Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sourdough Starter

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm embarking on a new journey. One which will take me deep into the exciting world of bread.
For my first loaf I've decided to go with one that I've always wanted to make:

I loved the idea of doing sourdough because (a) I really like sourdough bread, and (b) because it requires a bit more time and effort than your standard french loaf.
Sourdough requires a starter.
I've heard stories of people who pass along their starters to their friends and families so that they can make their own sourdough. It's like a lovely community that I want to be a part of.
So I decided that if I was going to make sourdough I would need to locate a starter.
Google never lets me down.
Rather than search ebay, bulk barn, or cupboards for this magical starter, it's quit easy to make at home. Time consuming, yes, but pretty simple.
I say that now. but time will tell whether or not my starter lives to make me a happy sourdough-er.
To make a starter here is what you will need:
  • A tupperware container, or wide mouth glass mayonaise/pickle jar (don't use a metal container as the metal may react with the starter and ruin it) - I'm using a pickle jar.
  • Flour and water

From here on it's pretty simple.

Mix one cup of flour with one cup of water in the glass jar. I mixed two cups of each so I will have extra starter in case I mess up later one.

Right now it looks like this:

For the next few days all you need to do is "feed" your starter every 24 hours.
To feed it all you do is throw out half of the mixture and add another 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of flour (or 1 cup of each if like me you started with 2 cups of each).
Keep the starter in a warm place, ideally around 70-80 degrees farenheit (or for us Canadians somewhere around 20 - 27 degrees). In a few days (anywhere from 3 or 4 days to a full week) the starter will begin to get very bubbly throughout and it should give off a pleasant beer-like or sour smell. If it puffs up that's normal too.
Bubbly froth = starter is done!
Once it hits this stage you need to move the starter to the fridge and punch a hole in the lid so that it can breath. Until you're ready to use the starter you still need to feed it, but now only once a week.
If you want to follow along at your own pace, I'm following the instructions from this site here
I'm really excited to get this starter bubbling so that I can move on to the bread making process!
Keep in mind I'm making double the amount of starter so if you want to be a part of my sourdough community......

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