Thursday, April 14, 2011

About Sour Dough

I recently posted a picture of our sourdough bread. Thought I'd give a bit more info about how we got our starter....

Actually, it's quite easy to catch your own sour dough starter. Mix about 1 cup of water and 2 cups of flour in a non metal bowl, cover loosely w/ a light towel (and possibly a rubber band) and sit the bowl outside on your porch. (The towel is just to keep critters isn't necessary!) (I use this container, bought at my local Cash and Carry.) Check it every day or so, and if you begin to see bubbles, you've caught something! I would add a cup of water and about 1.5-2 cups of flour to feed it. If your container gets too full, pour some out and then feed it. I actually caught my yeast in my kitchen....don't know what that says about my kitchen...maybe I should've left that part out! I believe that if you use some rye flour in the beginning, the yeast seems to like it a bit better, and you may catch something more quickly. When my starter was starting, I used strictly freshly milled whole wheat flour.

 When you are sure you have a good bubbly mixture bring it inside and use it/refrigerate it. If you like the way it smells, you will like the flavor. There are numerous recipes on the internet calling for sourdough starter. You can see if something looks interesting and give it a try. We sort of wing it w/ recipes - We've made homemade bread most of my married life, so I have a feel for what I need to add. When we make waffles, I just pour some starter in a bowl (can be metal at this point - just not for the starter you are saving!) add a couple of eggs, a bit of salt, sugar, milk and flour til it has the consistency I want. Then I feed the remainder w/ 3 cups of water, 1 Tablespoon of salt, and 7 cups of flour. You may have to adjust your amounts recognizing that I am cooking for a family of 12. I may keep larger amts on hand than you would have to.

 I have no experience w/ storing the starter. Ours is continually on the kitchen counter because we use it and feed it just about every day. I think when you use it, you feed the remainder and let it sit out for a day before refrigerating it. Make certain after feeding it that you have a container large enough for it to takes hours for it to finish rising, so don't be fooled if in an hour, it hasn't increased in volume. When it flattens off, it  is time to go in the refrigerator - I think.....

I would like to recommend a book called Healthy Breads in Five Minutes a Day. I was able to check it out from our library. It has a recipe for a general dough. This dough can sit in your refrigerator for some time and is relatively ready to be used. The longer it is in your fridge, the more of a sour tendency it has (even though it was made using commercial yeast) This is a convenient and unintimidating way to have homemade bread.


  1. Even with my larger family (not as large as yours though):-) I've never made bread from sourdough starter. You make it sound a bit less intimidating than I thought it was :-) We do love sourdough bread, so we may have to try this ourselves.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Hi Keri On,
    Just came upon your blog from my mom's blog (Pam) I really like reading about your sour dough starter! So neat. I am now encouraged to make my own sour dough!! Excited to start reading your lovely blog.


  3. Keri, Thanks for visiting. I adore the title of you blog! You also have a comfy little blog place. I adore the balls that you make for soccer friends. Those are amazing. That doll house too is so cute! And, every where I turn I keep seeing amazing bread recipes. I need to try them! I think sour dough would be a hit here at my home.

  4. It sounds great Keri. Thanks for sharing the info. I am excited to give it a try.
    Much Love,

  5. I have tried making a starter a couple of times. It bubbled up nicely but went flat and yucky when I added the flour and proceeded. But I love making other breads and do frequently.