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Date: April 23, 2021

Author: Robert Kreek

Have you ever looked at baking as a creative activity for your mom and dad? It’s something family caregivers can do with their parents. Learning to bake sourdough bread can be a fun and engaging activity for the whole family.

Sourdough starter is believed to have been around since the Ancient Egyptians. In the U.S., it became common during the Gold Rush. Sourdough starters pulled wild yeast from the air to help leaven bread.

Sourdough made sense as commercial yeasts were not available until the 1800s. Once commercial yeast was available, bakers started using the packaged yeast instead. Nothing could replace that distinct sour flavor of a sourdough starter.

Baking bread is an excellent hobby for adults as it helps work the muscles and joints in the fingers, hands, and wrists. Kneading the dough also strengthens arm and shoulder muscles. Here’s how to get started baking sourdough bread with your parents’ help.

Making Your Sourdough Starter

You and your parents won’t have any issue making the sourdough starter. You just need two ingredients. Mix one cup of white wheat flour with half a cup of filtered, room temperature water in a large glass jar or ceramic crock. Place the cover on loosely.

Let that sit in a draft-free area in a room that’s around 70 degrees. Watch for the starter to form bubbles. It should do this within three days. When you see liquid, you need to feed it.

To feed it, remove enough starter so that only a half-cup is left and add a half cup each of filtered water and bread flour. Mix in the water and flour so that it’s well combined with the starter.

Keep doing this for six days. On the final feeding, remove all but one-third cup and add a cup of bread flour and one-half cup filtered water. Move the starter to the refrigerator. Use it at least once a week by using all but one-half cup and feeding it with a cup of bread flour and a half cup of water.

Making Bread With the Starter

When you’re ready to make baked goods with the sourdough starter, find recipes online. You can use a sourdough starter to make baguettes, bagels, and English muffins. Your parents can help measure ingredients and knead the dough.

Stock their breadbox with homemade bread. Freeze or donate extras. They’ll love having homemade baked goods that don’t have added preservatives.

Have you ever thought about the things your parents eat? If they rely on canned or frozen foods, they may be eating too much sodium, saturated fat, and sugar.

With help from an elder care aide, they can improve their diet and meet their nutritional guidelines. Talk to an elder care specialist and ask about food preparation services.

Date: April 23, 2021