I've always wanted to try my hand in making sourdough bread. I have made many yeast breads through out the years but until now, never sourdough. Now, I absolutely love creating a loaf of good sourdough bread! When I began to research the process, I decided to buy my 'starter' through King Arthur Flour (click to go to site).
King Arthur Flour is a wonderful resource for all your bread baking needs (no, I am not receiving ANY benefits from them - this is my opinion of a product I bought). When I received my starter in the mail, I had to take a picture of the label.
On the bottom of the container in small print it tells me that this starter is part of a starter that was started in the late 1700's! So when I make my bread with this starter, I am basically eating a part of something from the 1700's! How awesome is that? King Arthur Flour also sent a tips and recipes booklet (free) with the starter. The first page tells you what you need to do to get started with your starter. Your starter is a living thing, and with most living things you need to 'feed' and 'water', so that it continues to live.
Sourdough starters contain that wonderful bacteria, lactobacilli (a cousin of the bacteria found in yogurt and curdle milk). This is what you are feeding. King Arthur does a great job in taking you through the feeding and watering process. When I followed the directions provided, my starter continued to live and thrive. I currently have my starter in the refrigerator, just waiting for the next loaf of bread I bake. If I continue to care for my starter, it can last my lifetime and can be past down to my children. How awesome is that!
The directions are not difficult. You initially water with 1/4 cup warm water to loosen up your starter in the container. Place your starter in a large glass jar (I used a mason jar) and add another 1 and 1/4 cups warm water and 2 cups unbleached flour. Mix it up and cover loosely. Let it sit on your counter 8 to 12 hours. After 8 to 12 hours, give it a stir and discard about half (yes, throw away 1/2). You then add a half cup warm water and 1 cup unbleached flour. Mix and let sit on your counter again for 2 to 4 hours. You will see bubbles, telling you it's ALIVE (picturing Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein here)! Then you divide it in half again. King Arthur suggests you give the half to a friend or discard; it is up to you. You feed and water once more (hungry bugger), with 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 cup unbleached flour. Again, let your starter rest on your counter, loosely covered, for another 2 to 4 hours. Finally, now you can bake some wonderful yummy sourdough bread! Yay! Or if your're exhausted from all that watering and feeding, you can refrigerate it and bake another day. King Arthur included instructions for when you refrigerate your starter, and the directions are easy to follow.
The booklet that King Arthur sent comes with some wonderful recipes for you to try. So if you want an adventure in your kitchen, I recommend making (and playing with) sourdough. I am so happy I stepped out of my comfort zone to give this mysterious bread a try. And by the way, the fermentation process (remember the good bacteria, I mentioned) is good for your gut too! So if you're going to eat carbs, why not eat carbs that are good for you? Who am I kidding, if it tastes good, I eat it . And this stuff is good!
Sourdough bread recipes to come!
(edited by Anna Weicht)
*This is a reminder that we received no benefits or monetary compensation of any kind for this review. This product was something that we decided to try and really enjoyed using.