Monday, February 22, 2010

Home made Sourdough Starter

Many Readers wrote, and ask if I can share a simple recipe for preparing a sourdough starter at home. I am going to post two recipes one for the raisin method, which I use because I like the wine smell … and the second using fresh juice starter. Two friends from the Walima Cooking Club use the Juice method… I am planning to try this method soon, and share the photos with you later...
Very sorry that I don’t have any photos for this recipe to share , I took many pictures from the first night until the day the starter became active and ready to be used… AS I mentioned before when my computer crashed last summer we lost many documents and files and one of them a big file of my cooking photos…. Some are precious documentary photos which I cannot get any more...
Sourdough Starter using Raisin:
It’s recommended if you mark the cup or the jar from day one until the starter is active to see the progress of the starter.
1- Soak one cup of raisin in warm for couple of hours, or over night, until you start seeing some white stuff floating on top, this is the good bacteria we are looking for. Drain your raisin, and use the water for starting your sourdough. You can wash the raisin and use them in my raisin bread recipe if you like. Mix one cup of unbleached white flour, wheat flour or even rye flour with ¾ of raisin water. Cover it with a plastic wrap and let it sit 24 hours.
2- The second day your mix will be risen and maybe doubled. You are into a good start. Mix one cup bread flour + ½ cup of water + 1 cup of the starter (you can through away the rest of the starter – I know it’s not fair to through food) also cover and leave it for 24 hours. The dough might not rise double the size don’t worry. Keep going
3- Also start with one cup flour half cup of water and one cup of the starter and through the rest. It’s better if you start marking your glass pot to see the progress of the starter and how much it’s rising … by now you should have double the amount you starter. If it’s not moving fast you can switch to wheat flour... some flours maybe are packed tight and sometimes the flour needs more water to loosen up and make sure that the plastic wrap is not tight the starter needs to breath.
4- You will see that your starter is alive… can take one cup of the starter and half a cup of flour and half a cup of water mix with a wooden spoon and put it in a jar Let it sit 24 hours to rise before you store it in the fridge as the base you start building on… The other cup you can take it and use it in your bread
Bread recipe using the starter
1-1 cup starter
2-1 cup bread flour
3-1 cup unbleached flour
4-1 tsp salt
5-1 cup warm water
Knead for 5-6 minutes if it tightens up let it rest for 15minutes, then start kneading, you might need to add some flour to make nice smooth dough. This dough needs several hours to rest to rise and double, because we are not helping it with commercial yeast, or before you can add one tsp of dry yeast to help it rise quickly.
Sourdough Starter using Fruit Juice – (Source the Fresh Loaf)
Day 1: Mix two tablespoons whole grain flour (rye and/or wheat) with two tbsp unsweetened pineapple juice or orange juice.
Cover and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
Day 2: add two tbsp whole grain flour with two tbsp juice
Stir well, cover and let sit at room temperature 24 hours. At day 2 you may (or may not) start to see some small bubbles.
Day 3: add two tbsp whole grain flour with two tbsp juice Stir well, cover and let sit at room temperature 24 hours.
Day 4: Stir down, measure out 1/4 cup and discard the rest.
To the 1/4 cup add 1/4 cup flour*
1/4 cup filtered or spring water
*You can feed the starter whatever type of flour you want at this point (unbleached white, whole wheat, rye). If you are new to sourdough, a white starter is probably the best choice. All-purpose flour is fine--high protein flour is not necessary.
Repeat Day 4:Once daily until the mixture starts to expand and smell yeasty. It is not unusual for the mixture to get very bubbly around Day 3 or 4 and then go completely flat and appear dead. If the mixture does not start to grow again by Day 6, add 1/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar with the daily feeding. This will lower the pH level a bit more and it should wake up the yeast.
Very important after each feeding the starter needs to sit for 24hours to rise and double, before you put it back in the fridge. The Sourdough starter needs to be fed at least 3 times a week to stay alive…
I hope my recipe will help you in achieving the best bread results...
I like to hear from you , also if you like to share your photos, you are more than welcome to email me with the resutls. Thank you and have a great baking day.


Trish said...

its probably time for me to start up a sourdough starter once again. My boys are simply not eating breads these days and we are so rarely home after work during the work week that I've become quite lazy and buy my own bread when I need it. Miss the wonderful smell of it know what I mean.

So sorry about your photos...everyone's nightmare for sure! Sigh. My hubby and son have are the experts...and tell me to store my photos externally...on a disk or separate external hard drive...sound right? Those large ones are getting cheaper so I might just invest in one soon. Have a great Monday!

Joie de vivre said...

Hi! I found your blog from Trish's site. I love sourdough but I have a hard time keeping my starter alive. Your method looks easy and with a little forethought doesn't need to be kept alive and fed, it can just be made a day or two before needed. Brilliant! Thanks for posting this.

Arlette said...

thanks for your comment... we used to buy the sandwich bread for my husband, and it doesnt last the whole week, or doesnt keep..
also this is a way to keep my starter alive, and soon the market will start and I need to do lots of baking...

We bought a new pc window 7, and an external harddrive for important documents... we paid 800 dollars to save the data, and they couldnt salvage everything...

Joie De Vivre

well the starter is like a baby, you need to take care of and watch , I keep my starter in the fridge with a plate under the jar.
I use it at least twice a week and feed it three times, and each time you take from it and you feed it either 1/2 each of flour or water of one cup needs to sit at least for 12 hours to proof, then put back in the fridge.. Of course you can do the one time mix, but I hate to through a live yeast every time.

Arlette said...

Joie De Vivre
Thanks for your visit.
Looking forward to see the result of this starter soon... Take care.

Unknown said...

sourdough is still something I have not been to work with ... enchallah one day I will take a few days to get the feel for it; i appreciate your steps and method!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Thankyou SO much for sharing both of these methods! I'm determined to make my first sourdough start this year! :D