I'm a baker. And I eat bread. A lot of bread. And bread can be hard to find right now. And so can yeast. And flour. (Pro-tip, call your local bakery. I bet they are selling their 'extra' flour. That's where I'm getting mine. And I'm supporting a local business.)
So I made a sourdough starter (which you can use instead of yeast!). And now we're eating sourdough bread. I'm on loaf 3 (soon to be 4). And each time they have been more delicious. I'm learning as I go. It's been challenging and also fun.
I'm a triathlon coach. So why the hell am I doing telling you about Sourdough Starter?
Because. That's why.
Also, I've experimented and figured out how it works. And I think I'm good at explaining things in ways folks can understand. I'm also a great encourager, and I think that helps my starter grow so well. It's the same skills I use as a triathlon coach.
An easy guide to keeping your sourdough starter alive
To maintain on the counter, because you're going to use it within 24-48 hours
Every 12-ish hours, feed it.
Pour off any clearish liquid that's on the top. The rest should be bubbling and alive! Give it a good stir. Scoop out some* and then replace with equal parts flour and lukewarm water, BY WEIGHT. I usually repla
ce however much I took out. (Example, I took out 1 cup for pancakes, I replaced it with 113g flour and 113g lukewarm water, which makes a cup-ish). Mix the fresh stuff together first then pour it into your starter and mix again. Put the lid on, loosely.
To maintain in the fridge, because you aren't going to use it for a week or more
Every week, feed it.
Take it out of the fridge. Let it sit on the counter for a couple hours.
Pour off any clearish liquid that's on the top. The rest will look very boring, probably. Give it a good stir. Scoop out a little more than half (though leave at least 1/2 cup or 113g) and then replace with equal parts flour and lukewarm water, BY WEIGHT. I usually replace however much I took out. (Example, I took out 1 cup for pancakes, I replaced it with 113g flour and 113g lukewarm water, which makes a cup-ish). Mix the fresh stuff together first then pour it into your starter and mix again. Let it sit for a couple hours on the counter, with the lid loosely on. Then back into the fridge for another week. I've heard legend of folks who don't feed their starter for very long times. It just lives in the back of the fridge. You can do that, but when you want to use it you'll need to take it out and have it live on the counter (with appropriate feedings) for a couple days instead of a couple hours.
If you need to know how to MAKE sourdough starter go here:
And if you want a great no brainer no-knead Sourdough Bread recipe (it's the one we use in my house):
*'some' is a relative term. I usually scoop out a cup. Some folks scoop out ALL BUT 1/2 cup. It's up to you. What you scoop out is called "discard." You can use it! Here's some ideas:
Questions? Send me an e-mail at email@example.com
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Be kind to others. Share your starter. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Help someone who needs it.