I really like sourdough, but where I live it seems hard to find. I've often thought of making my own starter, and then I see a stray ant or two in the kitchen and worry that a starter would attract them. Then recently I read an article on a quick sourdough starter in Vegetarian Times. I decided it was time to give it a try.
First I located a glass jar. My last attempt at a homemade sourdough starter was in Colorado. It took a few days, but I ended up with a bubbly, beer-smelling concoction. It smelled so right. And the resulting bread was anything but sour. I think the problem was the plastic container it was in. Though I managed to keep it alive for some time, it never got as sour as I would have liked. Most bread made from it didn't even have a hint of sour to them. When I gave up and threw out the starter I ended up throwing out the container too. No matter how much I cleaned it, it always smelled like the starter.
Then I went back to the recipe in the magazine, but realized I did not have the yeast it called for. My yeast was regular, it calls for fast-acting and has a side note that regular won't work. That didn't stop me though, to Google!
Google had too many choices. Then I remembered my book, Forgotten Skills of Cooking. Her recipe looked to easy to be true. So I looked in a couple of trusted cookbooks, and then returned to the hers: put 1/4C of flour in a jar with 1/4C warm water. Stir and let sit for 24 hours. Feed with 1/4C flour and 1/4C warm water every 24 hours for 6 days. Starter should be complete. We'll see.