Sunday, February 21, 2010

My First Sourdough Starter & Loaf

I love bread, and sourdough is a treat for me. Lately, I've been reading the King Arthur Flour baker's catalogue like it's a magazine. I'm really getting into bread making, and decided it was time to make a starter.

I've been reading Nancy Baggett's book, Kneadlessly Simple, and found her sourdough starter recipe to be pretty simple (ha ha) and that's what I used. The pictures here include the starter just getting going and the finished product.

My starter, unfortunately, isn't bubbly enough to make those really big holes in the bread like you usually find in sourdough loaves. Maybe it's still young, or maybe it's because I accidentally used cold water instead of warm when feeding it daily. Oops! Today, my baby had nice warm water and is bubbling away on the counter much more lively.

The taste of this loaf is lovely, it's sour and soft on the inside - just a bit chewy, but not enough for my liking. The crust, while perfectly browned and crisp, is a bit thin and almost too flaky. So I clearly have more practice ahead of me. But for now, I feel successful. The starter worked!! And it's still alive, so that's a good thing. I hope to be able to pass this starter on to my daughter someday. But in the meantime, maybe some friends will want to bake with it....
Do you make bread? Do you have a Mother Starter? Post a comment and share!


Heather Rhoads said...

will you post a good basic bread starter? :)

Weighting Around said...

I love baking - too much. The smell of fresh baking bread is more than I can handle. I have to eat it every warm, chewy mouthful. That's why I put up with store bought stuff - I can take it or leave it.

Claudine said...

Some say just use equal amounts of flour and water and leave it on the counter for several days. But, I used the recipe from Nancy Baggett's book, Kneadlessly Simple.
1/2 c. unbleached AP flour, plus more for feedings
1/8 t. instant, fast-rising or bread machine yeast
about 1/3 c. room temperature water, plus more for feedings

To Start the Starter: mix flour and yeast in a large wide mouth mason jar or other glass bowl. Stir in 1/3 c. water to achieve a gravy-like consistency. Add more water if needed. Loosely drape a clean tea towel over the top. Stir the mixture at least once a day with a wooden spoon (I used a wooden chopstick!). Do not use any metal. Let mixture stand overnight at room temperature.

To Feed the Starter: For the next 3-4 days, feed the starter once a day with 1/3 c. flour and 1/3 - 1/2 c. water. On the 4th or 5th day, stir and then pour off and discard about 1/3 of the mixture. Then continue with regular feedings, including one for that day, for another 4-5 days.

jamie said...


Howdydoody'swife said...

I'll have to try it!

Suzanne said...

Got questions about your sourdough starter? King Arthur Flour can help! Call our Baking Hotline: 802.649.3717, or, send an e-mail to our Baking Hotline: Glad to hear our catalogue is inspiring your bread baking. Keep trying, the starter will develop it's personality as it ages.