We love sourdough bread here. I am however far from a purist and I certainly love to “cheat” and make things easier. So with everything going on for 2020 we decided what the heck and tried our hand at a starter again. (hint you need to remove some of the starter so it doesn’t overflow. This may have been my undoing in my previous attempts) The kids had a blast and are fighting over who gets to do the “feeding” So it’s the perfect experiment right now.
Find a large container that can be covered. Turns out the 1/2 gallon mason jars worked out pretty well for getting started and using larger quantities.
Add your flour and most of the water to start. Mix it well together. (here’s where judgment comes in and will come with practice. You don’t want it too wet and you don’t want it too thick. Adjust your water accordingly.) Once mixed together cover with a towel or lightly screw on the lid. Essentially so that it’s barely on. You just want it covered so nothing gets in there.
When you are getting started you will need to keep it going for about 7-10 days depending on your environment to get it nice and bubbly. After that, it’s up to you and how often you will be using it. It just gets better with age.
Feeding schedule: every 12 hours add about 1/2 cup of flour and 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water. (you don’t want a layer of water on top of your flour. All that means is that there is too much water so don’t add as much)
Here’s the first tricky part. Most recommend every day (or feeding) that you discard about 1/2 of the starter. This is so that the new flour doesn’t get eaten up as quickly.
For us when our starter hit about 4 cups we removed until only 1/2 cup of starter was left in the jar. (lots of fun things to do with discard) Then we would continue with our feedings.
Once 7-10 days have passed. Based on bubble action and smell you can use it in a recipe. It does continue to get better with age.