This is where the culinary magic happens, people. Or rather the culinary DISASTER that was making sourdough starter.
Exhibit A: tried and true sourdough recipe that my mom uses week after week (originally from Amy Dacyczyn of the Tightwad Gazette).
Exhibit B: sourdough starter looking like sourdough starter should.
Exhibit C: sourdough starter freaking out completely. This happened x 2. I’m not sure why because I actually measured and followed the directions this time. Maybe because my apartment is abnormally warm? You might try using a little less than 1 T of yeast…
A starter is an easy way to have fresh bread at your fingertips without a lot of waiting around. Just mix up the bread (you only have to make the starter once) before going to bed and bake the next day after a short proof time.
sourdough bread starter
Combine in a glass jar:
- 1 T yeast
- 2 cups of chlorine-free water (let a pitcher of water sit out overnight, and the chlorine will evaporate)
- 2 cups of flour (I used 1/2 whole wheat)
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to sit for at least 48 hrs at room temperature, until it foams and develops a sour smell (for the record, my starter began erupting after 8-9 hrs, so watch it!). Place in refrigerator. Every time you use the starter, replace 1.5 cups of water and 1.5 cups of flour and return to the fridge.
sourdough bread [2 loaves]
- 5 1/2 cups flour
- 2 cups starter
- 1 T salt
- 1 cup water
Dissolve salt in a mixing bowl (non-metal). Add starter and flour and knead into a ball. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise overnight. In the morning, punch down and shape into 2 loaves. Cover with damp cloth and let rise for 4 hrs. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes.
[Read about the benefits of sourdough bread in a previous post].
Fresh sourdough bread is awesome with black bean hummus.
black bean hummus [adapted from Dreena Burton’s recipe]
- 2 cups rinsed black beans
- 1 small clementine
- 2 1/2 Tbsp almond butter or peanut butter
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- salt and pepper, to taste
Mix all ingredients together via food processor and enjoy.
Have you ever made sourdough bread or used a starter before? This has been quite the adventure, but it is homemade and non- processed, and that makes it worth it to me.