I remember saying, last summer, how super-active the sourdough starter was during warm weather. I wasn't thinking about that on Friday evening when I gave the sourdough starter a spoonful of flour and a little water, just to jump-start it.
On Saturday morning, Mooseman and DH were in the kitchen earlier than I was. The first thing I heard was, "Mom has some cleaning up to do!" The starter had overflowed the glass bowl. Still, that wasn't going to stand between us and cake! I prepared the cake and got it in the oven, then transferred the remaining cup of sourdough starter to a larger container before replenishing it.
In about two hours (at 78 to 80 degrees room temperature), it looked like this. I think the yeast is thriving at this temperature! I quickly returned it to the refrigerator.
In any case, I've been looking around online and although I've found numerous recipes for sourdough starter, I haven't found this one. It's from How to Cook Everything (1998 edition, Mark Bittman), and it works for me. I've had this batch going for more than a year, in spite of my being lax about feeding it weekly. I know that "real" sourdough starter is made without commercial yeast, but I don't have a problem with using a pinch of yeast for insurance.
Sourdough StarterNow you can use this to make sourdough coffeecake, sourdough bread, or other recipes. I've heard of sourdough waffles, sourdough chocolate cake, and more: it's not just for bread!
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. instant yeast
1 cup warm water
Stir together. Cover loosely, and let stand at room temperature. Stir every 8 to 12 hours. The mixture will become bubbly and eventually develop a sour smell. If your kitchen is warm, this may happen in 24 hours; usually it takes a couple of days.
To maintain the starter, add about 3/4 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water to the remainder and stir well. Cover and refrigerate. [I usually leave it at room temperature until it bubbles, so I'm certain that it's still "alive."] Use within a week or add a little more flour and water to keep it going. If you always take half the starter and rejuvenate it this way, it will last forever.
Do you have any favorite recipes for sourdough?
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