Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Due to overwhelming demand

I'm going to post my sourdough starter recipe. Prepare yourselves. Here it is:

1 c. flour
1 c. milk that has been sitting on the counter for 8 hours.

Mix in an open jar or crock(see below) and cover with one layer of cheese cloth. Mix once a day. After 2-4 days, the starter will begin to smell pleasantly sour and it will look frothy. The frothiness and good smell mean that the starter has picked up wild yeasts and they are beginning to go to town. You can now either 1) feed the starter, or 2) use the starter. I recommend #1, so you can make sure the starter tastes good to you. I'll post the recipe later, you've got another 2-4 days before you'll need it...

Sourdough is merely a means of collecting and cultivating yeasts that naturally exist in the "wild". Your starter is the culinary equivalent of a petri dish, providing food and a medium in which the yeasts can settle down and raise a family. Once they have developed a happy, yeasty community, they begin fermenting and emitting lots of CO2, which causes the frothiness and sour odor. Once this occurs, as long as you keep them in moderate temperature, and well fed, you can maintain that community indefinitely.

Here are three issues you might face whilst preparing your starter:

  • Your starter turn grey and liquidy and smells quite nasty. Throw it out, it died.
  • Your starter smells good, but is dry and crusty on top. That's okay. You probably didn't mix it or something. Add 1/4 c. warm milk, 1/4 c. flour and mix it in. Wait until it becomes frothy and nice again.
  • You don't need your starter because you are going to Arruba for 2 months. That's okay. Cover it tightly and put it in the fridge. The wild yeasts will go dormant and liquid will pool on the top. When you return from Arruba, tanned and relaxed, mix 1/4 c. flour and 1/4 c. warm milk into the starter and leave it out of the fridge. It will revitalize and return to it's nice-smelling, frothy state.

Sample Sourdough Container
Below you can see my sourdough crock that I bought at a funky salvage store for $4.00. I use this crock because I am too legit to quit and have to maintain my bakerboy props....

Sourdough Crock Posted by Hello

P.S. By overwhelming, I mean that one person asked me to post the recipe.