The Journey of the Sourdough Starter

Maybe it’s just because of who I choose to follow on social media or perhaps things I search out on the internet, but I feel like 2020 is the year of the sourdough revival.

For those of you who don’t know or maybe even understand what sourdough starter is, I’ll try to break it down as simple as possible.

Short version: an ancient way to make bread.

Long version: the process of fermenting water and flour (of all types if you want) caused by the naturally occurring bacteria called “lactobacilli” and yeast. The lactobacilli creates lactic acid, which gives this method of bread making vastly different from using baker’s yeast. It is also one of the oldest, if not THE oldest, form of bread making.

I can even make it more complicated than that but let’s be honest here, I’m a beginner and likely so are you. If you’re not, please feel free to share pictures and/or tips in the comments. I would love some further incite!

Anywhooooo

I decided to take on the “sourdough challenge” (Yep, I just made that up) about 3 weeks ago and in this time I have learned a lot.

First off, I have successfully created an active sourdough starter. As evidenced by the spillage created after feeding periods, putrid smell, and bubbles…lots of bubbles.

Second off, I have unsuccessfully been brave enough to put my starter to use.

I know. I know.

I’M SCARED TO FAIL OKAY.

And if i’m being totally honest here…

I’m a little nervous to eat something that smelly. It almost feels wrong. But I know the good bacteria in my gut will think it is so right.

The struggle.

So, let me tell you what I did.

  1. take cutesie picture on insta-stories and let the whole world know that I too am so rustic and was creating a sourdough starter.
Check!

2. Figure out what the heck I was doing. In short, I measure out 1 cup ( a scant to be exact) of unbleached all-purpose flour and 1/2 c room temperature water. I stirred the ingredients together, popped the lid on, and went to bed. Literally.

3. I fed my sourdough starter every. day. for 8 days. And if you’re curious what I mean by “fed” it’s this: removed 1/2 c of goop from my jar and add yet another scant cup of flour and 1/2 c of water. Repeat about the same time every day.

4. My sourdough started QUICKLY outgrew my little mason jar because I learned that once your starter is active (usually takes 7-8 days), you don’t have to feed it every day if you aren’t USING it every day. Oops.

Things can get a little messy…

Ya live and ya learn, am I right?

5. This step brings me to current day. I’ve switched my starter over from a cute little mason jar to a big glass bowl…because I have a lot of it. And tomorrow…tomorrow is the day that I actually put this baby of mine to use. Should I make pancakes, crepes, or english muffins?

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