How to make sourdough starter at home

I can’t tell if I hate you or love you more for these links…and geez, that photo! Good thing I’m still stuffed from dinner.

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I’ve looked at the original article again, and I do see the notes about wild yeast and letting it sit out for 24 hours to bubble. I have to admit I focused on the optional commercial yeast component and missed the wild stuff the first few times around. And based on what I had read, I thought that wild yeasting took a lot more effort.

I am particularly sorry for taking a good topic on good food and sending it on its debased slide to junky foods, a slide that I am sure will not end until it involves battering and deep-frying unsuspecting foodstuffs.

And then shoving them into a waffle-iron.

All for want of a yeast.

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Making sourdough in San Francisco should be considered cheating :wink:
I do like wild capture local yeast. Like myself, many prefer to get local yeasts simply because it’s so different from what you may be used to from the store. But, if you wan’t the classic taste, I’ve had great luck using Ed Wood’s yeast
You also might consider using un-chlorinated water instead of water from the tap when making your starter as it seems to speed up the process (perhaps more yeast survives)

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Given what it does to my, um, houseplants, that could indeed be the case. As supporting anecdata, I brought some sourdough culture back that I’d made at work, where the water is straight from spring on the property, and it certainly doesn’t seem to fare so well being fed the local council pop, which smells like floor cleaner at the best of times.

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I always keep at least a litre of starter going on the counter at all times. It’s not difficult, but requires a modicum of attention on a daily basis. A good starter will take a minimum of 5 days before it is useable.

To begin, use a good quality whole wheat or unbleached flour. I use Robin Hood exclusively and have good luck. Start with equal parts flour and water with about 1 TBSP of sugar in a large container. cover with a cheesecloth and let sit for 24 hours in a warm place. You can throw in about a dozen organic grapes (not supermarket types that have pesticide on them). Grapes have already attracted wild yeast.

Each day, add a tablespoon of flour and about 1/3 cup of whole milk (that’s an Amish touch to traditional starter). In about five days you will notice it begin to bubble. I keep going until I have at least a litre. You will see the flour precipitate to the bottom of your container and a clear liquid settle to the top. I separate the liquid out when They are about equal volume and save the liquid in the frig and substitute it for any water called for in the recipe. This contains acids and alcohol from the fermentation process.

I make a fusion version of Serbian Lapinja bread that is more tedious than standard breads, but well worth it. I will take six cups of unbleached flour, add 3/4 cup cane sugar in the centre. Add one cup of my starter from the bottom of my container and let sit for about 30 minutes before adding the liquid to make dough. Knead thoroughly (about 15 minutes), adding flour until it is not sticky. Put the dough in a well greased bowl and allow to rise until it is double in volume, about an hour if your starter is in good shape. It may take longer. Here is the secret: repeat the kneading three times, allowing it to double in between. This means that you will be working a minimum of three hours until you’re ready to bake. This will give the texture and consistency of a European style bread, definitely NOT Wonder Bread (I’ve often wondered if that is bread, too).

Place in three loaf pans and bake for 30-40 minutes at 400F until the top crust has browned. You can paint the top of the loaves with egg yolk and butter to aid in browning.

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