I love sourdough, the problem is it’s too pricy for me to constantly buy small loafs that will disappear in 2 days… at $5+ a piece. Not to mention for me it’s hard to find a truly authentic sourdough bread in the stores since they are active dry yeast risen, and not fermented with true sourdough starter.
It takes about 7-10 days for sourdough starter to fully form, but it’s so worth it. The starter is used as a fermentation base when making sourdough bread. The yeast bacteria lives with lactobacillus (another bacteria) which excretes the flavor of the sourdough bread as it breaks down the gluten into simpler sugars. The beauty of it is the fact that it lessens the amount of gluten and lengthens the lifespan of the bread.
To make sourdough starter, you will need a gallon glass or plastic container and a porous cover so the starter can breathe during it’s fermenting periods. You will also need a bag of unbleached bread flour (or unbleached wheat flour, whichever). You will also need an environment around 75-85 degrees in temperature.
These instructions will last between 7-10 days, and each day will consist of stirring the ingredients in the container to mix in the oxygen along with stuff on the top/bottom into the mixture once more. Remember to mix the mixture 2-3 times daily.
First day: add 1/2 cup flour & 1/3 cup warm water (~100-110 degrees F) to container and whisk well to mix thoroughly. Place cover over container and put aside.
Second day: add 1/2 cup flour & 1/3 cup warm water (~100-110 degrees F) to container and whisk well to mix thoroughly. Place cover over container and put aside.
Third day: Pour 1 cup of the starter into a measuring cup to set aside, then empty the main container completely & clean. Place the 1 cup back into the container, and mix in 1/2 cup flour & 1/3 cup warm water. Cover and set aside.
Basically repeat the above, watching the ingredients yeast bubble after the third day and increase as time goes on. Once the yeast reacts within 10 minutes of the daily mixing, the mixture is ready. At that point, take a cup of the mixture, put it aside and clean the container. Add the mixture back in, and add 1/2 cup of flour & 1/3 cup of warm water, along with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Mix together and place into the refrigerator.
This mixture will need to be “fed” with 1/2 cup of flour & 1/3 cup of water every week. Make sure to give the container room to expand by removing some of the mixture before feeding.
The mixture will evolve over time and become better with age.