My son made the most fabulous loaf of sourdough bread. So fabulous, that I didn’t get a chance to photograph it. I had to hunt Flickr for this photo.
Sourdough bread is made without yeast, or at least not commercial yeast. Instead, it’s made from a wild yeast starter.
To make the starter, my son used 1 cup flour and 1 cup of water in a 1 quart, wide mouth Mason® jar. This made 1 and 1/2 cups of starter. He stirred it and waited… When the starter started to bubble (about a day later), he added another cup of flour and cup of water and covered it with a washcloth. Once it was bubbling again (another day) he used it to make bread.
How much to add to the recipe? That’s the easy part. 1 cup flour and 1 cup of water were used to make 1 and 1/2 cups of starter, so he used 1 and 1/2 cups of starter and counted it as 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of liquid.
The first loaf made from this starter did not work, but the second did. To make the project easier, he choose to make an over night-bread, similar to this “no knead” bread recipe from the NY Times. His actual recipe came from The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live it.
Sourdoughhome.com has some great tips on making your own starter. They suggest that you keep feeding your starter, taking some out and feeding again for a week or more before using, to build a healthy starter. Our experience confirms this. The first loaves he made, did not rise. It wasn’t until after some starter was taken out and it was feed again that it really took off.