Friday, May 29, 2020

How to Make an Easy Sourdough Starter

My Sourdough Starter.
Named Stanley. :)
Twice during quarantine I ran out of bread. Since I was trying to minimize my visits to the store, I was able to use instant yeast to make some bread and hamburger rolls. But as I tried to purchase more yeast, I realized that the stores were completely out.

So, what does a Foodie do when confronted with this dilemma? The only obvious answer was to make my own sourdough starter, of course!

Here's the deal, a sourdough starter has a LOT natural yeast in it -- that's how you get the bread to rise. Fortunately, yeast is everywhere -- it's even in the flour we cook with and the air we breathe! But to get a starter going, you need to get all that yeast concentrated into one place. And to do that you'll need about a week (or more), and a lot of flour, which is the food for your yeast.

What you'll need:
Flour: Try for unbleached bread flour. If you can't find any, just get unbleached all-purpose flour. The unbleached flour options have more naturally occurring yeast.
Water: Cold/luke-warm tap-water will be fine. But chlorine free/pure water is best.
A container: I recommend a .75 liter glass container. You can purchase one, but I'm using one from a pasta sauce that I bought at the store.
A Name: My sourdough starter is named Stanley.

Continue for directions

Day 1: Combine 1/2 cup water with 1 cup flour in your glass container. Stir well so there are no clumps of flour. Cover the container lightly (i place my screw-cap on top, but not tightened) Store in an area that's out of direct heat or light. Mine is in a corner of my kitchen counter.

Day 2: You may, or may not, see some bubbling (I did). Keep 1/2 cup of your starter. Discard the rest (You'll be pouring a LOT of your starter down the drain -- literally!). Put the 1/2 cup of starter back into your container and add 1/2 cup water and 1 cup flour and stir thoroughly. Stirring in the water and flower is feeding your yeast.

Day 3: Now continue discarding all but 1/2 cup of starter and the feedings of 1/2 cup water and 1 cup flour (always stir) but at 12 hour intervals (or as close as possible). I did mine in the morning and evening, about 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Sourdough Starter Stanley is ready.
See the black line where it began rising?
Continue this for the next several days until it's doubling in size every 12 hours. For me, the process seemed to take forever, with little bubbling. Then suddenly on day 6, it started to rise higher and higher, and by Day 7 it was doubling in size every 12 hours. For some people it takes several days longer.

Once it doubles in size in 12 hours you've got a starter that can be used to make bread! I'll make another post about that, and what to do with your discarded starter soon.

But, if you just want to store it for future use, discard all but 1/2 cup, feed again, then refrigerate.

Before your next loaf of bread, remove the starter from the fridge about 36 hours before you plan to mix your ingredients, and feed every 12 hours.

For more information, here is the link I used to make my Sourdough Starter Stanley: 

No comments:

Post a Comment