Let’s Get This Sourdough Party Started!

It’s been a while since I have updated my little farm blog. So much has happened and I can not wait to get to share it with you. However, at this point in time, we find ourselves in the middle of history in the making. With the pandemic in full swing, the food supply chain, especially in some of our more populated areas, is challenged to keep up with demand. I have learned a number of useful things since moving to our farm four years ago, some of which includes stretching what you’ve got and making just about everything you can from scratch, especially bread. If any of my recipes or techniques would be helpful, I am more than happy to share.

A number of people have been asking about my sourdough recipes. I love sourdough! The texture and flavor are fantastic and the fermentation gives you added health benefits. Making it is a beautiful mixture of art and science. It all begins with the starter!

You can purchase cultures online to begin your own, but I created my own starter and so can you. I’m also finding right now that a lot of places are sold out, don’t panic, it is simple to make yourself, but does take some commitment. It is sort of like a pet, feel free to name it. You’ll have to feed it at least once or twice a day while getting it started. Once established, you can keep it in the refrigerator and pull it out to feed it a couple days before you are wanting to bake. If you find yourself baking as often as I do, at least twice a week, you may just want to leave it on the counter and feed daily so it’s ready when you are.

Here we go…

To begin your starter…

-1 cup all purpose flour or whole wheat flour

-1/2 cup filtered water

To feed use this same ratio

Day 1

Mix flour and water in a non reactive bowl or jar. I like a quart size mason jar with a coffee filter and rubber band for a lid to allow air flow while keeping out any bugs or debris. Stir vigorously, you are pulling wild yeast from the air to feed on the flour. Leave it at room temperature for 24 hours.

Day 2

Discard half your starter. Feed 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup water. Stir vigorously and then let rest 24 hours.

Day 3

By now hopefully you can see some bubbles and notice a fresh fruity smell. A starter is born!! Now you can start to feed twice a day. For each feeding hold onto about 4 ounces or 1/2 cup of your starter and discard the rest. Feed 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water. Try to make these feedings as close to 12 hours apart as possible.

Days 4 and 5

Continue to feed twice a day and discard. You starter is ready to use when it has doubled in volume and is very bubbly.

Recipes for single loaves will rarely call for more than a cup of starter but if it does just feed without discard a time or two and you should be fine. Discarding is important as it leaves for food for the good bacteria when you feed and as your ferment uses up the flour it will give off some alcohol as waste. There is battle going on in that jar between good and bad bacteria, discarding helps out the good bacteria.

So, get started with your starter. Let me know if you have any questions. I will start posting my favorite sourdough recipes to share!

Health and blessings

Pamela T

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