Recently, my husband was enjoying a slice of toasted sourdough bread. I asked him if he had ever made any sourdough bread, or if he had ever been given any sourdough starter. He hadn’t, and wasn’t sure what I meant by ‘starter’. I had been given some starter many (20?) years ago, but didn’t have any anymore and didn’t know where to get some now. I really wanted to make some homemade sourdough bread for my husband, though. I decided to look it up, and found out how to make my own starter! It’s not as difficult as I thought. All you need to do is mix flour and water and let it sit. Making your own starter without adding in some from a friend just means your starter won’t be as ripe in the beginning.
The link I found calls for mixing ½ cup water with ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour. I read somewhere it’s best to use distilled water because the chlorine in tap water can kill the yeast that naturally occurs in the flour.
So, we began our own starter. It’s actually quite easy to make, but it does require consistency. It’s necessary to ‘feed’ it every day (preferably around the same time each day) by adding the same amount of flour and water as in the beginning. After about five days, the starter will likely be ready. When the starter is ready, it will be all bubbly and have a strong sour smell.
We made sure to ‘feed’ our starter every day, and kept it in a warm place. Then, the day came that our starter was finally ready! We looked to find a recipe for sourdough bread. This is not a quick bread. It takes several hours from start to finish (and that’s after waiting at least five days for the starter to be ready), but it’s definitely worth the wait!
When our bread came out of the oven, it looked and smelled better than we had imagined! We only waited long enough for it to cool off to the point where we could handle it without a problem. We sliced thick, hearty slices which we then coated with some creamy butter. Delicious!
We can’t wait to try the next loaf. It’s said that the starter only improves with age.
Now, I just wonder if anyone nearby is in need of some sourdough starter…