I did start working on some more homemade goodness yesterday. Instead of just researching, I started on my first sourdough-making project! I was so excited to find that it is such a simple recipe! I only needed to head down to the local shoppe to get an item I was missing to get it going.
My husband and I L-O-V-E sourdough breads! Since it's too expensive for us right now to buy all the time, I had to figure out a less-moolah way to have our blessed bread. Lo and behold, my bread machine book had a recipe for a starter!
I was so excited to share with Hun the thrill of creating my first sourdough starter when he came home. However, though he enjoys the finished creation, he doesn't always find the thrill in the process as I do sometimes. He kindly humored me, even coming over to smell the beginnings of the fermentation process.
I was surprised that it didn't take very long to get that process going. I guess since our tiny abode was rather pleasantly warm, (with the heater going, two cats, and three adults: one of Dear's friends came over for dinner), it isn't too surprising. I find amazement in some of the smallest ways. :)
So, as I was thinking this morning, I thought to myself: "Wouldn't it be nice to share this wonderful recipe to other folks? Who knows, there may be other sourdough-loving people out there!" There are so many things you can do with sourdough: garlic sourdough (one of my absolute favorites!), ______ herb sourdough, sourdough bagels, sourdough English muffins, sourdough bread, etc.
BASIC SOURDOUGH STARTER
1/2 cup warm water (around 105degrees Farenheit)
2 cups warm water (around 105 degrees Farenheit)
2.5 tsp dry yeast
2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour, sifted)
1 Tbs honey (Or sugar, but I prefer honey since it's natural. If you want another all-natural substitute, try Stevia or Agave Nectar.)
**You will need cheesecloth, a non-metal large mixing bowl, and non-metal utensils.**
In a large mixing bowl, pour the yeast. Add 1/2 cup warm water, and stir with a wooden or plastic spoon until pretty well dissolved. Add the other 2 cups warm water, flour, and honey (or substitute), mixing well with a wooden/plastic spoon until smooth. (When I did this step, some of the dough stuck to my mixing spoon. I simply grabbed another one, using it to get off the dough.)
Cover the bowl containing your sourdough starter dough with a 100% cotton cheesecloth. Let the mixture stand at room temperature, covered, for 5 - 10 days, until it has the strong fermented odor. Stir 2 - 3 times a day. The warmer the room, the faster the fermentation.
Once you're ready to store the finished dough, transfer to a glass jar, cover with 100% cotton cheesecloth, and refrigerate until use. Do NOT cover tightly or use a metal lid. (Try a rubber band around the neck of the jar, loosely, to keep the cloth on it.)
When you're ready to use some of the starter, bring the desired amount to room temperature. For each cup of starter used, replenish remaining starter by adding 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup lukewarm water, & 1 tsp. honey (or substitute). Cover and let mixture stand at room temperature for at least 1 day or until it's bubbly. Refrigerate starter for later use.
If you don't use the starter w/in 10 days, stir in 1 tsp. honey (or substitute). Repeat every 10 days unless you've replenished the starter (then count from that replenished date).
If any of you have made your own sourdough bread, I'd love to hear how you made it! If any of you join me on this fabulous venture, please let me know what you do! Thanks, & enjoy!
**P.S. DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE GIVE-AWAY CONTEST, FOR A FLEXI-CLIP GIFT CERTIFICATE VALUED UP TO $15! IF YOU HAVE ANY FRIENDS OR FAMILY MEMBERS THAT YOU THINK WOULD ENJOY HAVING A LOVELY HAIR CLIP, OR FOR YOURSELF, PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO ENTER!**