There”s something just so satisfying about making yeast breads from scratch. The grocery stores here have such a great selection of fresh artisan breads that I don”t make it nearly so much as I would back home. Because of that, when I do make bread from scratch I generally like to make kinds that I can”t get at the store.
Soughdough has to be one of the more satisfying breads to make especially if you make your own starter. It sounds so much more intimidating then it actually is (if you”ve got a good starter that is). I used to make sourdough years ago but the starter recipe I used was so finicky and always died on me. Having to start it over all the time kind of defeated the purpose since starters develop better and stronger flavor as they age. This recipe inspired me to try again because the process just made sense and it seemed so simple. And it is!
I have a bit of a black thumb when it comes to taking care of living organisms. Everything just seems to die at my fingertips (besides my children!). I have a plant in my house that doesn”t need any watering and it still dies on me (I keep buying a new one) my hubby has had the same one at his office that he completely neglects and it still lives on. So I would consider this a very hardy no-fail recipe because it”s living on good and strong!
Making and maintaining a starter is quite simple to do. I love the fact that you can have fresh bread as often as you like or you can leave the starter sitting in the fridge for when you have more time. You”ll want to make this starter today because in a couple days I”ll be sharing a delicious recipe for the Oatmeal Sourdough Rolls hiding in the photo above and you”re going to want to make them right away!
Making the Starter
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
- 1 tablespoon active dry east
- 2 cups all purpose-flour
- Pour water into a 3-4 quart bowl* (the bowl needs to be large so that the starter has room to grow. It will expand a lot.). Add sugar or honey. Stir to dissolve. Add yeast and stir. Gradually stir in flour until smooth. Cover with a clean dishtowel** and set aside in a warm area of the kitchen.***
- Let sit for 2-5 days, stirring once a day because the alcohol will separate from the batter. Once the bubbling has subsided and a sour aroma has developed stir one more time then transfer to a large sealable container and store in the fridge. The batter should be similar to pancake batter (mine was a lot thinner but once I fed it later on it thickened up again).
*a ceramic or glass bowl is best, but I used a plastic bowl with no problems.
**using a dishtowel instead of plastic wrap helps you to catch wild yeast which improves flavour.
***I was a little worried because it was really cold in my kitchen when I made my starter, but it turned out fine.
Maintaining the Starter
You can use the starter as often as you like in baking but if you don”t bake with it within two weeks you”ll want to remove one cup and discard it.
For every one cup of starter removed stir in:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup water
Let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours before returning to the fridge so that the yeast has time to activate and multiply before it”s chilled again.
- If you forget to feed it after two weeks don’t worry. Give it a good feeding and let sit out to warm up. If it bubbles your good to go. If you forget about it for months you can still try to revive it by giving it a good feeding and it’s probably best to give it two feeding in a row.
- Make sure to stir your starter before baking or removing some for feeding.
- The alcohol on top may become very dark. That’s ok.
If you”ve got any questions feel free to ask below!