March 24, 2011

Sourdough 101: The Starter

Sourdough starter is a beautiful thing. You can use it as a base for bread, pancakes, pizza dough, biscuits... It's simple to make and needs minimal maintenance to last just about forever. Now, many hardcore traditionalists would consider my version a cheat, since I use yeast in the starter and don't just let it ferment on its own via the yeastie beasties that float around in the air. However, I find this version to be fairly foolproof and, while I do love experimentation, I'm a huge fan of things that work without any heartache.

Sourdough Starter

Ingredients:
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
Directions:
  • In a non-metallic bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand 5 minutes.
  • Add flour; stir until smooth.
  • Cover loosely.
  • Let stand in a warm place for 48 hours; stirring several times a day. (The mixture will get all bubbly, smell yeasty-a bit like beer-and a liquid will rise to the top. These are all good things.)
  • Use the starter or keep in the refrigerator. Before you use your starter bring it to room temperature. The longer you leave it out before you use it, the stronger the "tang" in the final product will be.


Keeping your starter:
  • Whenever you use some of your starter, replenish it with equal amounts of flour and warm water. (For instance, if you use 1 cup of starter, replenish with 1 cup water and 1 cup flour.)
  • If, after 2 weeks, you haven't used any, remove half of the starter and replenish with the flour and water.
  • If it ever develops mold or a bad smell, discard and start over after sterilizing the storage container.

2 comments:

Christina @ The Tattered Tag said...

Hi Ann~

Lots of great recipes here, hope you will link some of them to The Homespun Bake Shop. Wanted to thank you for linking your wonderful clay studio to The Homespun Slate @ The Tattered Tag, one of your pieces is featured today at Homespun Market Day. Please drop by and see...

Drop by The Tattered Tag

Ann @ Living From Scratch said...

Hi Christina!
Thanks so much for featuring my ornament! I linked up my pie recipe at the Bakeshop. I'll add some more, too.
Thanks again!

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