Thursday, October 27, 2016


Sourdough starters are all about yeast. Basically, when you make a sourdough starter, you are making natural yeast. Not too long ago, people used natural yeast (sourdough starter) to make bread. The process of baking with natural yeast requires a little more planning and a longer rising period. When commercial yeast was developed, the bread-making industry was revolutionized, making it easier and faster to make bread. However, with the advances in yeast, an important part of the bread-making process was lost. The modern method of baking with commercial yeast eliminates longer rise times. Bypassing the process of longer-rise times may be one cause of inflammation and digestive problems. 

It’s been said by some who have dietary issues such as gluten intolerance, that once they began consuming bread made with natural yeast, their symptoms were reduced or eliminated, and some have even reported losing weight after changing to whole grain breads made with natural yeast, as opposed to those made with commercial yeast.

Aside from the health benefits of using natural yeast, there are other benefits to natural yeast, including the fact that you never have to buy yeast again! Just think... in an emergency, you don’t need to stress when you run out of commercial yeast, because you won’t need anything but flour, water & salt to make a simple bread. And, it will save you money! Creating your own natural yeast, or sourdough starter, is simple, but it’s also easy to kill if you forget to feed it. Think of it as a new pet--one that doesn't bark, shed, claw at your furniture or make a mess.

For most sourdough/natural yeast starts, you start with a mixture of flour and water—usually equal parts, but some recipes vary. The type of flour you use will make a difference in how fast your starter develops, and what it will look like or smell like. In our recipe, take 1/2 cup of wheat or all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup of distilled or purified water, and stir it up in a jar or crock. Make sure you stir it with a wooden or plastic spoon—no metal. Cover the jar with a coffee filter, or piece of cheesecloth and keep it in a warm location, like on top of a warm appliance like a refrigerator. It helps to wrap the jars with a towel to keep them warm, as well. 

First thing in the morning feed your starter 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 tablespoon of water. About 4 or 5 times throughout the day, feed your starter with the tablespoon ratio. You’ll know your starter is living when you begin to see bubbles forming. The starter will smell stinky, like sour milk or a dirty diaper--that's normal.

 On the third day, feed it 1/4 or 1/3 cup of flour and the same amount of water so you have a good amount of sourdough. Most sourdough recipes call for 1/4 to 1 cup of starter. You will always want to have some starter left over so you can continue the process. On the third day continue to feed it throughout the day. After 3 days of feeding your sourdough starter is ready to use!

If a layer of liquid develops overnight in your container of starter that’s what’s known as hooch. Basically, it is a byproduct or waste that develops when the starter is hungry. Some people stir it in before they feed their starter, but you can pour it off. Over time, stirring in the hooch will create a stronger flavor to your starter. Not all sourdough breads taste sour. Sourdough starters get a stronger flavor over time, or when they need to be fed.

If you plan to bake with your sourdough starter right away, increase the amount of flour per feeding so you'll have about 2 cups of starter. After using the amount needed in your recipe, feed the remaining starter 1/2 cup of flour and a 1/2 cup of water to start building the amount of starter back up. You can put it in the refrigerator about an hour after that feeding. Or, you continue to keep it on your counter, as long as you continue to feed it with the tablespoon ratio a few times a day.
For our basic sourdough starter directions, click HEREFor some great sourdough starter tutorials, click HERE & HERE. For the sourdough bread recipes from our bread class, click HERE

If you're really interested in natural yeast baking, we HIGHLY recommend the book, "The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast," by Caleb Warnock & Melissa Richardson.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016


As of November 1, food storage prices at the Church's Home Storage Centers will be rising. To get the best prices on food storage, head to a Home Storage Center near you before Tuesday, November 1. For local Home Storage Center hours and information, click HERE.

Monday, October 24, 2016

FHE: Obedience

Obedience is the topic of this month's First Presidency message by President Monson. He teaches:
"The greatest lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and we obey, we will always be right... When we keep the commandments, our lives will be happier, more fulfilling, and less complicated. Our challenges and problems will be easier to bear, and we will receive [God’s] promised blessings.
God’s commandments are not given to frustrate us or to become obstacles to our happiness. Just the opposite is true. He who created us and who loves us perfectly knows just how we need to live our lives in order to obtain the greatest happiness possible. He has provided us with guidelines which, if we follow them, will see us safely through this often treacherous mortal journey."
For family home evening, review President Monson's message and watch THIS VIDEO on obedience. Discuss the "barriers" in our lives and how being obedient blesses us

For dessert, try making one of these adorable shark treats.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Why make your own wheat bread? Because it's the best! Not only is making your own wheat bread cost effective(only 32 cents per loaf!), it tastes great, it's healthy and when you make your own bread, you'll always know what's in it.

Click HERE and HERE for links to our favorite, easy to make wheat bread recipes.

Monday, October 17, 2016

FHE: Serve

For family home evening tonight, study Elder Carl B. Cook's talk, "Serve." Watch, read or listen to the first part of his talk where he shares his experiences of helping out on the farm. Elder Cook explained that sometimes when their old Dodge truck would get stuck they had to shift gears, putting it into a compound gear to allow it to move forward. He said:
"I like to think of each of us as part of a compound gear as we serve together in the Church—in wards and branches, in quorums and auxiliaries. Just as gears combine to provide greater power in compound, we have greater power when we join together. As we unite to serve one another, we accomplish much more together than we could on our own. It is thrilling to be engaged and unified as we serve and assist in the Lord’s work."
Elder Cook spoke about the importance of service and how it blesses our lives and the lives of others.
The opportunity to serve is one of the great blessings of membership in the Church. The Lord has said, “If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me,” and we serve Him by serving others. 
As we serve, we draw closer to God. We come to know Him in ways that we otherwise might not. Our faith in Him increases. Our problems are put into perspective. Life becomes more satisfying. Our love for others increases, as well as our desire to serve. Through this blessed process, we become more like God, and we are better prepared to return to Him.

Discuss how your family makes up a complex system, like the gears of a truck, which can bless the lives of others when you work together. Make a list of ways you can work together to serve each other and your neighbors, and pick one item to do with your family this week. For dessert, try making some sugar cookies in the shape of gears! Click HERE for a link to some tips and a tutorial on how to make these adorable gear-shaped cookies.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


“The wise understand the importance of saving today for a rainy day tomorrow. They have adequate insurance that will provide for them in case of illness or death. Where possible, they store a year’s supply of food, water, and other basic necessities of life. They set aside money in savings and investment accounts. They work diligently to reduce the debt they owe to others and strive to become debt free. Brothers and sisters, the preparations you make today may one day be to you as the stored food was to the Egyptians and to Joseph’s father’s family,” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts, May 2004).