50 Jar Gifts: idea #34 – sourdough starter

This post marks my 1000th post since I started blogging. Wow, that kind of blows my mind. Thanks to all my loyal regulars. I really appreciate your hanging in there with me as I figure out just what this blog is all about.

image from tipnut.com

Is someone in your family famous for their sourdough bread and/or pancakes? Wouldn’t it be a great gift to share a start from that family sourdough to other family members? You’d want to include the recipe and instructions for caring for the start of course. What a great opportunity to share a family legacy to the next generation along with stories and memories of good food and company.

While my family has no such tradition that I know of my husband loves sourdough bread. I tried sourdough started a couple of years ago but didn’t keep it up well and finally let it go. I still have some of the original dry started that I order off the internet so I might start it up again sometime. But several months ago a neighbor taught a class on natural yeast, similar to sourdough but you keep it in the fridge. Natural yeast has a rich pioneer heritage and keeping it in the fridge makes it much more forgiving to neglect. I’ve made pancakes, muffins and pizza dough with good success. My first attempt at bread wasn’t good so I’ll have to try that again.

But either sourdough or natural yeast are great for sharing in a jar. You can do it straight or dry out some starter and create a starter kit with the jar included for reconstituting your start. If you don’t have a starter of your own and can’t find a friend with an active starter you can get a dried starter from various sources on the internet or follow the directions to make your own.

image from armommy.com

natural yeast image from foodstoragemoms.com

If this idea inspires you, let me know. I’d love to share your project here too.jar gift logos35

Want some more ideas? Visit my Pinterest board dedicated to jar gift ideas.

50 for 50 #14 – Pizza

my pizza dough

Today I made pizza from scratch for lunch. I’ve made pizza before but this particular time was to remind me of the two times I got to go to Italy when I was in my 20’s. I found a new pizza crust recipe to try using the sourdough starter I revived recently. I got the starter because I want to learn to make good whole wheat sourdough bread this year. I’m not ready to tackle that yet but I thought pizza dough would be much more forgiving. I was right and it all worked out very good and Bill really liked it.

my pizza ready to bake

finished pizza

I’m sure I’ll use this sourdough pizza crust recipe again. It seems like a good way to sue the starter. There was one big failure with this project. I tried to make cheese bread with the extra dough but forgot about it in the 450 degree oven. I burned it way past being edible and I was afraid I might have ruined the pan. Thankfully the cookie sheet survived but the cheese bread went straight into the garbage can.

brunt cheese bread

Have you ever burned anything this bad before? Do you have a favorite pizza recipe?