Sourdough Starter Troubleshooting

When it comes to the livelihood of my starter babies, trust me, I’ve had my fair share of “omfg” moments . 9 out of 10 times it’s benign, and well, 10 out of 10 times I’m panicking.

For what it’s worth, #1 thing I’ve learned is that it usually looks worse than it is, and that the smell of the starter is a major indicator. I’ve put together a quick list of what’s worked for me + tips from the pros, check them out!

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Rise of the Sourdough Starter

Last year this time, I got my first taste of sourdough. 
Four ingredients, old-school methods, better than store bought insta-breads? I was already sold when I came across a local Sourdough Workshop. I had no idea the depth of bread-making, how much detail, control and fuss goes into good bread or how deep down the rabbit hole I’d go! Baking sourdough with wild yeast promise an audible crust, tangy, buttery center, and comes with so many health benefits. I absolutely fell in love with the science, the process and sharing my passion for naturally levained sourdough bread. Check out how you can make your own starter!

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Aging & Flavoring Dairy-Free Cheese

In cheesemaking, moisture controls the texture, specifically the firmness in the end product. It’s no different here!

After the desired days of fermentation, outer layer will be crusty and hard, but the cheese under should still have the consistency of a thick spread. There are several ways of drying, or “aging” the cultured product to manipulate its texture, flavour, and shape. This is the crucial step in mimicking certain characteristics of some of your favorite dairy cheeses.

Check out my previous post on how to create the base for an aged dairy-free cheese, or jump back to more info on dairy-free cheese

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Kombucha 101

I remember learning about Kombucha online and then immediately finding a SCOBY @ Harvest Community Foods, literally steps away from my apartment. The bright-eyed clerk behind the counter set me up with the same enthusiasm I now understand and share today. It was a validating “yes, stars are aligning” moment  – what a genuine display of the fermentation culture! Bewitched by the slice of symbiotic culture swimming in it’s own juices, I knew then I was on the road to experimentation and discovery

Blast from the past: 2014, when all my friends refused to try the weird things from my kitchen. Oh, some things just don’t change!

….That was circa 2014. Fast forward, after a few accidents and 100s of batches, I now love sharing my booch story, how easy it really is and have become your local SCOBY/Booch pusher. Kombucha was sort of the “gateway” ferment that opened a whole world of gut promoting elixirs and homemades  – methods predating any pre-packaged goods. Working with nature, a delicious batch of booch is a fine reward all on its own, but it is in the process where empowerment lies! I apply the same precautions with all ferments: start with quality ingredients, stay clean but not sterile and always reserve surplus/a backup.

So, get your hands dirty (figuratively!!) and try making your own kombucha at home. Check out some tips and a simple recipe after the jump!

UPDATE: I now have SCOBYs to share, if you are in 604 / 778 give me a shout 
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