Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sourdough Starter

Mixing the first starter

Water, lukewarm *½ C or 3.5 oz
Whole Wheat Flour *¾ Cup or 3.5 oz

Mix the water and flour in a glass bowl or plastic bowl and tightly cover with plastic wrap. You can transfer into a jar as well if you like. Let stand for 2 days. It should bubble up, smell bad, look awful- this is normal.
Here is the beginning of the starter

Here is after two days, tiny bubbles and has risen a bit
The sticky gooey

Mixing the second starter

Unbleached All-purpose flour *2/3 C or 3.5 oz
Fermented first starter

Mix the flour into the first starter, forming a firm dough, transfer into a clean container. Cover again with plastic wrap and let ferment for 1-2 days. When it is very sticky and has tons of little tiny bubbles, it’s time to refresh. It will stink as well- normal. And it will not rise very much at all.

Mixing the third starter

Original Fermented Starter *¼ C or 2 oz
Water, Lukewarm *3 T or 1.5 oz
Unbleached Bread Flour *2/3 C or 3 oz

Measure the amount of the fermented starter you need and discard the rest. Dissolve the starter in the water, then add the flour and mix into a firm dough. Tightly cover with plastic wrap again. 1-2 days. After a day the starter will look like it’s not fermenting at all, but if you smell it, it will smell very sour.

Measuring 1/4 Cup of original starter
Mixing it into the water
adding flour to make a dough, transferring to new container
Cover, and let sit 1-2 days


Make a fourth s fourth starter the same way the third one was made. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough ferment until it has risen slightly, is full of small holes and gooey. This should happen in 24 hours


Continue to refresh the sourdough starter as you did the last two times, using the same measurements. Always wait until it has risen and starting to fall before refreshing. The sourdough will start to rise more and more each time and start getting a nicer smell. This may take 3 or 4 times to refresh. At this point the sourdough starter is ready to use.

It can be kept forever now!


Fermented sourdough starter *1 ½ tsp
Water, Lukewarm *1 T+2tsp
Unbleached Bread Flour *1/3 C

Measure your starter you need and discard the rest. Or save it to flavor another dough. Dissolve the starter in the water, then add the flour and mix it into a fairly firm dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it ferment for 8-12 hours. This will make about 1/3 Cup of dough.
The starter can be stored in the fridge almost indefinitely.
Old sourdough will turn grey and have a clear liquid coming from it, but you can save it by doing the above method every 12 hours three or four times until it’s quadrupling in volume in 8 hours or less. It is then ready to use.

Country Sourdough French Bread

If you can, notice the holes and how shiny the bread is inside. Thats what you want in a good sourdough.

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