Miss Edie's Bread Starter
Miss Edie's Savannah Chili Blend
Wanted to tell you we made our first batch of cinnamon rolls. Nicholas loved them and declared me the best mom ever! Thanks! - The Boltons
Reviving Miss Edie’s Bread Starter
When you get your new powder baby, the first thing you need to do is to name her. This starter has been growing for 47 years and has lived a very healthy, long life. She has many relatives out in the world, all who have names.
After you give her a name, you need to pour her out of her travel package into a large glass container so she can be fed. Feed her with 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of Idaho potato flakes, 2 cups of hot tap water, just hot enough where you can still put your hand under the faucet without burning it, and one teaspoon of dry active yeast. Stir her until the sugar is dissolved.
She will need to sit relaxed like this for one to three days uncovered and un-refrigerated. You will know she has revived from her travels when you see the mixture become thick and foamy on the top. Stir your new starter frequently and you may even see bubbling on the sides if you have it in a glass bowl. If you don’t see bubbles, don’t worry. Your starter is still alive. You can make bread with one cup of the starter after the 10 hours, or you can refrigerate the whole mixture and wait until the next time she is fed to make your bread.
It is recommended, however, that you put the whole mixture in the refrigerator and wait until she has had a second feeding and bubbling to make your bread. That gives her more time to recover from her travels. When you put your revived starter in the refrigerator, put aluminum foil over the top and punch holes in the foil. You can also put a lid on her but make sure you punch holes in it. Your starter has to breathe to grow.
In about three to five days, take her out and feed her according to the feeding instructions. You can make bread after your baby has been fed and out of the refrigerator for a minimum of 10 hours or until she is bubbling quite well. However, you don’t have to be a slave to the clock. I have let Miss Edie bubble and grow for 24 hours and she still worked. As she bubbles and grows, make sure you stir her occasionally, scraping the bottom where the goody part seems to settle.
This is a video of my starter after it has been fed several times. You will see this, too, when your starter becomes accustomed to being liquid and a part of your family. [Watch the video]
Although it is hard to kill your baby, you can succeed by adding water that is too hot, (close to boiling temperature), freezing her for longer than a week, or not allowing her to breathe while resting. But, don’t worry; I will let you adopt another if this baby does not survive.
From this point, refer to the feeding instructions in the My Recipes section of this site.
Take good care of your baby starter. Contact me if you have questions about the care of your new addition. Remember, taken care of, your baby can easily out live you and be passed down for generations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to knead my bread dough?
The beauty of this bread is that it does not need to be kneaded. You can knead it to make yourself a smooth ball for baking bread, but it is not necessary that you knead it like you would if you made a yeast bread. However, in my recipe, I have as an ingredient 1 Tbsp. of dry active yeast but the only reason I use yeast is to speed up the rising process. In that case, you do need to knead your dough before each rising.
If I do not use yeast how long will it take my dough to rise?
Typically, it takes just a little longer, maybe an hour, than yeast breads take. However, the times differ depending on the time of year. If it is in the winter and it is cool and damp outside, it could take double the time. In the summer months, when it is hot and dry, it could rise faster than yeast dough take to rise. Altitude also makes a difference in the rising time. Make sure that your starter is active and that you have been feeding it every 3-5 days. If it sits for a long time before you feed it, it is a little sluggish and needs to be re-activated with frequent, consistent feedings.
How can I make my own sourdough starter?
I have no idea how my starter started or when. It has been alive for centuries so to duplicate the taste would be impossible. There are sour dough starter recipes that you can find online, however, but in order to create the unique taste of my breads and buns, you need my starter.
What happens if my starter does not bubble?
If after you feed your starter it does not show signs of life after 3 hours (that is if you are feeding a liquid starter and not reviving starter from a dried state), then add 1 teapoon of dry active yeast and stir until dissolved. That nearly always jump starts the starter. However, if it still does not bubble, put it in the refrigerator for 3-5 days and then feed it again according to the directions. If it does not bubble at this time, you just need to throw it away.
What if my starter really smells bad or has mold on it?
If your starter smells different than it usually does after you take it out of the refrigerator, then it is probably not good. My sour dough starter has a sweet, yeasty smell to it. It should never smell so bad that it makes you gag. If you ever have mold growing on your starter, throw it away.
What happens if I forget to feed my starter?
The reason you feed your starter every 3-5 days is to keep it vibrant and very active. However, I have gone as long as 2 months without feeding “Miss Edie” and she still lives. The only difference is that she is less active when she is fed after that long, but she comes back full force after the next feeding.
What if I want to make several bread recipes but only have one cup of my starter?
Plan ahead and feed your starter and don’t make bread and don’t throw away or give away any of it. Let it grow. After the first feeding, you will have two cups saved. When you feed her again, you will be feeding two cups, doubling the feeding ingredients, making a total of four cups, then you will have 8 cups after the next feeding…..Just make sure you always have one cup left for for you to feed and grow.
Can you freeze the buns before cooking?
Yes, you can freeze the cinnamon rolls before baking. I have frozen them cut into buns and as a whole log. Either way works. They thaw to cutting consistency in about 30 minutes. After thawing (whether it be buns or logs), allow the buns to rise until doubled then follow cooking instructions. I have discovered, however, that freezing causes the buns to rise slower and they may not rise as much, so if you know you are going to freeze them before cooking, add an additional Tbsp. of dry active yeast to the dough. Remember, you don't need to add yeast to the bread recipe at all; I add it to make the dough rise a little faster. However, if you plan to freeze the dough, I would definitely add 2 pks. of yeast (or 2 Tbsp.) to assure the proper rising after thawing.
You can freeze the dough for about 3 months but the longer they are frozen, the less rising you will have. So, cooking the buns within 2 weeks of freezing them is the best.
I made the bread dough that you made on the Paula Deen show and it was sticky and wet. I also made the starter recipe on the Paula Deen site. How do I feed it and keep it alive?
Thank you for your e-mail. The recipe for making starter on the Paula Deen site is incorrect. I have informed them of this, but they must not have made the change yet. You cannot make a starter as stated on the site. The recipe they have is the recipe for reviving the dried starter that I sell on my web site, www.missedies.com. The starter that I used on the show has been with me for 47 years and before that, about that long with my mother. Who knows who how long the owner kept it alive before us! Probably at least 100 years old! Therefore, there is no recipe that you can follow to actually make my starter. When I sell it, as you will see on my web site, it comes to you dry. You follow the instructions sent with the starter in a little booklet, to revive it back to a liquid state (the recipe that you followed to MAKE a starter). If you are interested in purchasing one of these starters, you will find that it is with you for generations as it makes the most awesome tasting breads and other baked goods!
As for the consistency of your dough, it should not have been very loose. The recipe is correct and the 1 1/2 cups of water is also correct. There are times when I have made my bread dough and it is way too wet in the mixer so I add more flour. Sometimes it may be up to as much as a cup that I add. I make sure that the dough comes away from the side of the mixer but I am also careful to make sure that it is not too stiff. If you pour it out on your board and it is sticky, then make sure you put a lot of flour on the board and on the top to make sure the rolling pin does not stick to it and it does not stick to the board. Actually, mine is always a little sticky, and I just make sure I put enough flour down to work with it.
Miss Edie's Bubbling Starter