Sourdough Starter Starting

I have lost my will. I have given in. Curiosity has bitten this cat and it may be fatal. I have risen to the siren call of sourdoughing that has taken so many over the past several months. Forgive me. Expect to find me buried me in homemade bread very soon.

Okay, that isn’t such a dire situation, is it? The internet is full of warnings that keeping a sourdough starter around is like having an extra kid or pet. You have to keep it alive with regular feedings. I’ll go with the pet idea. I need a name for it. Any ideas?

I decided to go with how-to directions from a 230 year old US company that is 100% employee owned. The King Arthur Baking Company makes awesome flour. They also offer free recipes and advice. My nephew gave me one of their giant cookbooks more than a decade ago and I love it. Here’s the link:

Why now? Have you heard of Dan Buettner? He’s the Blue Zone guy that studies longevity in global communities. He’s trying to figure out why certain people live to 100 years. Homemade sourdough bread seems to be one of the components. Here’s a YouTube of him with Rachael Ray talking about food and longevity.

The KAB (King Arthur Baking) process for cultivating your own starter is very simple. Start with 113 grams of organic rye flour and add 113 grams of water and leave it alone at room temperature. Every day for a week you discard 113 grams of the stuff and add 113 grams of fresh all purpose flour and 113 grams of water. Here is how the process has gone so far. We’ll get to maintenance in a blog update later on after I get there.

First day:
Photo of rye mix. No bubbles. Sticky lump.

Second day:
Photo of infant starter. No bubbles. Soft.

Third day:
Photo of soft starter, a bubble or two.

Day four:
Sort of goopy starter with bubbles. 

Did you notice that it says to discard 113 grams of starter every day? That seems wasteful. I couldn’t do it, so I saved my discards into one lump and made crackers out of it. I am now hooked! Here’s a photo of my sourdough discard thyme crackers. The ones on the left have salt. They are delicious.

Day Five and beyond: coming soon!

One thought on “Sourdough Starter Starting

  1. Pingback: Rise of the Starter Culture | R. R. Angell

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