DIY Sourdough Starter
Making sourdough bread requires a bit more time and planning than many breads, predominantly because you need a sourdough starter to make sourdough bread. This starter is usually made with water, yeast, sugar, and flour and develops for about a week before it can be used in bread. Then, only a portion of the starter is used, and you feed the starter to replenish it, so you always have starter on hand, your starter continually “living” and developing over time. You can buy sourdough starter, but there are plenty of recipes out there for making your own. Here’s the recipe I use, which has been the most successful for me thus far.
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar or honey*
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large glass or ceramic bowl, stir honey or sugar into warm water until dissolved. Stir in yeast.
- Slowly add flour to mixture, whisking to combine, and cover with a towel or dishcloth. Do use a towel rather than plastic wrap so the wild yeast in your kitchen can "catch onto" the starter, but be sure to use a towel that you don't mind getting dirty. Leave in a warm place to develop. If you don't have a warm place, it should be fine, as my kitchen was cool when I made my starter.
- Let your starter sit out for 2-5 days, stirring once per day to reincorporate the liquid that will settle on top. Once your starter has stopped bubbling and has developed a sour aroma, stir it once again and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Sourdough starter needs to be fed about once every two weeks. To feed your starter, you first need to remove one cup. Use this cup of starter for baking. Then, feed your existing starter with 1 cup of all-purpose flour and ½ cup water. Stir until smooth and let sit, covered, at room temperature for about 12 hours before placing back in the refrigerator. If you're not in the mood to make sourdough bread with that one cup of starter, make something else! There are plenty or surprising ways to use sourdough starter - other breads, scones, muffins, and the list goes on....
Need some recipes to try with your sourdough starter?