Wednesday, July 31, 2013
As usual, I have plenty of this sourdough starter resource. So if anyone in the Pittsburgh area would like some, just contact me.
Do you know what a sourdough starter is? I didn't, until a friend mentioned that he had some to give away (pro tip: anyone with a sourdough starter has plenty to give away). It's basically a gloppy pile of microorganisms used to leaven bread back in the day. Like any other living creature, they need to be fed on a daily basis, watered, and "exercised". If you stick them in the fridge, they go a bit dormant, but still need to be fed on a weekly basis.
So what is food for these little guys? About as much unbleached flour as there is starter. So, a cup of starter wants a cup of flour. Then mix in 2/3 as much water (2/3c water for 1 cup starter). Anyways, I'm just a beginner at all this, but these are my sources for maintaining my tiny little bread-making friends:
Particularly this quote, from Sourdough Home's "Maintaining a Starter": "All the professional bakers I know feed their starters at least twice a day. All the bakers I know base the amount the feed their starter on the size of the starter. All of the professional bakers I know have a fixed ratio of flour to water that they feed their starters. And, that's what you should do as well." And this review from Home Joys' "Caring for Your Sourdough Starter": "In a nutshell, every day when at room temperature, or every week when refrigerated, feed your starter with the same amount of flour as starter and 2/3 amount of water. After briskly stirring, cover the bowl loosely. A healthy starter will begin bubbling immediately and sometime in the next 2-8 hours, the starter will be full of bubbles and expand to double its size. "
Ignore this picture. This is from when I nearly suffocated it and it formed some hooch on top after sitting overnight. The sponge usually looks more sponge-y than this.