All Things Sour

Posted on: January 5th, 2007 by Anthony Rapino 3 Comments

As you know, over the past couple weeks I have been experimenting with making fresh sourdough from scratch. Though I’ve had some trouble getting my wild yeast starters to give sufficient rise to my dough, I have started to proof another batch tonight, with the hopes the the resulting dough will rise. I have gained back some confidence due to the help and advice of Kate. (Thanks Kate!)

While this is underway, I have begun a new food experiment. This time I’m making sauerkraut. My dad is a collector of old crocks, so I even had the proper container to use. These old crocks were used for pickling, making kraut, churning butter, and much more–so I thought it fitting to bring the old world back to these containers.

Anyway, I have shredded 5 pounds of cabbage, added 3 tablespoons of salt, and tossed it together. I put the mixture into the crock and weighted it down with a plate and a gallon water jug. It needs about two to four weeks with daily care (skimming scum from the water surface) before it is done.

One big mistake I made was the addition of cumin seeds instead of caraway seeds. I must have grabbed the wrong container–too late now. I just hope it doesn’t completely ruin the sauerkraut.

No writing news today. I’m still working on a few pieces and waiting on a few submissions.

Cheers.

3 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    I’ve only ever had sauerkraut out of a jar, I quite like it. I bet it is much better though fresh from the pot.
    I do all of the cooking in our house, but have never used caraway seeds. I did used to use cumin though, for curries, so my first thoughts were that you might have problems. I just looked up cumin on Encarta though and apparently cumin and caraway taste about the same so you should be alright.

  2. Anthony J. Rapino says:

    Hey Steve. Yeah, that’s how I mixed up the seeds, they look very similar. I noticed the difference in smell, but only too late. Bah!

  3. Kate says:

    No problem, Anthony!
    I was pretty bewildered by the whole sourdough thing when I started, so I’m happy to pass on some knowledge, and I’m eager to see how it goes for you.

    I’m a stay-at-home mom to two young boys and baking keeps me sane. =)

    Hey, did I tell you I recently made THE BEST loaf of whole wheat sandwich bread using my starter? I was expecting it to be heavy and brick-like, but it was light and tasty and toasted up very well. The recipe is in Nancy Silverton’s book – it’s the (appropriately enough) whole wheat sandwich bread recipe. I didn’t add all the stuff she added though – like cracked wheat berries, come on – I just dumped in toasted sunflower seeds and walnut bits. YUM!

    Kate

Anthony J. Rapino Newsletter
* indicates required