Monday, September 24, 2012

Adventure into Sourdough

Growing up, my family made their own bread in a bread machine.  I loved to help my dad put the ingredients just so in the pan, and then when I came home from school to have a snack of fresh baked bread with butter.  Yummy!!!

One of the breads we loved to make was sourdough bread.  Since I am on a bread-making kick, I decided to adventure into making sourdough starter.  I was worried because sourdough is a living culture; what if I couldn't make bread that week(s)? 

After picking my mom's brain and doing some research here, I was ready to dive in.  Thankfully, I was old enough to vaguely remember some sourdough essentials, but between my mom and the research, I am much more confident.

{Day 1--Just mixed the sourdough starter}

I looked and saw articles about 'wild yeast' compared to 'commerical yeast'--it might have some validity to it, but I'm all about easy.  It's much easier to use commerical yeast than to try and 'capture' the wild yeasts.  If this fails, then I might try to capture those wild yeasts by saddling up Ziffi and riding her to the wild unknown of Yeast Country!  (Ziffi is my wild kitty  LOL)

{Flour, yeast, and milk--that's it!}

Sourdough Starter


2 cups bread flour
2 cups warmed milk
1 package of active dry yeast
  1. Warm the milk to about 100 degrees (should be slightly warm to the touch) and add yeast to bloom.  Dry yeast should be rehydrated because it will work better.
  2. Place flour in a large container (the starter will need room to grow!).
  3. Mix yeast, milk and flour together until combined.
  4. Cover the top of the container with a breathable material like a cotton towel so the starter can 'breathe'.
  5. Place starter in a warm, draft free environment.
  6. Feed daily with 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup milk or water for 1 week.
  7. Ready to use after 10-14 days of growing.
  8. If you need to slow it down or are unable to bake, place it in the fridge until ready to use.

{Day 2}

Bubbles and brownish liquid (which is normal--just stir it back in!) means that it's working!  It's smelling sour too which is also a good sign.  Since this is a living culture, you have to 'feed' it with 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup warm milk or warm water (I am alternating because that's what my family did).  I found that keeping it in the fridge is working for me because it gets too sour if left out.

{Day 3--Side view (this is a gallon jar by the way).  It's still bubbling and working which is fantastic!}

The first few days are the hardest.  After about 5 days, the liquid should be stable enough not to kill.  Sourdough starter is ready to use after 10-14 days (which I could barely wait!).  

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