Monday, February 21, 2011

Making Sour Dough

So, I recently decided that I would start experimenting with sour dough.  Why?  With a sour dough starter on hand, you don't need yeast!  Baking with sour dough is healthier for your body.  And, it's kind of fun to think that I can make my own.  Thanks to a great online course with GNOWFGLINS, I have step by step instructions.  And, it's surprisingly easy.

To start with, you just mix 3/8 cup whole wheat flour (Arrowhead Mills, Bob's, and King Arthur are the best--but Handy Andy only had Gold Medal, and I wanted to get started!) with 1/4 cup of water.  (no chlorine--if you have chlorine in your water, you have to leave it out uncovered for 24 hours to let the chlorine dissipate) Scrape down the sides (to prevent mold) and cover.

After 12 hours, you look to see if you see any life--bubbles in the mixture.

So this is a picture of my sour dough starter on the very first day.  I am really excited about trying out this experiment---especially since it is so much easier than I thought it would be.

Once you start to see life--bubbles--you begin feeding your starter every 12 hours.  Until then, you check every 12 hours and stir vigorously until you do see life.  Then...Remove 1/2 the mixture, add 1/4 c water and 3/8 c flour, stir vigorously, scrape down the sides, and cover.  What's happening is that the wild yeasts in the flour are being activated. 

Here's what my starter looked like in the morning on Day 3:
I am super excited!  I actually did it!  ;-)  So, I remove half the mixture, add 1/4 c water and 3/8 c flour.  12 hours later, I see bubbles, but not life like this time.  But I go ahead and remove 1/2, feed the starter.

Last night, I was still not seeing any good life, so I just gave the starter a good stir and hoped for the best.  This morning, this is what I found:

Oh no!  No bubbles!  There were some bubbles in the top, so I'm hopeful that there is life still in there...somewhere.  I'm going to feed my starter and see if anything happens today.  If not, I'll start from scratch tomorrow.  It takes a week to get your starter strong enough to actually use, so I'm hoping that this will work and I can start using the starter this week!


Aubrey said...

thank you for sharing the tutorial! i'm going to try it out today..i'll let you know if any life begins :)

worryfreemom said...

Awesome! It's so fun to watch. My kids check every morning--"there's life, mom!" lol

Kelly said...

I still haven't signed up for the course. Bummed about that.

What do you do with the half mixture you remove-just toss it out?

worryfreemom said...

Yes, you just toss it out for the first week. But after that, you use it every day for another two weeks. I made English muffins, pancakes, muffins, a cake, bread, and even cookies!

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