I have become mildly obsessed with baking my own bread. I love the way it makes our home smell, and especially love the fact that I am controlling the ingredients that my family is consuming. Have you ever had sourdough bread? It. is. amazing. Warm sourdough bread with a glass of sweet tea...I need to just stop thinking about it since it will be several days before I actually get to eat it. I found this starter recipe on allrecipes.com.
Sourdough bread starters have to ferment for 4-8 days before they're ready for use, but the starter can be used over and over again. As you remove one cup for baking bread, simply add one cup water and one cup of flour with a pinch of sugar to keep your starter going.
I'll post my sour dough bread recipe when my starter is ready to bake.
1 package active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
In a large glass bowl, add the yeast, water, and flour. Cover this loosely and place the bowl on a cookie sheet to catch any overflow. Leave sitting in a warm place for 4-8 days. You'll know it's ready when it has a nice sour smell and is bubbly. After it is ready to use, you can transfer it to the refrigerator until you are ready to bake. Note: If the starter has a pink or orange tint to it, throw it out and start over.
Remember that whatever amount you remove for baking, you need to replace it with the same amount of water and flour, with a pinch of sugar. (Example: Remove 1.5 cups of starter, replace with 1.5 cups water & 1.5 cups flour, and a pinch of sugar.) Allow it to sit out on the counter again until bubbly, and then place it in the frige.
You may notice a clear or brown liquid on the top of the starter. This is alcohol that is created during fermentation. Just stir it back into the starter. It will cook out during baking time, so no worries.
Your starter will get better and better as it ages. Enjoy your bread!