I’ve always been envious of the farm women who have nurtured a crock of sourdough starter passed down through the generations. So back in 2011, I started my own batch to get our tradition going.
Below is my old fashioned recipe for getting a crock growing. There’s nothing better than some fresh sourdough bread mothered in fresh butter & local honey!
Note: DO NOT USE ANY METAL UTENSILS OR BOWLS EVER!
It will prevent yeast growth.
2 crock bowls (or any ceramic/stoneware bowl or glass jar)
long handled wooden spoon (or plastic)
2 cups of water
2 cups of flour (I prefer organic)
1. Mix water & flour in the crock.
2. Cover lightly with cheese cloth or leave it open if you do not have any problems with pests i.e. fruit flies. This will allow the natural yeasts to find your bowl and inoculate the starter.
3. Let crock set aside in a undisturbed place for 3-5 days. It will be bub
bly and start to smell sour with a whitish texture.
4. Once ready, take out the amount called for in the recipe, pour the remainder into a clean crock bowl, and refrigerate covered with plastic wrap.
- Tuck covered crock into the coolest back corner of the fridge. This lets it go to sleep.
- Check monthly to ensure no green fungus has developed.
- Occasionally, take out the crock to replenish it. Just add 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water, and let set out for a day or two.
- I prefer:
to use the starter weekly, replenish weekly.
to use the starter monthly/bi-monthly, replenish monthly/bimonthly.
- If used very frequently, double the replenishing amounts to build a larger batch. You need to have enough to keep the starter going for future uses.
Using the starter:
- Take starter from the fridge, give a good stir, take out the amount called for in the recipe and let come to room temp before using.
- Add back into crock equal amounts of the starter used with flour and water. i.e. 1 cup used = replace with 1 cup flour and 1 cup water.
- Let set for several days repeating steps 1-4.
- If it is not bubbly, give starter a good stir and let set a few more days.
- If it isn’t sour smelling or like a strong sourdough stir in another cup of flour, another cup of water, and let set a few more days.
- If starter is too sour, add 1/4-1/2 tsp of baking soda to flour when replenishing.
- A dark grayish water may top the sleeping starter batter…this is fine, just give the starter a stir and either replenish for a few days or return to fridge.
- If it begins to turn moldy green, toss out and start over.
- In a bind, the start can be frozen in a jar but I have never had the need to do so. Let the starter thaw in the fridge overnight then let set out for a day or two. Repeat the starter process to replenish the yeast if not very bubbly.