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  1. #1
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    Default Sourdough on the Trail?

    Have you or anyone you know carried a sourdough starter while backpacking?
    I recently read a book that suggested a backpacker in the early 70's used a sourdough starter while backpacking. I know things have changed a lot since the 70's but it struck me as pretty unusual. I did find one old post here from 2004 by Texas Dreamer about sourdough - "This is better for a shorter, well planned trip. Having sourdough getting overworked because you didn't have time for a long, drawn out, supper stop can cause a big mess".
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    From what I remember it will get moldy if not refrigerated.

    (Quote)

    Weíll keep this one short, as it really isnít a viable option for keeping a starter unfed for an extended amount of time. You can really only let it sit for a day or two without feeding before you start to run into problems. In our opinion, the only reason to keep a starter on the counter is if you bake every day. We have found no difference in activity and flavor between counter and fridge storage.After just a couple of days without feeding, youíll likely see that your starter is a bit sluggish after itís next feeding. Youíll certainly be able to get it back to normal after a second feeding, but that isnít the major issue. The biggest issue we notice is mold. Mold is far more likely to grow while being left out at room temperature. Without movement from regular refreshing happening, the chances of mold setting in are quite high for storage purposes. Which is why after just a few days we see mold setting in for us. This isnít like clockwork, it doesnít happen every third day, but there is a higher probability that it can and will than with other methods.

    https://kneadrisebake.com/how-long-c...out-a-feeding/

  3. #3

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    It wouldn’t be too difficult to carry a tablespoon of sourdough culture and enough flour to feed it. The discard can be eaten and is great for the bowels.

    It’s possible to bake bread with only 1 tsp of sourdough culture, I’ve done it several times. You just have to leave the dough all day to do it’s thing. A motivated person can definitely make this work and bake small loaves of bread on the trail.

    (Because I love to bake bread and can’t help myself…here is this morning’s loaf of sourdough.)

    ACCBB58E-F41E-4C74-B403-D7FC953F4FC6.jpg

  4. #4

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    If you want some kind of home made bread on the trail it’s probably easier to carry Bisquick, or make your own similar mix. You can wrap the dough around a stick and cook it over a fire.

    https://www.instructables.com/Doughb...mpfire-Recipe/

  5. #5
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    I like making Bannock bread when in the forest. Same method as above mentioned remove bark and wrap around a stick and bake over the fire. So good so easy.

  6. #6

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    Another thought…starter is easily dried by thinly spreading it on parchment and putting it in the oven with the light on. One can carry the dried starter and feed it & bake when an opportunity arises.

  7. #7

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    I make bread at home using wild yeast as well as fast acting yeast. I make yeast bread on the trail. I don't think that I would ever attempt to use wild yeast backpacking as it takes too long to rise. Even at home in Southern California it's over a 24 hour period. On the trail, I use quick yeast and even at that, I usually mix up a batch the night before and the next day, I leave it in the head of my backpack. My 2 cents.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by flatcatgear View Post
    I make bread at home using wild yeast as well as fast acting yeast. I make yeast bread on the trail. I don't think that I would ever attempt to use wild yeast backpacking as it takes too long to rise. Even at home in Southern California it's over a 24 hour period. On the trail, I use quick yeast and even at that, I usually mix up a batch the night before and the next day, I leave it in the head of my backpack. My 2 cents.
    How do you cook it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    It wouldnít be too difficult to carry a tablespoon of sourdough culture and enough flour to feed it. The discard can be eaten and is great for the bowels.

    Itís possible to bake bread with only 1 tsp of sourdough culture, Iíve done it several times. You just have to leave the dough all day to do itís thing. A motivated person can definitely make this work and bake small loaves of bread on the trail.

    (Because I love to bake bread and canít help myselfÖhere is this morningís loaf of sourdough.)

    ACCBB58E-F41E-4C74-B403-D7FC953F4FC6.jpg
    That is a very nice loaf!! Have you every tried using sourdough on the trail?
    You might enjoy reading the book that got me wondering about this subject.
    https://www.amazon.com/Sourdough-Cul...00009854&psc=1
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  10. #10

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    I dry bake it. Full diclosure: I design and manufacture backpacking gear for dry baking.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
    That is a very nice loaf!! Have you every tried using sourdough on the trail?
    You might enjoy reading the book that got me wondering about this subject.
    https://www.amazon.com/Sourdough-Cul...00009854&psc=1
    Thanks! I’ll check out the book. I haven't used sourdough on the trail, but often carry my sourdough bread.

    It seems to me the most practical application is to use the culture as you would a discard and not bother with the feeding process. Discard is great for any flatbread which is likely the easiest type of bread to make when outdoors. Also, the starter can be dehydrated and used as dry flakes or powder.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
    That is a very nice loaf!! Have you every tried using sourdough on the trail?
    You might enjoy reading the book that got me wondering about this subject.
    https://www.amazon.com/Sourdough-Cul...00009854&psc=1
    Thanks! Iíll check out the book. I haven't used sourdough on the trail, but often carry my sourdough bread.

    It seems to me the most practical application is to use the culture as you would a discard and not bother with the feeding process. Discard is great for any flatbread which is likely the easiest type of bread to make when outdoors. Also, the starter can be dehydrated and used as dry flakes or powder.

  13. #13
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    I bake sourdough regularly I have an easy overnight recipe - no knead. I can imagine using it overnight camping and then baking off a Couple little rolls drop-biscuit style in a pot with a lot of oil. Or if I was planning a fire wrap the dough around a stick and roast it like a marshmallow. Not sure Iím up for the logistics and carrying it but itís an idea.

  14. #14

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    I used to do it (1970's) while backpacking and hitchhiking across the US. It was not a problem. Carry the starter in a small open top container; it does not mold (or else Alaska would not have been a State; many starters from the days of 98 are still used daily). You can mix it up with flour in a plastic bag, and pour pancakes on a griddle or make bread in foil. It's a real treat to have fresh campfire bread, it smells wonderful. But beware, my sourdough bread baking once drew the attention of a bear.

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    used to be people would actually COOK on trails. I once was treated to a cake for my birthday by a group of boy scouts I was on a trip with. And yes, it was baked on the trail!
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

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    Ok Zelph its an old thread. I will give you that, but prospectors and frontiersman lived on making bread with flour and keeping a bit of starter on their necks in a leather bag. “Sourdough” Became A Nickname For Gold Prospectors, As The Bread Was A Major Part Of Their Meal - South Florida Reporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    How do you cook it?
    https://youtu.be/S18aqSG-KsM
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

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  18. #18
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    Yes, sourdough is an excellent thing on the trail. You can use a 1 L container with a screw-top lid. My favorite pancakes are really just sourdough starter poured into a pan and cooked. If you add salt to the starter, it will retard the fermentation enough so that it doesn't go crazy, and after pouring out your meal, just add more flour and water and stick it in your pack until the next day. You can also add masa marina to the flour to add a nice corn flavor to it, and more nutrition.

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