Monday, April 23, 2012

Sourdough Starter

I have been wanting to make sourdough bread for a couple months now.  I just haven't put the starter together until last week.  It really is so easy, it's kind of sad I waited so long.  And I heard that sourdough bread is good for you.  Like I read THIS article that pretty much said it will cure cancer.  Or that's what I got out of it anyway.  If you love sourdough you will probably believe that, feel free to disregard that if you hate it.  I think you should get a sourdough starter going to today!
It took me seeing it on Tracey's blog to finally go in the kitchen and do it.  See, everyone is doing it, you need to do it too!  If you aren't the conformity type and that doesn't persuade you then just think of all the great things we can make from it.  I am going to share a recipe tomorrow that is super simple and not as scary as bread, if that kind of thing scares you.  It's surprising to me how many things you can do with a sourdough starter and it can potentially last forever.  And wait until you see how easy it is.  

Sourdough Starter
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
2 T sugar or honey
1 T active dry yeast

Let yeast dissolve in warm water until foamy.  Combine flour and sugar in a separate bowl (at least a two quart bowl).
Once yeast is dissolved, mix water/yeast mixture and flour mixture together.  The mixture will begin to bubble and "brew".  Cover with a towel, not plastic wrap
and let sit at room temperature for 2-5 days, stirring every 12 hours.  There are a lot of factors that go into how quickly your starter will be ready.  Things like room temperature and chlorine in your water are two of the main factors.  Mine took closer to the 5 days.  It was cooler last week and we might have chlorine in our water, I haven't checked.  I just tried to be patient and not rush it.  You might be luckier and have it be less.  If you know you have chlorine in your water, you can use bottled water or let your chlorinated water sit out overnight to let some of the chlorine dissipate before adding it to your starter.

This is after the first 12 hours.  You can see how it grew to the top and then fell.
Then stir it and cover it again.  After the first day I transferred it to a glass bowl because I think that might be better.  The recipe said glass or ceramic bowl.  I didn't notice that until the next day.

It will start to look more like this before you stir it.  Less foamy and more of a separated look.  That liquid on the top is alcohol.  When it looks separated and has the sourdough smell to it, it's ready.
Stir once more 
and transfer to an airtight container
And refrigerate.  If you don't use it in the first 2 weeks, you will need to feed it to keep it going.  Stir the starter, remove 1 cup of the starter (either use or discard) and add 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup water. Let sit at room temperature for 12 hours, stir and return to fridge.  Then you can make sourdough treats for the rest of your life.  

Tips:  Use a glass or ceramic bowl that is at least 2 quart size.
Use a towel NOT plastic wrap to cover
Be patient!  Make sure you remember what day you started it.

Source:  King Arthur Flour has some great info on their website, in addition to reading Tracey's post, I also read quite a bit on their website.  If you need any additional info, I will try to help or check out their site.  They also have a section on catching wild yeast of your own instead of using yeast in the starter.  I might be cool enough to try that someday!


  1. I've tried before and it has never worked!!! But this looks very easy, I'll try it soon!!!

  2. Impressive! I've always wanted to try but have been intimidated.

  3. I'm always so nervous about yeast. I'll have to give this a try though!

  4. It took me 4 attempts to get my sourdough starter started, but I did it. Now I have to try to revive it.

  5. I love your blog!!!
    Am definitely going to try this with my new San Francisco sourdough starter : ) Just ordered it from Sourdough's International! Love their products.


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