Sourdough From Scratch :: day seven

Find the full “Sourdough From Scratch” series here and make your very own sourdough yeast starter!

First let’s pour off our extra liquid, add one cup of flour, and one cup of water so we can talk about tomorrow.

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Tomorrow we will attempt to bake some bread using our sourdough starter. All you will need is your starter, some more flour, more water, and some salt. Don’t forget your glass or ceramic baking dish!

My starter doesn’t look quite like the one below, but I will try to bake a loaf bright and early tomorrow anyways. If it doesn’t work out and the loaf of bread doesn’t rise, I will just give my starter a few more days and try again. So don’t loose hope if your starter doesn’t write look like this either. It will just need more time.

I found both a picture of what a “ready” starter looks like and a few tips for maintaining a sourdough starter:

20120903-173208.jpg photo via google

Some sourdough tips:
:: The older your Sourdough Starter is, the better it will work. When you first create your starter and begin to make bread, you may find that it doesn’t rise as well as you would like it to at first. Keep working at it, keep “feeding it” (with flour and water and air). As time goes on, it will be easier to work with.
:: Sourdough must be kept in glass. Sourdough is very pourous and will absorb the taste from metal and plastic. It is best to keep your starter in a glass jar in your fridge. Likewise, it must be mixed up and baked in glass or stoneware.
:: The more you knead, the better the bread. When mixing up your sourdough bread, you’ll get a nice arm muscle work out! Knead and knead and knead that dough to get the natural yeast all mixed throughout.
:: If you haven’t pulled out your sourdough starter, fed it with flour and water, and made bread for a while…you’ll need to get it going again or it will die. Get it out of the fridge, pour off the dark liquid that has risen to the top and go through a few days of “feeding” your starter with flour and water, leaving it on the counter to gather bacteria and wild yeast again

5 thoughts on “Sourdough From Scratch :: day seven

  1. That is good to know. Once it is where we want it, in terms of yeast and making the bread rise I guess we should move it to the fridge? But I don’t know if I want my fridge to smell like sourdough. I mean, it’s not bad when you just walk by it on the counter…but to have it collect in the fridge then get hit in the face with it every time you open the door? I don’t know.

  2. I’ll put this in today’s post as well incase some people don’t read the comments…

    You can leave your starter out for two weeks to get it well established before keeping it in the refrigerator. When in the refrigerator, you can put a top on your jar or container. When you feed your starter, you can feed as little as 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of water every few days. After feeding leave your starter out overnight to build back up before placing it back in the refrigerator.

  3. I think we will start the bread this evening because looking at this recipe, it needs a solid 8-12 hours to rise. So I think starting the dough this evening and then letting it rise all night to bake first thing tomorrow morning is the best option.

    So let your starter stew for the rest of today and we will put together the dough around 6:00 ish.

  4. Sarah–I use and love a natural sweet starter so it must always be refrigerated. I have been looking for a way to keep it cold in the event of a prolonged power outage. I tried a zeer pot without success. May give it one more try. Any ideas on what you would do if your power was out and you couldn’t keep your starter cold? I have dried some starter so I have flakes I could use to make new starter, and I could start from scratch with flour and water, but looking for ideas on how to keep cold. I am not familiar with sour dough starter and thought if no way to keep my starter cold, I could just let is sit out and become sour. After reading your blog, it looks like even the sour starter must eventually be kept cold.

    • From talking to other people, it seems like the zeer pot only works in certain conditions –although I haven’t quite figured out what those conditions are. Zeer pots also only keep the contents about 5* degrees cooler than whatever room temperature may be and that usually isn’t enough. I don’t have any ideas on alternative refrigeration other than submersion under running cool water. I have seen it done with milk successfully, but it seems like a huge waste of water. The power goes out here for whole weeks at a time, so if you find something, let me know!

      What I would do if I were you, is to use the sweet bread starter in the summer (I’m assuming your power outages are in the winter?) and then dry and store. Use a sourdough starter, which does not require refrigeration as long as it is being used 1-2 times weekly, for winter. Or vise-versa depending on when most of your power outages are. It is only necessary to refrigerate a sourdough starter if you don’t plan to use it for awhile and don’t want to be overloaded with starter since you have to feed it at least every other day. Alternatively, you could just compost the extra.

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