Friday, May 31, 2013

How to Make Sourdough Starter

I cannot believe I entered into the land of sourdough. How did this happen?? Well, like many other things I thought I'd never be able to do, sourdough was one of them. Then about a month or so ago I had a friend visiting who also has five kids and she said she made it all the time! So of course I thought, "man if she can do it, and hers are younger than mine, than maybe I can?"

So with her encouragement, I threw a cup of water and a cup of flour in a glass jar and mixed it up. At first I didn't know what I was doing, and everything online says to do different stuff and I was getting confused fast. So here is what I learned in the last five weeks and how I finally got the best batch of sourdough!

Making a Starter.

Making the starter isn't hard, but it takes patience, and if you don't mind eating bread that flops until you get it right, then this will work for you. Here's what worked for me:

  1. In a glass (or ceramic) container mix 1 Cup flour with 1 Cup water. (no plastic or metal)
  2. Stir with wooden spoon. (only wood) 
  3. Each day it should look like it's risen a little bit with bubbles and should not be too thick. Think consistency of cake or biscuit batter as opposed to dough.
  4. Every day add 1/3 Cup or so flour and water to "feed it" and mix. (I didn't follow the exact measurements because that was too difficult for me. I pretended like if I'm making bread from scratch then I'm like a prehistoric person who doesn't own proper measuring devices and God will help me.)
  5. Stir at least once, or twice if your feeling like it, per day. (I am using this as a "pet" for my children hoping they will forget about the hamster they want so bad by feeding and stirring this)
  6. Cover with a thin "tea towel" or any cotton, breathable cloth. (I use a thin kitchen towel)
  7. After 5-7 days of this, your starter should be sour smelling. Start using it to bake and see how it goes. 
I got this adorable 70's looking ceramic flour canister from 
a thrift store which is perfect for my starter!

*Also note, no one says this anywhere so I really am loving you way more than other bloggers by telling you this... you can leave your starter out all the time as long as you stir and feed daily, and you DON'T have to feed it a lot. Feed it a little, it grows a little, feed it a lot, it grows a lot. So how much bread are you going to be making? Daily? Weekly? Feed it accordingly and leave it out.

*Putting it in the fridge confused me because it got funky and I am making bread everyday so I don't need it in the fridge. But you can google that if you are concerned, like for going out of town etc.

Hope these little tips helped you!!
Happy Fermenting!