Day one! Isn’t this exciting! I realize that I’m not the first person to ever make a sourdough yeast starter, but it is the first time I have ever done something like this. To be perfectly honest, I am still halfway stuck in the “natural bacteria is gross” mentality. Chicken poop on eggs is gross, growing your own fungi for food is gross, yeast from the air is gross. Since I grew up nowhere near a farm I find myself now as an adult a little afraid to jump right into the curiosities of farm life. Luckily I am also the type of person who will try anything once, so I have allowed myself to discover the freshness and flavor of homegrown food.
I would be all scientific and tell you exactly how this works. But I don’t really know the details. From what I understand, there are natural yeasts in the air and by “feeding” these yeasts flour and water, you create a natural leavening agent. If you want to correct me… Feel free. I’d appreciate your input.
Phew! Confession over. Let’s grow yeast.
Get your supplies together:
* clean glass or ceramic jar of either half-gallon or full-gallon size
* two cups of flour (some people have had success with whole wheat, rye, spelt, you name it)
* two cups of cold water (preferably filtered)
* wooden spoon (wooden only; metal will react with the yeast)
Pour in the two cups of flour followed by the two cups of cold water. Mix them well with your wooden spoon. The mixture should look fairly soupy.
Now just cover the top of your jar with the cheesecloth and secure it on with a rubberband. Last minute I couldn’t locate my rubberband so I just tied on some stretchy fabric. Improvisation has always been my friend. The cheesecloth is allowing the yeast into your mixture while keeping unwanted dust and bugs out. I thought it was in good measure to double my cheesecloth up since it looked like it had pretty big spaces.
Now just sit your jar somewhere warm until tomorrow when we add more flour and water. See you tomorrow for step two.