Good things take time! And who doesn’t love good things? For that matter who doesn’t really enjoy fresh Sourdough Bread? