Flour, Water and the Way to Know. 
Part Two of the Durum Loaf Experiment
(Day One — Make the Starter. Return in 24 Hours)

From: K1&2 West and North

Dear friend and subscriber,

You all set? We are. We’re all set up to start the starter.

But, the starter isn’t going to take long so let’s do this first. Let’s talk about….momentum.

Sourdough starter and life are all about momentum.

Seemed ordinary enough.
Airplane gradually up to 20,000 feet.
Sharp turn.
I fall out but my parachute is in the attic.

You ever feel like that? Things seem to be going along fine then whamo! The wheels start to fall off? Like death by a thousand cuts.

Wake up late. Kids are fighting. Breakfast burns. You spill coffee on your blouse but you’re almost at work. Traffic sucks. These drivers suck. You finally get there and everyone needs to talk to you now! The project that seemed finished is unraveling. The phone rings just at the wrong time. You break a nail, your Spanx are crooked, and your new shoes hurt your feet. We could go on…

Yep. You’ve fallen out of the airplane and there literally isn’t anything you can do to stop the momentum because it’s going and it’s going fast.

But remember from yesterday, the “joy is in the journey.” Okay, not so much in this case but, there is something kind of cool about these airplane falling times.

And….that something kind of cool is……

The ability to know how you feel. Up close and personal.

Listen: You’re probably thinking this is stupid. Of course you know how you feel. You feel crappy. You feel like punching someone. You feel like screaming. You feel like crying. You feel like running away.

But, we want you to get really excited about this knowing. The ability to know how you feel is a key that you can use to unlock many, many things. Just like you know how you feel when bad things start to happen, you’re going to start getting really good at knowing how you feel when good things start to happen.

That’s what we want to start doing. Start strengthening our “feeling muscles.” It’s way easy when things are at an extreme so we’ll start there then work our way back to the smaller, younger, less developed feelings. Why? Because it’s these small feelings we really want to get to. These are the feelings that start and build the momentum.

So, are you ready?

Here are a few “feeling muscle” exercises. Even though they may seem dumb, please push through and see how many you can do. It shouldn’t take you but 6 minutes or so and there is no grade at the end.

Slide presentation with the ability to check  

There. That’s it. It wasn’t so bad was it?  We’re about to get on with the sourdough starter but let’s take a second and make a note to self….Self…please start paying more attention to ALL of my feelings, especially the little ones. Remind be often. Okay? Thank you. I appreciate you!

Now….here we go….but first, a note from our school of learning the hard way…

Before you start this process take a look at the time. Probably best to start this early in the morning. Why? Well, because of the intervals on which you feed your starter.

  •  Day one — you let it sit for 24 hours. So if you did this at 6 am, you’ll be ready for the first feeding at 6 am the next day.
  •  Day twoforward— You let it sit for 12 hours. If you are on the 6 am schedule, you’ll feed it again at 6 pm.

This is way better than starting at 2pm in the afternoon and having to get up at 2 am to feed it. Which of course, is what we did first and why we’re imparting this bit wisdom on to you. Rookie mistake, we know.

Okay, now we’re really ready this time.

My friend, pay close attention here because nothing in your kitchen, and we mean nothing, will ever be this easy again….Here are the steps to your starter:

  1. Get out all those things you secured yesterday:
  • One-quart see through container (yes, it should be clean and dry!)
  • Water (tap if you would actually drink it, bottled if not) and something to put it in (measuring cup works just fine)
  • Kitchen scale (did you break down and get one?)
    Instant-read thermometer
  • Spoon and spatula
  • Bowl for weighing stuff
  • Tape and sharpie for marking how high it’s rising
  • Plastic wrap for covering
  • Flours (all purpose or bread and rye)
  • Scrubby thing for clean up
  1. Warm up your water. You can probably just turn the faucet to hot and put some in your measuring cup. If using bottled water, heat some in the microwave – probably 20 to 30 seconds. Your goal – get the temperature to about 85 degrees F. You may have to add cooler water to your hot water if it’s too hot. This is the trickiestpart, we promise.
  1. Pour100 g of your 85-ish° F water into your container.
  1. Add 50 g of white flour.
  1. Add 50 g of rye flour.
  1. Stir the water and flour. Use your spatula or back of spoon to smooth the top as even as you can get.
  1. Put a piece of tape to mark how tall/high your mixture is – you can mark the tape with the sharpie to see it easier.
  1. Cover with plastic wrap.
  1. Place container in the warm spot you decided on yesterday.
  1. Blow it a kiss nighty-night and leave it alone for 24 hours. Might be best to set an alarm or put the time on your calendar so you remember to come back in 24 hours. Please don’t neglect your starter. We don’t want to have to send out the sourdough police!

Admit it. That was easy.


And you are now finito for today!  Get out and get on with the rest of your morning, afternoon, or evening. Remember to pay attention to your feelings though, okay? Make a note (written or mental) of the way you feel throughout the next 24 hours.  Okay? And please don’t forget to say “thank you” to yourself when you recognize you are consciously acknowledging your feelings.



P.S. We appreciate you and love having you with us. Thank you for being here. We also want to give a nod to Susan and her Wild Yeast Blog (www.wildyeastblog.com). We are mostly using her starter recipe for this fabulous experiment. If you’re feeling it, please link on over and say thanks!



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