Sourdough basics from starter to finish

Yield: 1 servings

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"By Adriene Welch


"o Using and maintaining a sourdough starter is a cyclical process; you must always replace what you remove from the crock. If well maintained, a sourdough culture will last a lifetime. Each time you take a portion of the starter for a recipe, replace that amount with equal quantities of water and flour. For example, if you remove 1 cup of starter to make Sourdough Country Bread, you must replace it with 1 cup of lukewarm water (100F) and 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour. Whisk these ingredients into the starter until blended but not completely smooth. Any remaining lumps will dissolve as the mixture ferments. Cover and leave the starter at room temperature for at least 12 hours or overnight. The starter is now ready to be used again, or can be refrigerated.

"o Use a 2-quart non-metal crock or bowl to store the starter. This way, the replenishing starter ingredients can be mixed directly in the storage container.

"o Maintain the starter by stirring it at least once a week. This invigorates the yeast and expels some of the alcohol. If you do not use the starter every two weeks or so, refresh it by removing 1 cup of the starter (give it to a friend or discard it), and adding 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour and 1 cup of lukewarm (100F) water.

Whisk until blended. Cover and leave at room temperature 12 hours or overnight before returning it to the refrigerator.

"o If you plan to be away or know you will not use the starter frequently, freeze it in a sterilized, air-tight freezer container.

Thaw the starter two days before you plan on baking with it, transferring it to a 2 quart non-metal storage container. Refresh the starter with 1 cup each of water and flour. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 hours or overnight before using. It's a good idea to freeze the starter in two containers; you can keep the second one frozen indefinitely to serve as a backup should anything happen to the thawed starter."

From: Marge Clark Date: 19 May 94 Submitted By GAIL SHIPP On 09-09-95

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