Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My new friend, HERMAN (Sourdough Starter)

About 2 months ago I came across a recipe that called for HERMAN for one of the ingredients. I mentally dug back into the achieves of my childhood and remembered my mom doing something with a substance named Herman. I asked her about it and then all my memories of Herman became vivid. Herman is a sourdough starter that she used to make bread, coffee cakes and other baked goodies. She would stir it everyday and "feed" it every five days. Then she would also take some out and pass it along for her friends to "grow" in their refrigerators too! One time Herman was a little neglected and decided to grow out of his bowl and make a complete disaster out of our clean fridge. These are the memories that became so vivid to me about Herman. So, you ask what I did next? Well, I searched the web for the recipe to begin my own Herman, of course! What was I thinking? I was thinking that all the work that she put into making this starter proved to be worth while since everything that she made with it was awesome.

After searching for the recipe I came across the Herman Sourdough Started Recipe on Allrecipes.com. I quickly whipped it up and eagerly waited for the starter to be ready, this took only 15 days....imagine my anticipation!
15 Days later my starter had "brewed" with an alcohol content that is probably more than a normal bottle of beer has! Now it was time to start feeding and looking for recipes to turn Herman into. The feeding schedule is quite easy:

DAY 1: (Day you receive Herman) Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk. Stir well. Store in refrigerator and cover lightly. Stir every day.
DAY 5: Add the same as above and stir. Stir every day.
DAY 10: Remove 1 cup of Herman for yourself and one cup for a friend. Give your friend the above directions on how to care for Herman.

Well, it all seems easy until you open your refrigerator and say to yourself, "When did I stir (or in my case, squish the Ziploc bag) or feed Herman last? Herman is very forgiving, so I am lucky for that!

I have had Herman for over 2 months now and have made so many awesome baked goods with it. The recipes range from coffee cakes, pancakes to lots of great bread recipes. Next week I will post some of the great recipes that I have used with Herman.
Let me know if you want a cup of Herman to get you started!!!