Peach leaf starter

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 quart Fresh peach leaves, unpacked
3 cups Water
3 Baked potatoes, medium size
½ cup Yellow corn meal
3 tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt

Bring water to rolling boil and steep peach leaves in it for 15 minutes. Drain liquid and add enough water to make 3 full cups again.

This will have a rather unappetizing green color but don't worry! It will disappear during the fermentation process. Peel hot baked potatoes and put through food mill or sieve. Scald ½ cup corn meal in 1 cup of the liquid until it reaches boiling point and thickens.

Stir constantly so that it will not become lumpy. Now combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl (do not use metal or plastic).

Cover with cheesecloth and set in a warm place (80-85) until well fermented. In warm humid weather this will take about 24 hours. In cool dry weather a few more hours may be required for mixture to become active. Stir every few hours. When it is ready, pour into a large glass jar. Store in refrigerator at about 38 degrees. If necessary stir down a time or two until it stops foaming. It is ready for use when about ½ inch of clear liquid has risen to the top.

This will take about 2 days. Stir well before using.

When this starter has been used down to about 1 cupful, add 3 cups water, 3 medium sized baked potatoes, ½ cup corn meal scalded in 1 cup of the water, 3 Tbsp. sugar and 2 tsp. salt prepared as for the first time (peach leaves are not needed). Set in warm place until it becomes very active in about 6 to 8 hours. Store in refrigerator and it will be ready for use the next day. A properly renewed starter improves with age and, once one becomes accustomed to taking care of it, it all becomes automatic. When, for some reason, it cannot be used about twice a week, stir it thoroughly every few days and add 1 tsp. sugar. Scald jar and lid before filling each time.

From: Breads and Coffee Cakes with Homemade Starter Shared By: Pat Stockett

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