Easy Sourdough Starter
I am getting ready to post a yummy biscuit and gravy recipe and quickly realized I needed to probably do a sourdough starter recipe. Creating a sourdough starter is more simple than you might think. I have always used Jill Winger's recipe in her cookbook The Prairie Homestead cookbook. Keeping sourdough starter around is simple too.
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1/4 cup of water
Give this a stir and let sit in a warm location for 24 hours (a cooler location tends to slow the action of the starter). Cover with a towel or set a lid on top of the jar but don't secure it. If you see bubbles after 24 hours go ahead with the first feeding: 1/2 cup of all purpose flour and 1/4 cup of water.
If you don't see bubbles, stir it and wait another 24 hours. If no bubbles appear after this dump it out and start again. Or buy one from a trusted source online. If using treated water, make sure you leave the water out on the counter for 24 hours to let the chlorine to evaporate.
The second feeding: the second day discard half of the starter and and add 1/2 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of water. You can always adjust the water ratio if your sourdough is too dry or too runny. I found I had to do this in our super dry Montana climate.
Continue this routine until the starter has lots of bubbles and doubles in size after 5-8 hours of being fed. Your starter will be ready to bake a loaf of sour dough bread in two weeks. Most people might throw their sourdough starter out (if you do make sure it is in the garbage not down your sink). I always make sure to use mine or you can throw it in another jar and start to feed it. The other option is to put it in your refrigerator and feed once a week. when you are ready to bake a loaf take out and bring to room temp then feed. It will be ready to bake with when it is back to doubling in size.
You can use the discard in many recipes, like pancakes and biscuits. I have even been known to throw it in a non sourdough bread recipe. Cheers to capturing wild yeast!