This is my new ‘pet’ Fred.

Fred is a sourdough starter and he’s teaching me a lot about himself and his kind. A friend gave him to me and apparently those from Fred’s line come from overseas many many moons ago. Or so I’m told. He’s helping me save money on making bread at home.

Basically Fred is a live culture. He eats the food I give him and produces gas that will make my bread rise when I add him to the mixture in place of yeast. Right now he lives in the fridge but I have to feed him every week. If he lived on my counter I would have to feed him twice to three times a day. What is a bread bacteria culture’s favorite food?? Flour and water of course! Feeding him is actually pretty simple – here is a great video that helped me in figuring out how to take care of him.

I was terrified when I first fed him, certain I had somehow screwed it up. But it’s been a few days now and he seems to be doing quite well. Bubbly and happy next to some humus and beer. (I never said the rest of the things in my fridge were as cool as Fred).

Hopefully I’ll be able to make some good bread with him and we will have many happy years together.  If not I’ve still got some dry active yeast so worst comes to worst I’ve got my bread bases covered. Welcome to the family Fred.