Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sourdough Starters

Sourdough is such a weird idea. While mixing flour and water and letting it bubble on your counter may be thought of as some sort of magic, sorcery, or witchcraft, sourdough is actually fun, healthy, and scrumptious.

There are millions of sourdough starters. Actually, I think sourdough starters are like snowflakes; no two are the same. The possibilities are endless. Rye sourdough, whole wheat, white flour, spelt, kamut, rice, buckwheat, sorghum, triticale... any flour, or mix of flours, you can think of. Sourdoughs can be fast rising, room temperature sourdoughs, or cool rise sourdough you keep in your fridge. All have different flavors and are fitting for different recipes.

While many companies will sell you fancy-schmancy sourdough starters for an arm and a leg, you can make your own by mixing flour and water on your counter and waiting for it to start brewing. Once you have it going you can share it with your friends, make millions of new and exciting recipes, and join the club of people with things resembling science experiments in their kitchen.

Sourdough Starter

  • Filtered water
  • Flour ( rye, wheat, spelt, kamut, white flour, or any other flour you choose)
  • Large bowl
  • Cheesecloth or a tea towel
My rice sourdough.
Mix 2 cups of water and 2 cups of flour in a bowl. Cover with a tea towel or cheesecloth and leave on the counter. Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour each day for 7 days. By day 4 or 5 your starter should be bubbling. Before you use your starter on day 7 smell it and make sure it smells good, not like wine or mold.

To use your sourdough choose amongst the many delicious recipes, but always be careful to save some aside to continue the starter. Just feed your starter every day ( it is resilient- if you miss a day it will live) and you will have an overflowing abundance of sourdough. Experiment with flours to find your favorite sourdough. I have found that kamut flour gives a light flavor great for pancakes, muffins, and english muffins, while rye is a stronger flavor perfect for bread and crackers. My rice sourdough tends to be rather acidic and is best used mixed with the kamut starter.

Pretzels, bagels, cakes, cookies, pancakes, bread, muffins, English muffins, doughnuts, and crackers are just a few of the delicious things you can make with sourdough. More recipes to come later!

1 comment:

  1. There is something about sourdough bread that I just LOVE. I always make my Sourdough bread with starters from Sourdough's International, never disappointed with what they have!