It’s been about one year exactly since I became a true Sourdough-Bread-From-Scratch-Girl. Sure, I grew up in Alaska where the people born there were referred to as Sourdoughs, but I began the process of fermented wheat for bread one year ago and I haven’t looked back. It’s easy. It’s economical. It’s good for you. But most importantly, it’s delicious!!!
In my year of dabbling with sourdough, I feel my experience may be of value to other people not sure where to start. Every recipe and website said, “It’s easy. It’s not an exact science.” But in my brain, I like to know EXACTLY what to do. I don’t want to guess or just hope something turns out after I’ve invested my time and money into it. I want directions and I want them spelled out to me. So, here it goes…
Day one: Get a pickle jar or a glass container that will hold at least a quart. Add 100 grams of flour and 100 grams of water. Mix well. Cover with a wash cloth and place it on your countertop for 24 hours.
Now, why am I weighing this? Why not just say one cup of flour and one cup of water? Because in my experience, I tried the latter for 9 months and really wasn’t happy with what was happening. Equal weight is much different than equal amounts. If you really must measure, then it’s about 3/4 c of flour and about 1/2 c water!
Day Two: Mix up your flour/water concoction and throw away HALF down the sink. Add 100 grams water and 100 grams flour to the remaining “starter.” Mix well, cover with a washcloth, and leave on your countertop for another 24 hours.
Day Three- Seven: repeat the steps in Day Two.
Day Eight: Your concoction is now a Sourdough Starter and ready to be used.
To use your starter in baking: Use the amount of starter called for in the recipe. This is can also be called the “discard,” because every day you need to throw away, or discard, about half of your starter and then feed it again with equal weight of flour and water.
Now you’re all set to start making your own sourdough bread and other yummy sourdough recipes!
Sourdough Bread Dough
- 1 cup starter or discard
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 4 cups flour
- Mix all ingredients together and knead 5 minutes by mixer or 10 minutes by hand.Place dough in a greased bowl and cover lightly. Let proof for 8-12 hours.Shape dough and place in greased pan (or on parchment paper in a Dutch oven) for 3 more hours.Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Increase temp to 425 F and bake an additional 15 minutes. Once done, butter the top for a softer crust if desired.