Sourdough bread is an intimidating bread to make, but I tried my hand at. I did it! However, before we get to that, we ought to start from the beginning. What is the beginning, you ask? A starter. This is not like using bottled yeast. This is capturing yeast out of the air!
I tried a few different combinations to make my own starter, and believe I have found the most simple and effective method.
Yeast is naturally occurring all around us. I tried several different methods, but finally found one that is most tolerable and forgiving. It is simple, but takes time.
- A 50.75 OZ Glass Jar or A Large Pyrex bowl as a last minute option (But this solution should not be permanent. The jar is much easier)
- A long handled rubber Spatula (Certain metals can be reactive and end up killing your yeast)
- A bag of all purpose flour
- A food scale (This is non-negotiable)
An important note I feel I must explain: The food scale is non-negotiable. My first attempt at a starter looked wrong. It looked like biscuit dough. It was too thick. This was simply because I measured by cups vs weight. Flour can be packed differently based on how you put it in the measuring cup. If this process is done by weight, you simply cannot go wrong.
- 4 oz flour
- 4 oz water
Stir. Loosely cover. Air must be able to get in.
- Add 4 oz water and 4 oz flour and stir.
By Day 5, you should be seeing bubbles. You know what the raw side of a pancake looks like on the griddle when the other side is nearly done? Small bubbles. It should have a sour yeasty smell to it. On day 5 it should be ready to use. Remember, keep it loosely covered.
After day 5, you can begin discarding some of the starter each day before you feed it. You need to feed the starter like a pet: every day. Now, there is a way to make it dormant, but this is not something I have any knowledge of at this time. (I am sure I will learn it and then get back to you!) Besides, if you make enough sourdough bread, you won’t have to make it dormant.
Like I said….Simple
The great thing about this starter set up was that it didn’t seem to mind too terribly much if I was late on a feeding or missed one all together.
Try your hand at a sourdough starter and let me know how it goes in the comment section below!