I’ve been a sourdough cook for over 60 years. In 1961, L. R. Douglas DVM gave me an especially flavorful starter that his mother brought to California from South Dakota in 1917. Dr. Doug was one of the first people who encouraged Bud to teach his livestock handling methods to others.
This starter has been to the Aleutian Islands and above the Arctic Circle in Alaska with me as well as to Oregon, Texas, Missouri, Kentucky, Nebraska, Kansas and Alberta, Canada. It has set on my counter in a lovely ceramic jug, and it has spent many nights in a plastic bag sharing a sleeping bag with Bud and me.
Since sourdough is just a collection of wild yeasts and bacteria that feed on carbohydrates, it is common practice to add a little sugar to the starter. As Bud and I got older, my sourdough spent more time in the refrigerator and less time at room temperature where it could “work.” Consequently, when I needed it to wake up and raise the biscuits, it was necessary to keep it at room temperature and feed it for several days in advance.
About this time we started reading about Kit Pharo and his philosophy of developing cattle that will produce on your place with little or no inputs. I decided to put to put his concept to work with my sourdough. No more sugar! It has to get along on just flour and water. Now, as soon as it warms up to room temperature it is ready to GO. When you mix your final product which will have a little sugar and other things that these little bugs really like in it, it out produces any sourdough I have ever seen.
In celebration of its Centennial Year, I’ll be glad to share this starter with anyone who is interested. Just send your mailing address along with $3.00 for postage.