Monday, November 11, 2013

Sourdough Starter

I have heard many good reviews on San Francisco sourdough bread but have never tasted it.  The most amazing thing is I came to know that there is a certain bakery in San Francisco that has kept their sourdough starter going for more than 150 years.  That arouse my curiosity and desire to want to start a sourdough starter.  This may be a good option to pass down to my daughter, Sydney since I don't have much wealth to pass on to her (wink).

After browsing many sites on the Internet, I decided to start the cultivation of sourdough using this recipe.

2 cups plain flour
2 cups water (filtered water works best)
2 tsp dry yeast

Pour the water into a clean bottle with a wide opening.  Wide opening will make pouring in the flour a lot easier.  Then stir in the yeast and followed by the flour until well combined.  Make sure the size of the bottle is about double the volume of mixture as the mixture will expand during fermentation.  I made a mistake by putting my mixture in a small bottle and during fermentation, the mixture overflow and create a mass to be cleaned. 

After a couple of minutes, the mixture will begin to bubble and ferment.  Cover the bottle loosely with the cap and leave the mixture to ferment at room temperature.  The sourdough is ready for use when the bubbling has subsided and it expelled a yeasty and sour aroma.  The sourdough starter should have the consistency of pancake batter.

Due to our warm weather, my sourdough starter was fully developed after only 48 hours.

This is what my sourdough starter looks like.

At this point, you can either take some to make sourdough bread or if you are not using it, then you may store it in the fridge for later use.  As sourdough starter is a living being, remember to feed it at least once a week.  The feeding of sourdough starter is also known as refreshment of the sourdough. To refresh, discard 1 cup of sourdough starter (or use it to make bread, pancakes, etc) and replace with a cup of water and a cup of plain flour.  Stir well and return it to the fridge.

The sourdough may develop a layer of light brown liquid on top after sometime.  This is perfectly alright as it is the alcohol from the fermenting yeast. However, if the liquid on top is pinkish; or if the sourdough smells "off" or bad (not simply tangy, or like alcohol), then your starter has attracted the wrong bacteria, and should be discarded.

Remember to bring the sourdough starter to room temperature before using. Otherwise, the sourdough will still be in hibernation mode instead of activated.

Stay tune as I will be sharing some recipes using sourdough starter.


Little Corner of Mine said...

This is so cool that you are making your own sourdough starter as I just read it recently that the gluten intolerance people might be able to consume sourdough bread without any problem.

Ling's Passion said...

LCM : Oh....I didn't know that. This is new to me.