtful.

I prefer my sugar cookies to be soft, chewy, and flavorful without the chalky flavor that some sugar cookies have.

But… I’ll admit… if I’m not in the mood to spend a good amount of time in the kitchen but want cookies, sugar cookies just aren’t my choice. They make a mess, some recipes require chilling time, and they require being frosted.

Just being real. You’d never know that frosting cookies isn’t my most favorite thing to do.

So now when you’re in the mood for a delicious sugar cookie, you can make these in a flash and they’re delish!

and….. you’re welcome.

Sugar Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp soda

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheet.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla.
  4. In a medium bowl combine flour, salt and soda and gradually add to creamed mixture.
  5. Press dough into cookie sheet with greased hands. (spray your hands with cooking spray and press dough into pan)
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes. 15 minutes was perfect for me! They will be a beautiful golden brown around the edges when done.
  7. Remove from oven and cool completely before Frosting.
Frosting Ingredient:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 Tbsp milk

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add vanilla and just enough milk until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Frost cookie bars.
  4. DON’T FORGET SPRINKLES!

http://www.becauseican.me

Much Love,

Teauna

Cake, Chocolate, dessert

Chocolate Dream Cake

chocolate dream cake

Do you have one of those desserts that you just think of a lot?

This one is like that for me.

It seems like when people ask me to bring a dessert somewhere, this is the one that pops in my mind.

Not only is it super simple, but it is also a real crowd pleaser!

This is the perfect recipe to whip up quick for a delicious dessert for any get-together, potluck or simply just because it is so delicious!

Chocolate Dream Cake should become a staple recipe in every home, especially in the summer months.  Because it’s cooled, it seems even more satisfying when it’s warm outside and you’re enjoying a delicious cooled dessert.

 

Chocolate Dream Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 Chocolate Cake Mix*, prepared as directed on box
  • 1 small box instant chocolate pudding, prepared as directed on box, PIE directions.
  • 1 8 oz brick cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Mid-size container cool whip, thawed
  • Shaved chocolate (buy your favorite chocolate bar and grate the outside chocolate over the cake and eat the rest of the candy bar… you’re welcome. Or use chocolate sprinkles like these.)

Directions:

  1. Prepare chocolate cake as directed on box.
  2. Pour into greased 15×10 cookie sheet.
  3. Bake as directed and cool COMPLETELY.
  4. Prepare pudding as directed for PIE on the box. It usually takes 1/4 cup less milk to make it a thicker consistency.
  5.   Let the pudding set up.
  6.   Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar until nice and smooth.  Add pudding and whip together until combined well.  Spread over cooled cake.
  7. Spread container of cool whip over pudding layer.
  8. I like to put chocolate bars in the freezer then use a grater to grate chocolate or vegetable peeler to make curls up the side of the chocolate bar.  But chocolate sprinkles work well too!  Just use what you’ve got 🙂
  9. Chill until ready to serve.  Refrigerate any left overs! {Yeah… that’s funny around here too! }

*use a good quality chocolate cake mix.  I like Betty Crocker’s Triple Chocolate Fudge or German Chocolate. But there are a bunch of good ones out there.

http://www.becauseican.me

Much love,

Teauna

Uncategorized

A bump in the road….

Every once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life when you think you’re finally on top of your game, the doctor throws you a curve ball and tells you he needs to operate in 5 days.

And that you’ll be down for 6 weeks.

Ummmmmmmm. It’s finally springtime and I NEEED to do some serious yardwork.

Well, I was expecting the surgery. And honestly I was thinking of asking for it.  I had it all planned out what to say to him. Like…. “Come on. I have good insurance. Let’s do it now.” Or “I’m not leaving here until you agree to just taking it all out.” But he beat me to the punch.

But because it was necessary. NOW.

And still. I was shocked and speechless.

I have had my fair share of issues over the years but this last little while has been awful and I knew that I was eventually going to be needing surgery.

Anyhow….

I’m a week out of surgery now and I feel crappy. I really thought I’d bounce back faster than this and I’ve been seriously irritated that I really have had to spend so much time in bed feeling like crap on crackers.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

A hysterectomy….

I’m still young….. or am I?

I mean, I realize I have 2 teenagers, 1 being an adult teenager! He graduates in 2 months! What? I know that my child bearing years are over for sure.

But wow.

Okay. Well I just never had thought about it.  I’ve kinda had these parts my whole life. I mean, I was born with them. Which must mean I’m supposed to have them for life, right?

I remember that awful moment in elementary when they bring out the granny panties with an already attached big old pad and give you the “talk” about how to deal with your female reproduction parts you were born with. And the fear that’s put in place about what’s yet to come. Oh my. I still remember being so worried about the blood bath that was in my future. It all seems so dramatic and life threatening at that age.

As women, we just know that this is our life. We deal with it.

And now I don’t have to anymore. That part, I’m not complaining.

Okay… but really. I am so very glad to have it over and done with and I’m a week into the healing process. And I’m so grateful for my amazing doctor and his staff and their care they showed for me. I had a couple setbacks and am so glad I had such talented and caring people around me to make sure I was okay.10 things I learned about me

10 things I have realized thru this process:

1. I can do hard things.

2. I was blessed to carry 2 beautiful healthy babies in my womb. And so very grateful to have been able to do so.  So many women never get that chance.

3. I have an amazing support system.

4. I am hard on myself. When I’m forced to sit down and do nothing, I realize how much I actually do.

5. It kills me to watch my daughter and husband cook dinner and do the dishes and run to the store and run all the errands. They work and school all day. I’m home. That’s hardly fair.

6. I knew I was going to die to be outside in the yard so I planted tulips, hyacinths and daffodils that I bought for $1 each at Walmart in my pretty little indoor pots. They’re beautiful and all starting to bloom. So glad I thought to bring spring in the home so I could enjoy it.

