From the time we knew we were headed to Nashville we started planning all the things we could bring back with us that hadn’t made the first journey across the continent. Among them, my wedding dress that was still at the dress shop in Raleigh, some photo albums and I hoped beyond hope: sourdough bread starter. Calls to the TSA were tedious and not well understood – can you bring bread starter? Is it a live thing or a liquid? Would a ‘b. starter’ label be misconstrued as bomb starter? I didn’t want to check it in case the underbelly was frigid and killed the delicate yeast cells. So my Aunt Teresa devised a plan. Baby food jars:
You seen, starter is a delicate thing. It likes to be cold, unless you’re feeding it. It prefers glass over plastic so it can beat out all the other microorganisms that would colonize its broth. It’s a finicky thing that can die if neglected.
I’ve never been so nervous in the TSA line. Jeff was already annoyed because we were a little late to getting to the airport because of trying to find the jars and this added security risk didn’t help. On top of it we were trying to leave Nashville after the Rock and Roll marathon and there were a TON of people trying to catch their own planes. After trying to look as innocent as possible, a few nervous hiccups and many silent prayers we made it through!
Step one when we reached Seattle after 12 hours of flying, feed our new pet:
Step two: Wait five hours and hope it foams. Foaming means you didn’t kill it and your security risk wasn’t for naught:
Step three: make bread!
Mix ingredients and let rise for a day. Punch down, divide into loaf pans and let rise again for 12 hours.
When it has risen, bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 until golden brown and delicious:
If you’re in the greater Seattle area and want some starter, let me know!