Sourdough Starter

I have a true love for baking yeast breads, and have for as long as I can remember.  That said, I've never made sourdough bread before. Something about is always seemed a little scary to me.

But then a saw a tweet from Jen of My Kitchen Addiction about learning how to make you own sourdough  starter.  I quickly hurried over to her site, read through her instructions on how the starter is started, and realized that this was going to be a piece of cake bread.  What was I waiting for???

Here's what I learned from Jen and her recipe for the starter.  Thanks Jen, I owe you one :)

Homemade Sourdough Starter

This original recipe is adapted from Red Star Yeast 
and from Jen.

2 cups lukewarm water
2-1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
3-1/2 cups bread flour (I used all purpose unbleached flour)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

 -In a non-metal bowl, combine the lukewarm water, yeast and sugar.
-Stir to dissolve the yeast completely and let the mixture rest approximately 5 minutes. It will become quite foamy.
-Add the flour to the yeast mixture and stir well to combine (the mixture will be a bit wet, lumpy and sticky but that's what you're looking for.)
-Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Be careful not to cover it too tightly as the starter requires some fresh air for the fermentation process to take place.
-Leave the mixture on your kitchen counter  at room temperature for 5 days, making sure to stir it thoroughly every day, at least once or twice each day.
-You'll notice a strong yeasty, fermenting smell (I though it smelled a bit like aging apples) and the mixture will bubble and rise and look like it's taking on a life of it's own.  THAT'S GOOD! This is exactly what you're looking for!
-After 5 days time, you're ready to use your starter to bake any sort of delicious concoction you can think of that calls for sourdough starter (OR you can keep it in your refrigerator to use at another time).
***NOTE - When using the starter that has been kept in the refrigerator, make sure you take it out of the refrigerator the night before you plan on using it so the starter can come to room temperature.
-ALWAYS stir your starter before use!

--To replenish the starter after you've taken some for baking, simply stir in 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of water and a pinch of sugar and mix well before returning it to the refrigerator.
-Each week, give it a few stirs and you'll be ready to bake scrumptious sourdough items at almost a moments notice!

Homemade Sourdough Starter Recipe

Until we bake again,

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