Thursday, January 28, 2010

Starting a Sourdough Starter

For Christmas, my lovely wife got me a book I had been asking for, Artisan Baking.

I love baking our bread, and wanted to learn to make crusty artisan bread this winter, especially sourdough bread. This is a wonderful book, filled with plenty of good recipes and tips for making great artisan bread. I got started by following the directions in the book for making a sourdough starter. After a week of feeding, I realized that this wasn't growing the way it should. The temperature in our kitchen was too cool.

So, I started over. This time, I decided to follow the tutorial at Sourdough Home for making a sourdough starter. They have a wonderful tutorial on their website, which they have refined over the years. I won't recreate the steps here. If your interested in making a sourdough starter, I recommend reading their tutorial.

Here is my starter after 3 days of feeding. I put my starter on a rack that I had set up near our wood stove. I intend to start my seeds on here also, since it is usually above 74 degrees near the stove.

Each day, I discard half of the starter and feed it again with 1/4 cup of water and 3/8 cup of stone ground rye flour. The idea is to keep feeding the starter for a week and it will double in size each day. I discard half of the starter because, if I didn't, it would quickly balloon out of control.

Recently, I read a post on one of my favorite blogs, Chiot's Run, for sourdough pancakes. Not wanting to wait until my sourdough starter was finished, I thought this might be a good use for the starter that I discard each day. I mixed up a batch and let it rest overnight. The next morning, we feasted on sourdough pancakes and homemade sausage.

I can't wait for my starter to be ready so I can bake some bread.

1 comment:

  1. Groovy... I have been looking for a good sour-dough pancake recipe.
    Thanks! :)
    That blog looks amazing.
    ... as does your pancakes. :)