Introducing… George (& this week’s menu)

I love sourdough. Or, as the kids are saying these days, I ❤ sourdough.

I have been baking with a whole wheat (with an occasionally feeding of spelt flour) sourdough starter for several years and I really enjoy it – crackers, english muffins, pancakes, pita bread (post coming soon!), the occasional loaf of bread. Back on the other coast – the rye starter  I maintained had a more robust flavor and better rising properties than my current wheat based starter.  Although  I have been wanting to revisit having a rye starter, I have been too lazy maintain two starters up until a few months ago (with 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 horses and a hungry husband, did I really want another mouth to feed?). While I was visiting the other coast back in January –I snagged Daniel Leader’s formula for his rye starter in his new(ish) book – Local Breads for my inspiration.

His instructions brought to life my new rye starter, affectionately named George (from the cartoon – I will hug him and squeeze him and love him and pet him, and I will call him George.)  I now look forward to my weekly baking/feeding session because, so far, the results have been delicious.

I had my first success with sourdough no-knead bread following the very simple instructions on Although this was my first success, it was far from my first attempt. All previous attempts resulted in a brick-like loaf that were good for croutons and little else.

George produced this:

The original recipe.

My modification (not much!):

  • 3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. real salt
  • 1 1/2 cups purified water
  • 1/4 cup rye starter (unfed, or fed)
  • Mix everything up – let it sit overnight (12-18 hours). Loosely knead 3-4 times, cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Line a cast iron skillet with parchment and sprinkle with semolina (optional). Place bread on parchment and cover – let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

    Place dutch oven or glass pan in oven and preheat at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Place bread (by lifting parchment) in warmed dutch oven and cook covered for 30 minutes at 450-475 (depends on your oven, my oven cooks hot).

    Remove lid, reduce heat to 425 and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

    Thats it!

    Without further ado, here is this week’s menu:


    Breakfast: Leftover cinnamon rolls & eggs w/spinach

    Lunch: Crackers & cheese, fruits & veggies

    Dinner: Bread & Broccoli cheddar soup w/kale

    Prep: Thaw lamb chops, start crackers, cook bacon bits, soak quinoa


    Breakfast: Eggs & bacon, spinach, cortido

    Lunch: Leftover soup & bread

    Dinner: Lamb chops, salad, quiona

    Prep: Make mayonnaise, thaw scallops


    Breakfast: Yogurt & Fruit

    Lunch: Salmon salad & crackers

    Dinner: Scallop salad

    Prep: thaw pork chops


    Breakfast: Coconut Flour Pancakes

    Lunch: hot dogs, sauerkraut

    Dinner: Grilled portabella mushrooms & grilled pork chops

    Prep: start english muffins, thaw tuna


    Breakfast: English muffin egg sandwiches

    Lunch: Sardine salad & crackers

    Dinner: Ahi tuna & japanese style avocados

    Prep: Start pizza crust


    Breakfast: English Muffins

    Lunch: TBD

    Dinner: Pizza with sourdough pizza crust, fresh buffalo mozzarella, bacon & mushrooms



    See more menu plans at Menu Planning Monday


    Filed under Breads and such, Menus, Vegan

    4 responses to “Introducing… George (& this week’s menu)

    1. Rachel

      I’m really craving some of your pumpernickel bread with fondue! Yumm 🙂 Your bread looks fabulous! I want to be brave and try to make it someday 😉

      Your menu looks tasty!

    2. gracefultable

      Pumpernickel! That is my absolute favorite bread in the whole wide world. Thanks for the reminder. Maybe next week that will make an apperance 🙂


    3. Rachel

      Hey, make some while your mom is visiting and send some back with her 😉 Pleeeaaaase! LOL

    4. Pingback: Menu – May 17-22 « Graceful Table

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