*Sourdough Starter

For those interested in homemade sourdough, this is the process I used to get mine going. I used pineapple juice to start mine and the resultant starter is wonderfully tangy. I recommend not using the starter for two weeks after starting. The longer it is fed, the better the quality of taste. I made a batch of bread 8 days after I began. It was good, but the bread I made a month after was even better.

Once I got my starter going, I let it grow in quantity until I have 3-4 cups in my canister. I either bake, give away, or discard 1 cup when it gets to be over this amount. The giveaway option is a wonderful gift to friends who love sourdough because they won’t have to go through the time it takes to get their own batch going. They will simply need to feed one day, 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water to have enough to make a batch of bread the next day.

To maintain my starter, I feed daily, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour and 2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup of water. Honestly, I don’t measure either the flour or the water. I “eyeball” the amounts.

Many of the sourdough people only keep a cup or less on hand. I like to have the larger amount because it’s easier to measure out what I need to use, and I have plenty leftover to keep the starter going.

I found this recipe on “The Fresh Loaf” from Debra Wink’s Sourdough starter. It is below, as I found it on the site.

Basic Procedure for Making Sourdough Starter

If you are the curious, investigative type (or a sourdough purist :-), this can be done with just water in place of the juice throughout. But for many (not all), a vigorous gas-producing bacterium will grow on day 2 and quit growing on day 3 or 4, followed by a few days or more of agonizing stillness. The fruit juice or cider should keep this bacteria (and a few others that are smelly) from growing and delaying the process. Either way, the end result will be the same sourdough starter. 

* Mad Scientist note: use good quality flour for your starter and your bread. In my opinion store brand and Gold Medal flours are subpar and your resultant starter and bread do not perform as good. Mad Scientist uses Dakota Mills, Wheat Montana or King Arthur flour

Day 1: mix . . . 
2 T. whole grain flour* (rye or wheat)
2 T. unsweetened pineapple juice, apple cider or orange juice    

Day 2: add . . . 
2 T. whole grain flour*
2 T. juice or cider    

Day 3: add . . . 
2 T. whole grain flour*
2 T. juice or cider    

Day 4: (and once daily until it starts to expand and smell yeasty), mix . . . 
2 oz. of the starter (1/4 c. after stirring down–discard the rest)
1 oz. flour** (scant 1/4 cup)
1 oz. water (2 tablespoons) 

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Posted on October 6, 2013, in Baked Goods and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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