Growing up I always disliked sourdough. The only time I would eat it is if my mom hallowed out a small round loaf into a bread bowl and filled it with savory soup. Even then it wasn’t until I was at least in high school that I would eat it like this. Since moving to the PNW my feelings have changed. It could be my taste buds evolving or it could be that homemade is just better!
What do you need to make sourdough? A sourdough starter! I bought a starter kit (which ended up just being expensive yeast with instructions) a few months ago and set out on a 7 day journey of making this concoction that I could smell fermenting a little more each day. It was so exciting! Unfortunately, it didn’t quite get to where it needed by the end. I asked my sourdough loving neighbor-friend about it and she found the solution. I was using buckwheat. I thought it was fine but apparently it was having a hard time breaking down. She took a sample of my starter and added it to unbleached all purpose flour. Instant reaction! She solved my problem! At the same time she also gifted me a 300 year old Bavarian starter that I use exclusively now (mostly because I messed up my other starter and it went bad).
Want to make your own starter? Most recipes suggest tossing the mixture that you take out each day when feeding your starter. I kept it and added it to my regular bread making along with extra dry yeast. It was fine and I had zero waste! Another tip is to keep your starter in a loosely sealed mason jar. When you’re not using it often keep it in the fridge. When I want to make sourdough I take it out a day ahead AT LEAST and give it a good stir. I also keep a bit in several small jars so it’s easier to use up a little and clean the jar instead of feeding it. You can add more from another jar after a feeding. I learned this the hard way when my original sourdough got some nastiness on the jar from not using, not cleaning and not refrigerating. Don’t make my mistakes!
There are endless recipes on Pinterest for creating a sourdough starter so for now I will leave it at that! Later, I am starting a crusty bread that takes 18 hours to make! I will be sharing that experience and share a step by step sourdough starter tutorial in the future!