Over the summer I learned to make sourdough. I loved it! I made sourdough bread, pancakes, pizza crust, biscuits, and probably other delicious things too. At the end of the summer things got a little crazy in my life, and sourdough (and breadmaking in general) was one of the first things to go...after this blog. Now that my life is much more in control, I cannot wait to make start another starter, hopefully a few days ago. Wait! That didn't happen!
So here is how to make your own starter. Hopefully I'll share some recipes in a few days.
1. Mix equal parts of wheat flour (or any flour) and water in a quart-sized jar. I started with 1/2 cup of each.
2. Put a napkin over top, and screw it on with a lid. The napkin allows for airflow to get into the jar. The idea with sourdough is that you are getting natural yeasts and healthy bacterias from the air.
3. Set in a warm place.
4. "Feed" the starter twice each day, following steps 1-3. I usually use 1-2 tablespoons of each flour and water at each feeding. Be sure to mix well, making certain to scrape the bottom and sides of the jar.
5. Within 2-4 days you should start to see bubbles. This is all dependent upon things you can and can't control such as temperature. When I started my starter during the summer, I had a lot happier of a starter than I expect to this time. Just do your best to keep it warm. Keep the jar on the stove so that it warms up while your cooking, etc. (Note: When I tried in the future, I found it rather impossible to get good results in the cold winter temperatures. I'll give it another shot, and then I think I'll just have to wait for warmer weather.)
6. You can make crackers in less than a week of starting your starter, but you should probably wait 1-2 weeks prior to making bread, just to make sure your starter is happy (lots of bubbles).
7. When you're ready to make a recipe, take out as much starter as the recipe calls for, then replace with equal parts of flour and water.
Easy! This really only takes about 1 minute of work each day!
I learned how to make sourdough from Kitchen Stewardship. If you don't like my directions, you can check out her's. I also started by using her recipes. Then I got more adventurous.