Friday, June 10, 2011

Sourdough...started! Number #81 in the works.

I mentioned a few months ago that I wanted to start sourdough bread....and mentioned it to Man.  He was reading an article last night and asked a few different times..."When were you going to start doing sourdough?"

So....after reading many articles (everyone has their own "sourdough religion")  Here's what I started:


2 cups all-purpose flour
  I did:
 1/2 cup Rye flour (heard that was most active with wild yeast
 1/2 cup freshly milled hard white flour
 1 Cup of store white flour

2 teaspoons granulated sugar (optional)**

2 1/4 teaspoons of active-dry yeast

2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)***

** Adding a little sugar will help jump start the yeast process, as yeast feeds on sugar for its energy. Yeast rises by feeding on the sugars in flour, and expelling carbon dioxide in the process. That's why using just a little sugar can help boost this process. Don't overdo the sugar.

*** If the water you use contains chlorine, use distilled water, bottled water, or tap water that you've allowed to set out for 24 hours when you make your starter. Chlorine can stop the development of yeast.

One of the articles I read was HILARIOUS.  Like I said, "Sourdough" folks are VERY serious about their starter.  It has to be fed daily and fussed with (why I hadn't really started...the other reason I've hesitated was I couldn't figure out how to "catch" wild yeast that was just blowing in the air of our house....huh?)

Anywho....I loved what she said: "I find working with a sourdough starter can be very time consuming. Especially if you follow what most sourdough books say and feed them everyday. That's too much work for me as I already have a cat. You even need a sourdough sitter when leaving town. Because I don't use my starter everyday, I store it, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to use. "

The rest of the instructions are:

Mix the flour, sugar, and yeast together in a clean and sterile container (use only glass, glazed ceramic or crockery to hold your starter. No metal or plastic) that can hold two quarts. Gradually stir in the water and mix until it forms a thick paste (don't worry about any lumps, as they will disappear).

Mixed and also our other "granola project"
Sprouted Mung Beans for stir fry.

Cover the container with a dish cloth and let it sit in a warm (70 to 80 degrees F.), draft-free place. NOTE: Temperatures hotter than 100 degrees F. or so will kill the yeast.

The dish cloth will let wild yeasts pass through into the batter. The mixture should bubble as it ferments (this will foam up quite a bit).

Let it sit out from 2 to 5 days, stirring it once a day. The starter is ready when it develops a pleasant sour smell and looks bubbly.
Once your starter starts bubbling, then start feeding it daily with flour and water according to the directions.

After sitting overnight

Then stir it, cover loosely with plastic wrap (allow a little breathing space), and store it on your counter top or in the refrigerator (your choice).

Feeding your Sourdough Starter

Your starter should be fed daily if left sitting on the counter. Every other week, if refrigerated.

Counter Stored Sourdough Starter: Daily remove one (1) cup of starter (use this starter in a baked item, give it to a neighbor, or throw it away) and replace it with one (1) cup of warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.) and one (1) cup of flour. Let it sit out for a few hours, covered, to become active before using in your baking.

Refrigerated Stored Sourdough Starter When storing starter in the refrigerator and you are ready to use it, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Then feed it with one (1) cup flour and one (1) cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.). Let this sit eight (8) hours or preferably overnight. It is now ready to use in your sourdough recipes!

NOTE: If  the sourdough starter has been stored in the refrigerator a long period of time, like a couple of months, you will usually need to do the feeding process 2 to 3 times to "wake" it up and get it real active. You need to take it out of the refrigerator 2 to 3 days before needing to bake with it and proceed with the feeding process every day.

If you think that your sourdough is too sour, throw all of it away except 1 cup. Add 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of warm water to it, and let it ferment for a day or so.

Freezing Sourdough Starter: If you will not be using your starter for some time, freeze it. Two days before you need to use it, let it defrost. Then feed it and let it ferment for a day

1 comment:

Niki said...

This is why i have you in my life.
I am fascinated by this kind of process, but know that there is no shot that i am going to do it, but i really enjoy watching you do it.
Oh, the vicarious baking thrills.