I have read ALOT of posts and sites on making sour dough! There are several ways you can do it, the difficulty was finding one that used no sugar and no white flour. I also wanted to try it the natural way; without adding yeast. So here it is, for you die-hard sour dough fans out there!! 🙂
large glass bowl
metal stirring spoon
warm water (Must be non-chlorinated or filtered)
Whole GRAIN flour (I found this made a big difference from using the whole wheat)
that’s it!! and it is actually super easy to make!! (with alot of patience!!)
So, into your bowl, put in 1 1/4 cup whole grain flour and 1 cup warm water, stir really well with metal spoon (the air helps it sour better.) Using a spatula, scrape the edges well. Cover with saran wrap, fold over one edge of bowl just enough to let air in and out. Set in warm spot (out of sun.)
To feed your starter:
Every 12 hours (this is important as it is just starting to sour especially) stir really well, scoop out about 1 cup of the starter and toss. It is not ready to use quite yet. At this stage you could use it in my bread recipe here, but don’t expect that lovely sour taste quite yet, and don’t expect it to help your bread rise!!
Stir in 3/4 cup warm water- again, stir well
Stir in 1 cup whole grain flour very well, scrape edges with spatula, cover with saran wrap again, leaving a small opening for air.
Diligently do this for about 2 weeks before worrying about it! Mine smelled like blue cheese at first and I was quite worried, but after scouring the internet, I found that is common! There is a war between the healthy bacteria and the bad bacteria that would make it mold. Similar to how when we use antibiotics, we are told to use probiotics like acidophilus afterwards, to replenish the good bacteria in our bodies. Anyways, this war will go on until the good bacteria is healthy and strong enough to never let it mold. There is also sometimes a layer of what looks like water on the top. Not to worry, nothing is wrong, it’s called hooch. If you are like me and don’t like that, use about a Tbsp more flour each time you feed it, that should make a thicker starter and get rid of the hooch thing =)
I would keep feeding it for another week, just to be sure, before attempting to use it in a sourdough bread recipe without yeast. But that’s just me!! =) I use yeast in my bread recipe with my sourdough starter every time now, and my bread comes out PERFECT!!! Check out my bread recipe here.
Here is the site that I found the most helpful information: Sourdough Home She goes into explaining all the micro-organisms and yeast and how it all works, I would definitely take a minute to read her page before beginning, so you understand that EACH instruction as stated above is absolutely important! 🙂
And let me know how it goes!! Get your kids involved! I had a lot of fun with it, it’s like a science experiment!! =D
Tip: Please replace your bowl every week if you are keeping it on the counter, and every couple weeks if it’s being kept in the fridge!! This gives it a more stable, sanitary environment to ferment in, and no doubt helps in the fermenting process! 🙂