It’s a bleak tale, but one which requires telling. I can say I survived and perhaps that is a type of victory. Honestly, at the moment, it doesn’t feel like one.
I have told you in previous posts that I had acquired sourdough starter. This is something I had considered over the years, but it’s the first time I actually did it.
Imagine if you will: You put the starter in a bowl, add water and flour, then leave it for 6-8 hours. Then you stir it, remove 4 ounces to which you add water and flour, then leave it for 6-8 hours. This goes on for days. When you do get it to a usable state you will be required to tend it constantly … forever.
I tried it. I tried a handmade loaf of bread and a loaf in the breakmaker. The handmade loaf was a complete disaster. The one out of the machine was no different from any ordinary white loaf.
Now go back to those instructions – the part where it says to remove 4 ounces of your mixture. You may be wondering what happens to the remainder – called the discard. Well, you can put it in the fridge and use it in various recipes. I decided to do that.
After days of creating discard there was a large amount of it in my fridge. I thought, OK I’ll make the waffles.
To begin with you take 1 cup of discard and add 2 cups flour, 2 tbsp sugar, and 2 cups buttermilk.
I had 3 cups discard. Do the math. I now had my biggest bowl with 3 cups discard, 6 cups flour, 6 tbsp sugar, and 6 cups of buttermilk in it.
Unfortunately the next instruction was to leave it overnight. Sh*t.
The next day I had to add salt, baking soda, 3/4 cup of oil, and 6 eggs. Boy was it fun stirring until there were no lumps in that mix. Not.
Fine, I was finally ready to make waffles.
I got out my tiny little waffle iron. I don’t mean tiny just in the sense that it would only make 2 waffles at a time. I also mean tiny in the sense that it is not a very powerful machine.
After much trial and error, I determined that it took 9 minutes to fully cook the waffles. The great quantity of waffles which could be made with that giant bowl of mix – 2 by 2.
Not counting all the waffle batter which poured out of the iron, and all the waffles which were inedible, I wound up with 40 crispy waffles bagged in groups of 8.
Do the math. All told I spent 4 hours doing nothing but cook waffles.
Now I have no bias against waffles. If I didn’t like the occasional fried dough I wouldn’t have set out to make them.
Having said that, I will tell you that I believe them to be of good quality but that is only based on tasting small bits I cut off to make straight edges. I haven’t eaten one.
In fact I can’t even face them. I put all of them in the big freezer. Perhaps one day I will decide that only a waffle will be appropriate for breakfast. Or maybe they’ll be found untouched many years in the future and the discard will be discarded.
I survived this debacle. My waffle iron, however, did not. She was never built to handle this workload.
I thanked her for her service and added her to the discard pile.
Sourdough will never enter this house again.