Friday, July 15, 2011
How to Create Sourdough Starter
Let's lay this shit out like it is. Sourdough starter is so simple yet the directions for it are so incredibly long, complicated and confusing on the internet and/or in books that you don't even want to bother! So here's what you need:
Nothing But An Apron
DAY ONE - DO THIS NOW
Using a clean jar, fill with 50g water and 50g flour. Stir. Cover.
DAY TWO - DO THIS TOMORROW
Add 50g water and 50g flour. Stir. Cover.
DAY THREE - DO THIS THE NEXT DAY
Add 100g water and 100g flour. Stir. Cover.
DAY FOUR - YOU GET THE IDEA
Add 200g water and 200g flour. Stir. Cover.
DAY FIVE - LET'S CHANGE WHAT WE'RE DOING
Discard all but 200g of your starter. You can use this to make pancakes if you want, but it will be weak.
Every day after this for another three weeks, take away half the starter (100g) and add back the same amount in new feed (50g water, 50g flour). Whatever you take away, you can use!
If you want to keep it longer after the initial 3 weeks (by which time it should be insanely bubbly and gobble up your food) put it in the fridge and take out the night before you wish to use it and give it a feed then. You'll only need to feed it once every week or two when it's in the fridge this way. You can also dehydrate it as a dried yeast.
If you get a layer of water on the top, put it in a warmer place and add a tablespoon of flour, mixed well.
If the starter fails to start, retry with a two inch long piece of rhubarb in the jar with the original mixture and throw out on Day 2. Yeast feeds on acids so that'll kickstart the process.
You can start cooking with it by day 5 when you throw out the large batch, but it won't be the texture you're familiar with. The quality will be slightly lesser than an older yeast. Don't expect miracle bread at this time but do expect a nice bread anyway. Even a poor beginner starter is nicer than most commercial ones. I recommend using the first starters for pancakes and waffles, so you're not relying on the natural yeast as much.
If it smells sour, it's still good, you just really shouldn't use that batch in baking. Compost it. A refeed should clear that smell.