Bob’s Red Mill

Sourdough Attempt #2 and #3

I read more about sourdough starters and watched some videos, and took the advice of a few readers. I found a recipe from King Arthur Flour that I decided to try this time.

After my failed first attempt, I didn’t have any starter left so I made a new starter. I used this recipe for the Sourdough Starter.Β I made it before we went on vacation to Bend and when we got back I fed it a few times and then a few days before I was planning on making the bread, I left it out on the counter.

Holy cow! The starter like doubled in size. It didn’t smell super sour like my first batch of starter but it was really bubbly. I used white flour for the starter and to feed the starter last week. Then when it was time to make the bread I used this:

I got it at Bob’s Red Mill. Supposedly it’s a great one for bread.Β The recipe I used this time was the Extra-Tangy Sourdough Recipe.

I did half the recipe since this one makes 2 loafs and I wasn’t ready to commit to two if it didn’t go well. πŸ˜‰ I know it’s going to take practice.

So the instructions were a little confusing at first. You don’t mix it all right away. You mix some of it and then let it sit out for a few hours, then put it in the fridge overnight. Then the next day you add the rest of the flour and the salt.

Then you let it rise. It’s basically an ALL WEEKEND recipe. I’m glad I started it Friday!

Meanwhile, while the dough is rising….I wanted to share a book I got from my grandma. It’s in my stash of recipe books and one of these days I will actually make something from it! But it’s such a cool old book, I had to share some photos.

Ironically enough, there is no recipe for sourdough bread in this book! I looked. I thought it would be cool to make a recipe from it. It’s mostly cakes and cookies.

The book is from 1933. There’s an inscription inside from my Grandma for 1939. There was also this handy calorie counting guide:

I saw this recipe and it sounded good:

I’m not sure if this is the exact recipe but my grandma’s coffeecake was legendary!

Anyways, back to the sourdough. The dough didn’t rise. I texted my friend who gave me the sourdough starter to begin with and asked her advice. She figured that the starter wasn’t active enough before I started making the dough. DAMMIT.

Into the garbage. Dammit! Ok. Let’s try again. This time, I kept the started on the counter all week and fed it a little bit each day and then Friday I got the dough ready. I used a mixture of the whole wheat flour for the starter and then for the recipe I used white bread flour.

By Friday the starter looked AMAZING. It was bubbling and liquidy. I made the dough Friday night and let it rise overnight. When I got up Saturday morning it had more than doubled in size!!!!

SUCCESS!!! It felt SO good to finally see it WORK. I poked the dough and in deflated. It was pretty funny. So I kneaded the dough a bit and then put it back in the bowl and went to the gym. When I got home it had risen a little more. I made it into a round shape and then I baked it on the pizza stone in the oven.

This time I used THIS recipe. I liked it’s simplicity and it went really well.

The result? REAL SOURDOUGH BREAD. YAY!!!!

It was light and airy and most importantly it TASTED like sourdough. The flavor was great. I was so happy with this. It wasn’t as toasted on top like I would have liked but I call this a major success (especially after several failures).

Finally! A success!

Lactation Cookies

When I was pregnant I kept seeing something called “lactation cookies” everywhere. I didn’t really know what they were and I didn’t really know much about breastfeeding in general–most of my reading was about pregnancy and birth and raising kids and somehow I skipped the feeding part. I did save this recipe to try later because I was curious and of course, I love cookies. πŸ™‚

When Logan was born my mom came down from Seattle and stayed with us for a few days to help out. She was amazing and did so much! One of the things she did was bake these cookies. It was hard to find the brewer’s yeast–it wasn’t something in a regular grocery store apparently. My mom went to a few different stores and couldn’t find the yeast. Then I thought, maybe it’s at a beer store! Which Portland has an abundance of! Sure enough, a local brew your own place near our house had the brewer’s yeast so Michael picked some up and my mom baked the cookies for me.

Here is the recipe she used:

Supposedly these cookies help milk supply. Apparently the oats, flax seed and brewer’s yeast are what is key to increasing your supply.

“Lactation cookies may be the best-kept secret among breastfeeding mothers. The ingredients in these yummy cookies work in a number of different ways to help moms boost and maintain their milk supply.Β What makes these cookies so special is that they contain galactagogues, which are substances that promote lactation in humans and animals. Galactagogues can be found inΒ various herbs and foods.Β The brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, flaxseed meal and whole oats in lactation cookies are what specifically help with a lactating mother’s milk supply.” (source)

I think the recipe said it made like 24 cookies but my mom got 34 out of the recipe.

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They are super delicious! They are a bit drier than your normal chocolate chip oatmeal cookies but not in a bad way. I found them really tasty and kind of addicting! I’d have a cookie or two a few times a day (usually when I was pumping). They tasted great.

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I can’t really attest to whether or not they improved my milk supply but I did see an increase each day–was that because I was getting a regular routine of pumping and that just made the production increase? Or was it the cookies? No way to tell. But the cookies are yummy so it was worth giving it a try!
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Something else I got (thank you Amazon prime) was this super amazing breast pump bra:

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Damn has it been a lifesaver! Pumping was such a pain in the ass. Having to do it so frequently and basically having to hold the bottles to keep the suction going was a major hassle. I could not do anything else while pumping. It was frustrating. Finally at 2am one morning I decided to see if Amazon had something to make this easier and they did. The bra works great for pumping and has made my life a lot easier. I can have my hands free to do other things–eat, drink, read, play with Logan…

Learning little things like the bra, having easy snacks you can eat with one hand, Β and having two changing table covers instead of just one (because he’s going to pee on everything the second you finish doing laundry), has been kind of a “duh” thing. But it’s the little things you learn along the way that make life easier with a newborn.

Anyways, theΒ cookies tasted great and I would most definitely make them again–even if I wasn’t breastfeeding. So don’t feel like you can’t make them just because. My mom and my husband both ate some and liked them as well.

Do you have experience with these cookies? Do you think they helped you?