Caring for your Sourdough

I showed you how to make your own sourdough starter (courtesy of Breadtopia). Whether you used that, or were given a starter from someone else, here's what you now need to know:

Every week, your starter needs to be fed. Failure to do so will result in a dead starter (these are bacteria, living organisms! Be kind).

Feeding your Sourdough Starter:

  1. Remove starter from fridge and transfer to a larger bowl.
  2. Feed starter roughly 1 cup flour and 3/4 cup water, stirring to combine.
  3. Cover and set aside for a few hours. You should clean your starter's usual container at this point, so it has a nice clean home to return to.
  4. If some bubbles have formed within 3 hours, your starter is happily fed and still alive.
  5. At this point, divide it in half- half goes back into the container in the fridge, the other half is your fed starter for making bready things (if the recipe calls for more starter than you have, just repeat the feeding until you have the right amount).

(fed starter with some bubbles)

What Kind of Flour?
I have been told to use only the highest-end finely-ground super-expensive bread flour with your sourdough.
Any unbleached flour will do. As with all breads, wheat flour should be mixed with white if you want a toothsome loaf, not used solo. I've even combined my starter with garbanzo bean flour!

About the Salt...
Every recipe calls for some salt. Don't omit it or your bread will taste ridiculously bad. The salt is an important part of the chemical process!

What Can I Make?
Maybe your family can't possibly go through a loaf of bread in a week. No problem! You can use your sourdough starter to make: pancakes, waffles, bagels, pretzels, crackers, biscuits, flatbreads, cookies, etc. You can also make non-sourdough-tasting loaves with it!

This Seems Like a Lot of Work...
Au're saving money by baking your own loaves (and being healthier), and with a sourdough starter you don't need to use yeast. It's a renewable resource that you can use to teach your kids chemistry, make gifts for friends and neighbors, and continually feed your family (and all you need, basically, is water, flour, and a little salt).

Happy baking!

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