relationship between bacteria and yeast in a mixture of flour and water. It likely
originated in Ancient Egypt (around 1500 BC) and was likely the first form of
leavening available to bakers. Even after yeast was cultered and used for
baking, sourdough continued to be popular, and played a huge part of the
culture of the California and Alaska Gold Rushes. Starters can be kept alive for years, and were often passed down through families. The older they are,
the more personality it will get – becoming more unique and tangy, and bread made from different starters will taste differently because of this.
back, and I have really fallen in love with it! The scientist in me loves the
process of each week weighing and feeding it (its not complicated at all, but
it makes me feel like I’m in a lab again), and I really like finding unexpected
ways to use it. Sourdough starter isn’t for bread alone. There are tons of awesome things you can do with it, and I’ll be showing you lots!
your starter will make your head swim. There are, literally, 3 billion ways to
do it. And everyone’s way is “THE BEST!” It is completely overwhelming – do you
keep it in the fridge or on the counter?
How do you feed it? 50% Hydration, 100% hydration, 87% hydration? It is
ridiculous. When my friend Grace gave the starter to me she told me to just
google it, but I eventually had to call her begging for her help, because Whoa,
it’s crazy out there.
starter in the fridge, covered.
Once a week (on Saturday, it just so happens), I take my starter out of
the fridge at let it sit on the counter for a bit to warm up.
in its bowl. Lets pretend the starter weighs 200 grams.
100 grams of water.
is called a 100% hydration because you are essentially doubling your starter.
hours on the counter.
or give it to a friend), cover your starter back up and place it in the fridge
If you would like to bake with your sourdough starter more often, you may leave your starter on your counter, loosely covered. Make sure to feed it every 12-24 hours.
If you want to bake with your refrigerated starter mid-week, simply pull out 1/2 cup to 1 cup of your starter a few hours before you plan to bake with it. Loosely cover it and let it “wake up” on your counter. As it sits, it will rise a bit (ok, it will probably double, at least that is what mine tends to do), so make sure you place it in a container that is big enough or you will have starter oozing across your counter.