Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sourdough Starter

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.

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