Thursday, October 13, 2011

Create Your Own Sourdough Starter

Hints Before you Begin -

- use a rubber spatula when mixing, will make this a lot easier
- measure, weigh, measure, use a thermometer...super important
- make sure your container is big enough to hold the starter, it's gonna grow so bigger is better
- take it from me, it is easier to just take the lid OFF the trashcan before discarding the throw away portion than it is to try to clean it up off the lid...floor...cabinet...whatever...
- have fun!! Get your kids involved, make it a family experiment!

Day 1:

1/2 cup (4 oz) 80 degree F water
3/4 cup (3 1/2 oz) whole rye flour
1/8 tsp molasses

Mix ingredients thoroughly in a nonreactive container that has a lid and the opening is large enough to add and remove starter as needed. The container should be 2-4 quarts in size...I use a gallon size Rubbermaid plastic canister with a square top/opening.

Once mixed, cover tightly with lid and allow to rest for 24 hours.

Day 2:

Throw 1/2 the starter away and add:

1/2 cup (4 oz) 80 degree water
3/4 cup (3 1/2 oz) whole rye flour

Mix thoroughly, cover, and allow mixture to rest (ferment) for 24 hours.

Day 3, 4, 5 & 6:

By now the mixture should be beginning to bubble. Lots of bubbles mean good fermentation, and starter that has visible creases shows signs that it has recently fallen - also a good sign.

Again, throw away 1/2 the starter mix.

Add to the remaining mix:

1/2 cup (4 oz) 80 degree F water
1 cup Unbleached All-Purpose flour

8 hours later, repeat.

**If you miss a scheduled feeding, it's okay! Just continue the schedule of feeding & discarding twice a day on days 2-6.**

Day 7:

Stir the mixture well. Discard all but 4 oz (about 1/2 cup)and put it in a clean 2-4 quart, nonreactive, wide-mouthed container and add:

1 cup (8 oz) 80 degree F water
2 cups (8 1/2 oz) Unbleached All-Purpose flour

Stir this mixture until it is free of lumps. Cover and all mixture to ferment for 6-8 hours.

Now, the starter should be active and have bubbles that break on the surface. The texture should be somewhat elastic, and is now ready to use, or used to keep your sourdough starter going.

There are two methods...on the counter and in the fridge. We'll come back to that.

Today we are on Day 6 at my house. Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles!! Very Exciting!!

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