Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Sourdough bread was first recorded being used by the Egyptians around 1500 BC. It likely started as an accident, flour and water left out too long that produced a starter which caused a rise in the next loaf of bread that the Egyptians found they liked and continued to work with.
I haven't had a sourdough starter since the last one went bad some time ago and I have definitely been missing it. Today was the day to start a new one. I have read about and tried several different ways to get a starter going, from starting with store bought yeast to creating a starter with wild yeast to using potato water. I really never found very much difference in the finished product no matter how the starter came about.
Sourdough starter is simple to make. For this one I just combined equal parts flour and water, a couple teaspoons of yeast (I buy my yeast in 1 lb packages. If you don't you can just use one packet of yeast) and a few pinches of sugar. I'll let it sit and get bubbly until tomorrow (I covered it with a clean white cloth and wrapped an elastic around it) then I will remove a cup of starter(use it for something) and replace it with a cup of water (lukewarm) and a cup of flour. I will keep taking some and replacing it frequently for a couple weeks. Each time I stir in more flour and water I will make sure to wipe around the inside of the container as close to the starter as possible with a paper towel.
Starter can be used to replace the liquid in most baking recipes. I particularly like it in pizza dough (I'll make sure to post this recipe next time I make pizza), as chicken/pork/steak breader or in waffles or pancakes.