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For years I was intimidated even by the thought of making sourdough bread. It seemed so impossible to make a leavening for bread by mixing flour and water and letting it sit for days at room temperature. I just didn’t see how this could possibly work. Yet, this is just what sourdough starter is. It is so simple that anyone can make it.

Many Uses

Sourdough starter does more than make bread rise. It  can also be used to make incredible pancakes and waffles, sweetrolls, muffins, crackers, cakes, tortillas,  pizza, pretzels and much more.

Good for you too.

Sourdough starter not only gives bread and other baked goods incredible lightness and that slightly tangy taste, it has so many benefits for our health. Sourdough leavening neutralizes phytic acid, making nutrients more available in the foods we eat. It strengthens our immune systems.

Fermenting Is Important

In recent days,  bread, and wheat in particular, has come under attack and is now called a harmful food. Wheat itself, however, is not solely problem. How we treat the wheat is just as important as how it treats us.  It is a great deal how we prepare, or rather fail to prepare the wheat that causes us so much grief.

Make It Slowly

When our grandparents made bread, they started  bread early in the morning. They used a little yeast and punched down the risen dough two to three times throughout the day.  It was a slow process. With the advent of Industrialization, flour is made into bread in factories on a large scale very rapidly. While this practice is good for big business, it is not very good for us. We need the natural fermentation that occurs in slow rise breads and other naturally fermented foods.

Easy To Make

sourdough starterMy last article was on making sourdough bread, which is super easy once you have a good starter. Starters can be purchased through the mail from many good companies. You can also get sourdough from a friend who bakes with it. But if you are willing, I  am going to teach you how to make your own starter. It is also very easy, so long as you are patient. Once you have a strong starter, it will keep for as long as you use and feed it.

 

 

 

Sourdough Starter
Print Recipe
This is a basic, easy way to make starter for your sourdough bread or other recipes.
Servings
1 starter
Servings
1 starter
Sourdough Starter
Print Recipe
This is a basic, easy way to make starter for your sourdough bread or other recipes.
Servings
1 starter
Servings
1 starter
Ingredients
Servings: starter
Instructions
Day One
  1. Mix flour and water together in a jar. stir. Cover loosely with cloth or paper towel.
Day Two
  1. Stir starter. Add 1/4 cup each of flour and water. Stir and cover loosely.
Day Three
  1. Stir starter in jar. Remove 1/4 cup of starter. Discard.
  2. Add 1/4 cup each of water and flour to reserved starter. Stir and cover loosely.
Each Day After
  1. Stir down the starter. Remove 1/4 cup. Discard. Add 1/4 cup each water and flour. Stir and cover loosely.
  2. After you do this for a week or so, if your starter is consistently bubbly before you stir it down, you may begin to use the starter that you remove for pancakes and other recipes instead of discarding. If your starter is not consistently bubbly yet, no worries. Just keep feeding it and it will get stronger. You need two to three weeks to get your starter strong enough for baking bread. After that, it will stay strong enough to bake bread so long as you keep feeding it.
Using your starter to bake
  1. After you have a strong starter, you are ready to bake bread. The day before you bake, divide your starter as usual. Feed the starter that you usually keep and set it aside. Now feed the remaining starter as much flour and water as your recipe calls for. For instance, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of starter, then add 1 cup each of water and flour. Set this aside for six to eight hours minimum. You will now have enough starter to make your bread and some left. You can discard the left over starter or mix it with the starter that you are keeping.
Recipe Notes

This recipe calls for feeding your starter once a day. You can get a stronger starter more quickly by feeding every 12 hours. Once in the morning, and once in the evening.

Share this Recipe
 

Pretty painless isn’t it? Let me know how your starter turned out and what you make with it. Leave a note for me in the comments below. Thanks.

From our kitchen,

Jeanine

 

 


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