Have you ever heard of sourdough starter? I had not heard of it prior to COVID-19. I was definitely intrigued! This was my first attempt at sourdough starter and I wanted to share my experience.
Sourdough Starter Beginning
There is something about the olden days that really speaks to me! Our modern day convivences makes it very hard to learn self reliance. Self reliance is so important, especially will all the shortages we experienced during COVID-19. When I heard about sourdough starters, I had to give it a try. The more I learned about it, the more interesting I found it. People can keep the sourdough starter living for years to make their bread, never needing commercial yeast. Keep it in the refrigerator after the initial starter period, which takes about 2-4 weeks.
If you want to give it a try, here is what I did.
Pint Sized Mason Jar (wide mouth for easier stirring)
Silicone Spatula (small)
Whole Wheat Flour (for the first few days, then you can switch to AP flour, it has to do with needing the entire wheat)
Water (don’t use tap water or anything chlorinated)
Sourdough Starter First Attempt Steps
From what I can tell, people have a lot of different methods to get it started, someone said start it with pineapple juice! You want to give it a lot of stirring in the beginning to get it well oxygenated. The process involves AM and PM maintenance for about 2 weeks before you can use it to bake with. I used whole wheat that I freshly ground in my grain mill. But store bought whole wheat flour will work too.
AM: Put 1/4 cup WW Flour and 1/4 cup water in mason jar, stir vigorously.
PM: Stir vigorously.
AM: Stir vigorously to incorporate a lot of oxygen
PM: Stir vigorously.
AM: Start feeding! Give your starter 2 TBS water and 2 TBS WW flour.
PM: Repeat Feeding from AM.
Keep repeating the AM and PM feeding until it doubles in size within about 5-6 hours after the last feeding, this should take about 2 weeks.
Sourdough Starter Discarding
There is also a “discard” process when you are starting a sourdough starter. Some people recommend throwing away about half of it every feeding. I found taking about half out once a day was plenty to discard. Anything more seemed wasteful.
At about a week, I switched to AP flour to save the WW flour. I also keep the starter covered with just a canning lid at all times, I do not use anything to screw down the lid. The starter needs to breath! Also, when stirring your starter, make sure you scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to keep any mold from growing in your jar.
I am at 2 weeks now, and I am going to bake a loaf of bread with it soon! I will let you know how it turns out.
Once the sourdough starter doubles in size it is considered “mature” and can be stored in the fridge. It still has to be fed, however about once a week. When you use it, just feed it after you take the portion out for your bread. Let it sit out with the bread until it doubles in size, then put it back in the fridge. If you don’t bake with it for awhile, just discard half and let it sit out and feed it until it doubles in size.
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