Walker B. True's sourdough starter, "Freedough Catalina" poses for the camera. The collection of micro-organisms couldn't be reached for comment. | Photo by Walker B. True

Staff Recipe: True Sourdough Starter

There's no time like the pandemic to get a start on a starter
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There’s no time like the pandemic to get a start on a starter

Sourdough starters are a great project for the apocalypse, as yeast and other baking materials are becoming hard to come by. Hopefully you’ve still got that bag of flour sitting in the back corner of your cupboard, because with just a couple minutes of work a day, you’ve got yourself a sour new addition to the family. After day seven, your starter will be ready for use in bread, pancakes, muffins or any other baked good that includes flour and water.

Ingredients and supplies:

  • Flour
  • Lukewarm water (around 85 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • A scale
  • A mason jar with a lid
  • Patience

Directions:

Day 1 – Beginning the starter

  • Weigh your jar empty, without the lid, and write the weight down
  • Add 100 grams of flour to your jar
  • Add 150 grams of lukewarm water to your jar. Mix thoroughly until combined, making sure you don’t leave any clumps
  • Attach lid loosely to the jar (not too tight, or you will make a bread bomb)
  • Wait 24 hours

Day 2: Feeding the starter

  • Remove starter from your jar until there is 70 grams of the starter remaining (that’s 70 grams added to the original weight of your jar)
  • Add 100 grams of flour
  • Add 100 grams of water
  • Mix thoroughly until combined without clumps
  • Attach loosely fitting lid to jar

Day Three: Onwards

  • Repeat instructions from day two until you forget for a couple days and accidentally kill it.

Tips

  • Your starter can range in smell from yeasty “footy-ness” to a nail polish remover or a boozy smell which changes from day-to-day.
  • Adding a little more water or a little more flour will affect the scent and taste of your dough drastically.
  • Excess starter removed during feeding is perfectly safe to eat after being fried in a bit of oil. It makes wonderful fry bread with a bit of a funnel cake consistency.
  • Keep your starter in a warm place. Warm temperatures encourage fermentation, and cold temperatures can kill your starter.

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