Sourdough, Clarity and the Meaning of Life
Part One of the Durum Loaf Experiment
(Ground Zero – Gather Items)

From: K1&2 West and North

Dear friend and subscriber,

Making sourdough bread is quite the journey. That’s good news for us because “the joy is in the journey, yes?” Blah, blah, blah. No doubt you’ve heard this a time or two in your precious little life. But what the heck does it mean? Is it just some phrase that really means….. “hey, you’re never going to get what you really want so you might as well be happy where you are!?”  Like that song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young — “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”

Making bread is easy!
Making bread is easy!

For many, that’s exactly what it means. But not for us… and not for you. Before we go much further, we do want to bring to your attention a little nugget of magic that’s inside the examples above. No, not that crapola about “not getting what you really want.” That’s just junk and icky and plain ole garbage. So ignore that. The nugget is in the part that says, “happy where you are” and “love the one you’re with.”

One of the very best things in the world you can do is appreciate where you are in this exact minute.

Eureka! The true meaning of life. And lookie here, we’ve uncovered it before we even got to the sourdough.

But let’s backup, because right now these are just words and while they may sound good, there isn’t a lot of meaning in them if you really don’t feel appreciation about where you are (or even who you are) right now.

So where are we?

Well, we are where we are and where we are is at the sourdough starter position. Let’s leave the meaning of life here for today and get on with some sourdough. More to follow though, okay? …. Sign up at the bottom of this page if you want us to remind you, otherwise, you’re on your own to find your way back. And we sure hope you do!

Our first tip: Don’t tell anyone about this or what you’re doing. I know that sounds strange when we spend so much time trying to get you to “pin us” and “tweet us” and “like us” and promote us, but for this, let’s just let it be between you and us. Okay? The reason is because most people won’t understand or feel they need to give you their opinion. For now, we don’t want any of that distraction. Appreciation and sourdough takes focus!


What we need you to do right now is gather the things you’ll need to continue the journey. Here is your list for the sourdough starter:

1. Open mind and the willingness to smile now and then.

2. All purposeflour. You can also use bread flour if you want.

3. Rye flour.

4. Water. Tap water is fine unless it makes you gag when you drink it. If so, get some bottled water. A couple large bottles should do the trick.

5. Thermometer –instant-read is best.

6. Bowl – small light bowl that you can use when weighting your “stuff.”

7. One-quart see through We don’t recommend a Mason Jar unless it has a very wide mouth. The reason is because throughout the process you’ll be taking scooping out most of the starter and it’s just not that easy to do with a mason jar. It’s best if you can see through it because you’ll be checking for bubbles and measuring its growth. For now, we used this pretty cool looking square vase. Why? Well, because we tried the mason jar and it was too hard to get the mixture out and we have like a zillion vases sitting around. (We are so popular!). Granted, most vases would never work for this — too tall and  narrow. But this one works quite well for now and, it take a nice photo.


8. Kitchen scale. Do breakdown and get a kitchen  Measuring by weight is so much easier and accurate. It’s truly one of those things we can appreciate in our journey together.  They are not expensive. You can buy one from Target or Walmart or Sur La Table or …. Many places.

9. Spoons, spatulas, stuff to stir and scrape with.

10. Transparent tape to mark your progress. Probably also need a sharpie marker.

11. Plastic wrap for covering.

12. Warm spot for your sourdough starter / culture. We use a Brod & Taylor folding proofer which is awesome, crazy easy and fun, but not necessary. If it’s warm where you are, the kitchen counter is fine – ideally you’d like to keep it between high 70s’ and mid 80s’   If it’s not that warm where you are, then try the oven and like Motel 6…..keep the light on. The light will keep it warm. Don’t turn the oven on, just let the light keep it warm. NOTE: Good idea to put a note on the oven if you’re doing this.  Just in case someone decides to broil something without checking inside first.  You would think just having the light on would be enough of a signal but why risk it?

13. A scrubby brush like this to clean up your mess. This brush is way better than a sponge. The four paste is just gonna stick to your sponge. Use this and save the life of your precious sponge.

Use this scrubby thing instead of your sponge to clean up the flour paste. It makes life much easier and you won’t have to throw your sponge away – at least not today.

Go forth and enjoy the rest of your day/evening!

P.S. Thank you for being here with us. We appreciate you. We really love it that you are here with us. At any time, please buzz us with questions or ideas or…anything. /

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