Crafting sourdough bread is similar to modern day home bread baking, except that it requires more time to “rest” and uses a scoop of previously made sourdough instead of a packet of yeast. This scoop of previously fermented sourdough, referred to as a“starter”, is added into the dough introducing a thriving colony of living bacteria and yeast that quickly go to work fermenting the fresh flour.
Creating your own "Starter"
To begin making sourdough at home you must first make one a jar of this "starter." Once you have created a starter, you are able to use a portion of it to transform any mixture of water/flour into sourdough-from pancakes to traditional loaves.
Best of all, if you continuously maintain your starter, it can last indefinitely.
1. Mix one cup of flour (rye is the traditional option) with water in a bowl
You want the consistency thick enough to cling to the spoon, but watery enough to stir
2. Cover bowl with cloth
In order to keep out bugs but allow the dough to "breath"
3. Let sit & stir
Leave at room temperature and give it a good 30 second long stir everyday- add water if it starts to dry out
4. Feed him!
Once bubbles start forming on the surface fermentation is underway. At this point you need to "feed" him by discarding 80% of the dough and adding back in an equal amount of fresh flour and water mix
5. Repeat step 4 for several days
Discarding and re-feeding to get him robust and vigorous
6. He's ready!
After a few days of feeding your sourdough should be bubbling and frothing, at this point he is a thriving living sourdough "starter" and can be used to start making bread or stored in a jar and kept in the fridge