In this multi-part series, we explore one of the most fundamental (and fun) ferments– sourdough. Carbohydrate-hungry microbes in the air are drawn to this simply slurry of flour and water. Each micro-climate (from which wild sourdoughs are made) is said to offer a distinct flavor which can be tasted in the finished product. And boy what a variety of products– bread, pizza dough, pancakes, biscuits, and more!
- 3 oz./90 ml (by volume) Organic, Unbleached Whole Wheat Flour
- 3 fl. oz filtered water
- When catching a wild starter (as opposed to pinching a bit of active starter dough from a friend) I recommend starting small. Begin with a tablespoon of flour, as you will be adding to this twice a day.
- For the first three days, stir 1 tablespoon each of flour and water twice per day into a medium glass or ceramic bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave the container in a warm location.
- By the third day, your starter should be bubbly and sour smelling. Many experts believe that it takes between 30-90 days for this ferment to reach its maturity, when fed and used daily.
In years past, this was the main leavening agent in home cooking, and starter was often “used” multiple times a day. In today’s busy world, we may only cook with it once or twice a week.
Next up: Care and Storage Tips. Why do some folks believe that it’s sourdoughicide to store it below 46 degrees F, while others opt to freeze their starters?