Our Sourdough Adventure - The Skinny on a Starter.
To say I love bread would be an understatement. This year we decided on more than one occasion to take up the joy of undertaking the art of sourdough. Earlier in the year, my little starter went rancid because I forgot to feed my baby, but this time around, I am committed and I plan on keeping my starter for years.
This time around with my, or should I say our Sourdough Starter, because I wanted to teach my kids some life skills and what better way to teach them these amazing life skills, then with the art of making this amazing sourdough starter. It's fun too!!!! Nicholas was totally into it! He wanted to be the "SOURDOUGH MASTER" as he called it.
So, I let him join me in the kitchen for this fun little adventure. And it's been quite the adventure of feeding our little Sourdough Baby/babies... I'll get into the babies later... Just don't do what I did and go overboard. I had I think about 6 starters at once going. I didn't think it through. LOL
I have done thorough research and I read that you can keep these babies for a really long time. One gal I read up on has had her ORIGINAL starter for six years! Yes, you heard me right, I said SIX freaking years!
The way and art to a starter is simple. Some starters call for yeast, but the reality of it is simple... YOU DO NOT NEED YEAST!!!! Yes you heard me right! YOU DO NOT NEED YEAST! All you need to make your beautiful starter is Flour and water. I thought this was incorrect when I first read it because when I was growing up, I always thought that you needed yeast and other stuff to make your starter and that you would just let it sit on the counter for a few days. I didn't know the process that actually went into the starter and that you actually had to feed it.
Just think of your starter like your little baby, if you don't feed it, it won't grow, it won't produce those beautiful microorganisms.... yes... sourdough starter is ALIVE!!!! It's so beautiful and bubbly!!!!
The Science behind Starters
It is very important on what type of flour and water you use for your starter. They can produce a better product. I am sure that a generic brand of All-Purpose Flour will work just fine, but I actually prefer to use good ole King Arthur's Bread Flour or King Arthur's All-Purpose Flour. You'll thank me later. You will need the following materials on hand for your original starter:
- A Mason Jar with Lid - You shouldn't use plastic or metal. If you do not have a lid, which I usually do not use the lid until I place my starter in the fridge (I'll explain this later). While the starter is on the counter, I cover with a thin paper towel, cheese cloth, or paper towel with rubber band.
- Flour - Here we are at our beautiful flour again. An unbleached all-purpose flour... Trust me on this one. Go with King Arthurs! It's the best! If you really wan to mix it up though, try a rye flour. The King Arthur Flour is a mix of Hard Red Flour and Malted Barley Flour!
- Water - Purified is the best. Do you have chlorinated tap water (as most people tend to)? What I like to do is actually boil water and add my water into my starter warm because it really feeds my starter and helps it grow.