Before I explain ‘the gift that started it all’, I’d like to mention what a blessing it is to have people in our lives we call ‘givers’. I’ll never forget the first time I heard someone referred to as ‘a giver’. My sister Jane (#5) and I were delivering Christmas cookies and as we were driving away from Don’s house she said, “he’s a giver”. You never leave Don and Brigette’s house without a share in their bounty. Your arms are filled with everything from homemade sauerkraut and pickles to homemade sausage and wine. It’s exactly this type of giving spirit that brings me to ‘the gift that started it all.
Twenty-six years ago, my husband accepted a job transfer and we moved to Lancaster, Ohio, which was 8 hours away from our hometown. At the time we were living in the same house we are living in today (I know, that could be a story all by itself). Our neighbor Carol, who lived across the alley and still lives there gave me a bread starter before we moved. In her gracious and giving way she handed me a jar, a recipe, and the rest is history. OK – a little cliche’ – but true.
The Gift That Started It All
Deep down inside, Carol knew that the starter would be the best gift for a young mom moving to a town where she didn’t know a soul. And it was. I started baking and baking and baking. My relationship with bread baking took on a whole new meaning and my confidence in the kitchen grew. It was and is still fun to be creative with the dough experimenting with different seasonings and recipes. Over the years my bread and cinnamon rolls have served many purposes. I’ve used it for fund-raisers, thank-you gifts, and healing food. It really was the gift that keeps giving. (tears)
Adding To The Starter
I know, you’re thinking, do I really want to deal with a starter. Well, this one is easy and the ingredients that feed it are water, sugar and potato flakes. The starter can remain in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks without adding to it. This is a low maintenance starter. The dough can be used for a variety of bread, cinnamon rolls, focaccia, pizza dough and the list goes on. The sweet-sour taste blends well with all types of spices and herbs. The original recipe can be found at reciperascal.com The recipe included in this post has been tweaked.
Carol Cuts Her Dough Into 4 Pieces
I hope you aren’t scared by the idea of a starter. The starter recipe is included in this post and the recipe for the dough can be found here. I will be adding recipes to use with the dough in addition to the regular post to give you a variety of uses. It’s gonna be fun! So think about putting together your starter this week so you’re ready for a bake!
Carol and Rose Photo by Annie Janssen LA Photos Co
A big thank you to all the ‘givers’ in my life and thanks, Carol, for that special gift 26 years ago.
Thanks for stopping by, Rose
- 1 pkg dry yeast
- 1½ cup warm water
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 3 Tablespoons potato flakes (only use the flakes)
- This is your starter recipe. One you've made it, it stays in your refrigerator until you are planning a bake.
- Mix ingredients in a large glass jar and set in a sunny or warm spot for at least 4 hours.
- A foam will form on top of the mixture and you might hear a hissing noise from the lid of the jar.
- After the starter sits for at least 4 hours, pour off 1 cup of the mixture into another jar or container and you now have 2 starters. One to keep and one to share.
- Refrigerate your starter for 2 days before you want to bake.
- My starter has gone 2 weeks in the refrigerator before adding to it for a bake. If you're not planning on baking, just feed it, let it set out over night and then return it to the refrigerator.
- When you are ready to bake, remove the starter and add the following ingredients:
- one cup warm water
- three-fourths cup of sugar
- three tablespoons of potato flakes
- Please go to my website sockbox10.com for the bread recipe that uses this starter.