I really enjoyed making my own bread and planned to experiment with sourdough pancakes and pretzels. But then summer came. Who in the world wants to heat up their oven and their entire house when it's 90 degrees outside? I let the starter go.
Now that it's cold and rainy out once again, I'm craving the fresh taste of homemade bread. So I decided to find directions for making your own starter online. Viola! I just love having the resource of the internet at my fingertips! (You'll notice that the directions in this post vary slightly from the directions in my other post. It made me realize, this is not science. It doesn't really matter how you do it, just as long as you do it. Don't stress over it; it's not as complicated as you think.)
So, sorry I'm so late, but here's how you begin your own sourdough starter:
Combine 1C warm water and 1C flour (any type). A wide-mouthed, glass jar works best. It's good if you can easily see what's going on in the container. A disposable container, Tupperware, or old mayonnaise jar works too. Do not use metal containers or utensils.
You need to feed the starter every 24 hours.
The starter changed very slowly over the next several days. I keep my house pretty cool so I think it may have taken longer. One article I read said that they would never use starter that was less than a week old anyway.
Despondent, I fed the starter and put it back in the fridge. I contemplated starting over and dumping everything out. But I had worked so hard! I think I used an entire bag of flour making these two starters! I decided to hold off a couple days and think about it. Almost a week later, I decided to try baking bread again, this time using the first recipe I tried. Success! My house smelled fantastic and the bread turned out great! So, the moral of my story is this: use a recipe that has yeast in it! Who cares if you're not an authentic sourdough baker- as long as it tastes good!
Also, one article I read said that the riper the starter, the paler in color your loaf will be. That was absolutely true. As you can see in the photo in my last post, my loaf was very brown in color. This time, my starter ripened for a week and my loaf came out very pale. It had a stronger sourdough smell and definitely a stronger sourdough taste. I liked it even better than the bread I made in early Spring!
So, I'm passing off my trials and error to you, loyal blog readers! I hope you give it a try. The starter is time consuming but it's not really that much work. Making your own bread is fun, inexpensive, and tasty! Give it a try and let me know what you think!