Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Care and Feeding of Nikki Heat

Nikki Heat needs stirring every day
When a friend gave me some of her family legacy sourdough starter several weeks ago, I had no idea how much attention this would require.
Cover sourdough with a towel as it needs to breathe.

After naming this creature Nikki Heat for detective Kate Beckett on the television series, Castle, I even had to arrange for a friend to care for and feed the beast when I went out of town. Miss Nikki Heat, sourdough starter, has made a place for herself on my kitchen counter.

My family is starting to love her. 

Already I had to move to a bigger bowl, and the plastic lid on top of the towel keeps the dough from drying out. 

The down side is also the upside. Lots of yummy rolls, as often as I want to make them, so long as I plan ahead. Down, because our weight could go up. Up, because Nikki makes magnificent rolls.

And at last, after numerous iterations, I have perfected cinnamon rolls made from this sourdough.

Here's how to make the dough for either dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls. 

Measure 2 c. all purpose flour into bowl
Add to flour 1 t. salt

Next add 1/4 c. oil
then 1/2 c. water
to this you will add sourdough mixture
scoop out 1 c. of sourdough mix
goopy looking stuff
That's it. Just 5 ingredients

Mix well
See how clean the sides of the bowl look. Smooth the dough with spatula. Such an easy dough to work with.
Cover and let rise in a warm place
Next post, I will show how to make rolls.

The starter my friend gave me has been in her family for more than 25 years. Imagine stirring and feeding a starter for 25 years. I thought that had to be a record until I read that the Boudin Bakery in San Francisco still uses its original starter, used there since 1849 (see sourdough link above).

This recipe calls for feeding with 1 c. flour, 1 c. sugar and 1 c. milk, twice a week. Whisk and add to original mixture. Unless you use a lot, you have to give some away, which is how Nikki came to live at our house.

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