Congratulations, if you are reading this there is a good chance you are the proud new owner of a piece of Bready Kruger.
About the time that Bready reached his first birthday we decided to start this project, to see how far around the world he can get. What we ask is that once you have had some of Bready sent to you that you feed him up as directed and then dry some of him out and send him on to more people who are interested in owning a piece of Bready. Send everyone back to this site and get them to email us ( bready(at)eatbake(dot)com ) to tell us where he has gotten to so we can put a pin in the map for them.
Sourdough gets it’s distinctive tastes from the local yeasts, so when you first receive Bready he will have the taste of wherever the prior person to you was located, once you have had him a while and fed him a few times he will start to develop a new taste, one of your local wild yeasts.
When You First Get Bready
When you receive Bready he will be in his dry form, you can just store him in the freezer indefinitely like this, but if you want to use him (which is our hope) then you will need to rehydrate him. To do this place him in a bowl with 4oz of filtered or distilled water (less impurities to contaminate him), stir occasionally and after a couple of hours he should be ready to go.
Before you can use him to bake you will need to feed him up a little, both to reawaken the yeast and to bulk him out so that you have enough for your baking with enough to spare. Feeding Bready is easy, just weigh out the correct amount of him (you can dry out the rest to pass along, or throw it away) and add the required amount of water and bread flour and stir in. You don’t need to mix the flour in thoroughly, a few lumps will give the yeast something to work on. (all measurements in weight)
Starter Bread Flour Water 4oz 1.2oz 1.8oz 9oz 2.75oz 4oz 16oz 4.9oz 7oz 100% 30% 45%
If you are seriously bulking up Bready and want to not remove any of the starter just weigh how much you have and multiply up from the above formulas.
At the end of feeding Bready should be the consistency of medium to thick pancake batter.
Bready can be stored at room temperature, in the fridge or in the freezer. If you are storing him at room temperature Bready becomes very hungry and will need feeding three times a day. In the fridge he will slow down a little and need feeding approximately every two weeks, to use take out a few hours before using and allow to come to room temperature. Bready can stay in the freezer as long as you like without feeding him, when you want to use him you will need to defrost him and get him to room temperature and give him a feeding or two to reawaken the yeasts.
Store Bready in a glass or ceramic container, plastic is not great, but not the end of the world. Don’t store him in a metal container unless you really want him to have a metallic taste.
Yeast produces, as it works, both carbon dioxide and alcohol. This will make him bubbly at first when you feed him and then he will form a layer of the alcohol on the top (as can be seen in the above picture). This is perfectly normal though it does look (and smell) none too great. As long as the alcohol doesn’t turn yellowy orange then all is well (if it does then he’s been contaminated and you won’t be wanting to eat him). Usually you can just stir the alcohol back into him, it’ll add to the flavour, however if your starter seems too liquid then you can pour or ladle the alcohol off.
To dry Bready out spread him thinly on a sheet of parchment. You may want it on top of a baking tray. The first time we did this it took several days as we had him far too thick. If you get him thin enough he will flake up and you can store him in an airtight package. We had to process him down to flakes, but it doesn’t appear to have hurt him at all.
Leaving him at room temperature in this state does him no harm, and he can be kept in the freezer indefinitely, good as a stand-by in case your starter dies accidentally.
Sending Bready Onwards
The main point of this exercise is to send Bready onwards. What we’d like you to do is dry some of him out and send him on to anyone you know, anywhere in the world who wants to use him. Then let us know where you have sent him so we can add a pin to the map.