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Getting There – Where Are You Again?

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For the time being (until we are sure the Covid-19 pandemic has passed), we're as close as your computer - all our classes are live and on-line.  We've been liking on-line classes and may continue to offer them even once the coast is clear.

When we start offering live and in person classes, it's really not far to get to our classes if you are in the general Dallas/Fort Worth area.  It takes less than an hour to get here from the most parts of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, and not much more than an hour from the farther parts.

Better yet, it's a straight shot up IH-35 no matter where you are in the Metroplex. Go to IH-35 and head north to Sanger - a very easy drive. (We're a bit north of where IH-35W and IH-35E merge.)

2 thoughts on “Getting There – Where Are You Again?”

  1. Hi Mike,
    We got our first Sourdough Starter (Carl) yesterday. What is the best type of container to start our dough in? Should it be glass? I do have a large crock mixing bowl (I inherited it from my Grandma). What do you cover yours with?
    Thanks,
    Celeste

    1. Hi Celeste,

      Carl’s starter is one of my favorites! A great choice for a beginner, or any baker. Starting with a known good starter eliminates a lot of uncertainty.

      Some people obsess over what sort of container to use to house their starter. Angst aside, it’s not really a big deal. Many people tell you to not use metal. However, we find that’s an old husband’s tale. Stainless steel is fine.

      We often use plastic, but care needs to be taken. It is easy to scratch plastic which makes keeping it clean problematical.

      Our go-to container for some time was a glass canning jar, or mason jar. They are cheap and durable. It is hard to scratch the glass. If you drop them, they are unlikely to break. All in all a good choice. We used regular canning lids, but didn’t tighten the lids all the way so the gas the starter produced could escape.

      I’ve never had a crock. The only reasons are that I’m too cheap to buy one and I wasn’t lucky enough to have an ancestor give me one. However, I see no reason not to use one, crocks have a long history with sourdough buffs.

      As to the what to cover the container question, the main goals are to keep pests out (fruit flies love sourdough starter!) and to let gas escape. Some people use cheesecloth when they are starting a starter so the starter can attract wild organisms. This is SO wrong! Microorganisms can’t decide where to go, they go where the wind blows them. Also, everything one needs to start a starter is in the grain. Starting a starter from organisms in the air is pretty much a myth. We talk about that on the Sourdough Myths and Folklore page.

      A healthy starter will at least double in size after being fed, and it will give off gas. This leads to two observations. You shouldn’t fill your container more than half full so your starter will have room to expand. Also, you shouldn’t seal the container too tightly – you want the gas to be able to escape. Some people have reported that the gas pressure can cause a glass container to shatter. I don’t know if that’s true, but I’d rather not risk it.

      Hope that helps,
      -Mike

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