7. I think my little Bella has earned her Service Dog cape. She is too smart for her own good and she has watched over me super close. She’s always walking in front of me while looking back over her shoulder making sure I’m okay. And Daizee, she is just my snugglebug. Bella has a way of making me giggle…

Bella smile

8. I don’t have a care in the world to who doesn’t love me because there are plenty of people that do.

9. My lack of appetite has helped me kick my soda pop habit.

10. I will never ever be a drug addict. Oh how I hate the way they make me feel. Pray I never have to do Benadryl thru the IV again. Not only does it burn like hell and leave your arm aching for days, but those planes bombing the hospital with flying cartoon foxes were brutal.

Thanks for being a part of my journey.

 

Much Love,

Teauna

Sourdough, Yeast Breads

Sourdough Bread: Starter

sourdough starter.jpg

Are you curious about sourdough?

Have you wanted to make your own starter? Or maybe bake your own bread?

We love sourdough in our house. Sourdough everything that is. And we have been your guinea pigs. In the last few weeks we have had sourdough waffles, bread, rolls, tortillas, English muffins, pizza…. We have yet to try cookies and cake, but it’s about to happen real soon.

First, let’s get that starter made so you can join me!

In order to make any sourdough recipe, you must first have a sourdough starter.

This takes time and some rather precise efforts at first, but it is so worth it when you eat that first sourdough fare.

To be honest, most of the recipes use basically the same idea.  Some say to use whole wheat in the beginning starter because there is more ‘wild yeast’ in whole wheat flour than is in all purpose flour.  Some use all purpose flour from the beginning and add whole wheat or rye for recipes specific to those flours. I started mine with whole wheat flour the first time and have used all purpose flour to feed it since.

Really… I say don’t over-complicate things.

In other words, if you only have all purpose flour, use it.

The basic idea is to start with ‘equal’ parts of flour and water.  Now… that’s by weight.  Which is roughly 1/2 cup water to a scant 1 cup flour.  To be real precise, it’s about 3/4 cup +2 Tbsp flour.

I also suggest using a mixing bowl vs. a cute jar you’ll be storing your starter in for the first 5 days until you no longer have to add and subtract to and from your starter everyday.  Only because it’s easier and much less mess.

Once your starter is ready to just sit, ferment and wait for you to use it, I suggest using a jar like this. They look nice and also keep the mess (and smell) to a minimum.  A crock is also super cute and works well.  It just has to be covered with plastic wrap. It’s all personal preference.

Personally, the most difficult part of starting and maintaining a good sourdough starter is the waste.  Every time when you add to it, you must first discard some starter.  It feels like such a waste and if you’re frugal like me then you find recipes to use the ‘discard’  starter as well. You won’t get a real sour taste, but you will get the satisfaction of using it instead of throwing it away.

I’m going to make this as easy as possible for you. I’ll write it out day by day of how to start and maintain your starter.

Do not let this overwhelm you.

I promise it’s all worth it.

Sourdough Starter

  • Difficulty: time consuming but worth it
  • Print

Ingredients:

To begin your starter:

  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp whole wheat or all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water (cool if your house is warm, warm if your house is cool)

Directions:

  1. Day 1: Combine the flour and water in a non-reactive container… You can use glass, crockery, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic. Stir thoroughly; make sure there is no dry flour anywhere. It’s important to mix well. Cover the container loosely and let the mix sit somewhere warm. If your house is cold, place on top of the fridge or by a heater. Let sit, undisturbed for 24 hours.  (I used whole wheat flour my first time.  If it’s a little doughy or thick, don’t be alarmed. It’ll be okay.)
  2. Day 2: Don’t panic if you didn’t see any activity in the first 24 hours.  Go ahead and discard half the starter, about 1/2 cup. Now add 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water (cool if your house is warm, warm if your house is cool). Stir well. Cover loosely and store for another 24 hours.
  3. Day 3: You should be seeing at least a small amount of activity by now. Some bubbles, a little bit of an aroma and maybe some rising.  So, you’re going to start feeding your starter twice today.  (I did them 12 hours apart, but do what works for your schedule). For each feeding, first stir down thoroughly. Measure out 1/2 cup starter.  Discard the remaining starter.  Add 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water to the 1/2 cup starter. Mix well, cover loosely and sit in warm place. Repeat in 12 hours.
  4. Day 4: Two feedings again today!! For each one, measure and set aside 1/2 cup starter. Discard remaining starter and add 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water to starter. Stir well, cover loosely and place somewhere warm for 12 hours until next feeding.
  5. Day 5: Two feedings again today!! You should be seeing a LOT of bubbles now and the aroma should be a tad “tangy”, but shouldn’t be overpowering. You’ll also notice that your starter is close to double in volume. For each feeding you are going to need to set aside 1/2 cup starter. Discard remaining starter. Add 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water to the 1/2 cup starter. Mix well, cover loosely and sit in a warm place. Repeat again in 12 hours.
  6. Day 6: Give your starter a feeding in the morning. Same as always… discard all but 1/2 cup starter. Add 3/4 cup+ 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water to your starter. Stir well, cover loosely and store in a warm place. There should be a lot of action in 12 hours from now.
  7. Check your starter in 12 hours from final feeding and place in your storage jar. Cover. Place in fridge or on your counter if your house is cooler like mine.
  8. Once you’re ready to start baking, remove however much starter you need for your recipe.  You shouldn’t take any more than 1 cup.  
  9. Remember to feed your starter after you take some from it. The same 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water.
  10. Store the starter in the fridge (on the counter if your house is cool). Feed it regularly at least once a week to keep in maintained.

Much love,

Teauna

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