I’ve been playing with sourdough breads the last several weeks. I found a recipe for a sourdough starter in Lauren Groveman’s I Love to Cook Book, (which I checked out from the library and loved so much that I immediately ordered my own copy from Amazon.)
This sourdough starter appears in Lauren’s recipe for Pane di Casa, which I haven’t made yet. I just wanted the basic starter, so I could play around with other recipes calling for it. Here’s the starter:
- 2 c. warm water
- 1 teaspoon, plus a little of mild honey
- 2 TBSP yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, honey and yeast. When the yeast is dissolved and bubbly, stir in 2 c. flour until smooth. Add the rest of the flour 1/2 c. at a time, stirring until well-mixed each time. Cover the bowl securely with plastic wrap and let it sit. It will initially balloon up HUGELY, and then settle down. (Once it settled, I transferred it to a plastic ice cream bucket and put the lid on.) Let it sit and ferment for 4 days in a warm spot.
After 4 days, uncover the mixture and stir well. You can either store it in the refrigerator, in which case you have to “feed” it once a week, or on your counter, in which case, you feed it every day.
To feed the starter, take out 1 cup (after stirring it well) and either discard it or use it in a recipe. Then add 1 c. each of warm water and flour. Mix well and cover again. Note that, since you are removing 1 c. and adding 2 c. each time, the starter does grow gradually. I periodically take out more than 1 cup. Last night I gave 2 cups of it to a friend who was visitng, so that SHE could have her own little kitchen monster to feed.
I’ll soon be posting some of the recipes I’ve made using this starter–my family has been delighted by the unexpected abundance of fresh-baked bread recently.
PS: Visit our related sourdough links: