I am not a professional sourdough bread maker. I took a sourdough starter (not bread) class a few years ago. Made a 14 day starter and have been handing out the starter like glasses of water ever since.
My Personal History with Sourdough
I initially got started making sourdough when my best friend brought by some starter and a recipe. We made quickie sourdough in the bread machine with yeast added and that began my quest.
I eventually messed that starter up, or lost interest, I have forgotten but I started up again about 5 years ago and I'm still at it.
Now I have been making from scratch bread for most of my adult life. Never fond of grocery store bread and tired of paying high prices for the breads that had less ingrediets, most specifically soy, I just started making my own. For many years I would make tons. A single woman making 5 loaves of bread each time I just handed it out. Then shortly after getting married we bought a bread machine. Then I was making the single loaf at a time. But once starting with sourdough I now again make 2 to 3 great crusty loaves at a time.
In the beginning I scoured the internet for more recipes and a little information on whether or not I had killed my sourdough by not using it in 7 days. I discovered that my sourdough is still cooking after I take it out of the oven. That there are many different ways to feed sourdough. And also that sometimes it is better to just make it rather than study it too much.
Taking Care of Your Sourdough Starter
So here is how I keep my sourdough one year later and some links to help you get started with your own starter.
I guess in the past I’ve made similar sourdough concoctions when making injera => http://www.ethiopianrestaurant.com/injera.html and some sourdough pancakes I found in an old Country Woman magazine. I didn’t know anything about keeping the starter when I made these recipes so needless to say they’re long gone. I’ve been toying with the idea of making injera with my sourdough starter. Oh I make injera with regular white flour.
When my friend brought the starter she had made her instructions were to feed it 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of flour every seven days and then shove it back in the fridge. I still do that with the starter she gave me BUT I did end up deciding to by a long lost relative of King Arthur’s sourdough and for that starter I feed according to their specific directions.
For King Arthur’s=> http://www.kingarthurflour.com/ sourdough I am to remove 1 cup and throw it out (I never throw it out I just make double whatever I’m making) and then add to what is left 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup of flour. I let that sit out all night and in the morning commence with bread making.
Using Your Sourdough Discard
But Oh! I make more than bread. I make sourdough coffee cake, sourdough yummy rich dinner rolls and sourdough pancakes.
When doing my research on the internet there were several recommendations to not attempt to make my own sourdough as they will not have the true yeast spores needed for something or other. My decision was to compromise and have two starters going.
Sourdough makes a wonderful gift. The bread that is. Only give the starter to friends and family you know will use it. Otherwise they will feel guilty when they let it die. I’ve shared mine with my mom and given my friend some of the original she gave me as she let hers die.
You can freeze sourdough and also dry it which is recommended in case you let it die. Or go to seed.
I once used all but a tablespoon of my sourdough and was so upset I thought that was it. I fed it the equal parts flour and water food and left it out overnight. That was about six months ago. It’s still going strong.
I try and use both starters each week. If we already have bread I make some to give away. My family members that don’t bake love it!
To make pancakes (which I do without a recipe) I take out my starter the night before and feed it half flour, half water. You kind of want a lot of starter so 2 cups flour and 2 water is a good amount. In the morning I put about a cup of the starter back in the refrigerator and add to the remaining, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons sugar, 4 tablespoons oil, 1/4 cup milk, and 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda. I sprinkle the dry ingredients on top and then mix them in. I let it sit a few moments.
This makes a lot of pancakes and I just freeze the extras for the week.
Here are some geat sourdough links
The Art of Sourdough Course from A Modern Homestead
Sourdough Coffee Cake Recipe => http://www.recipezaar.com/225416
About Sourdough => http://packham.n4m.org/sourdo.htm
Starting a Starter => http://www.sourdoughhome.com/startingastarter.html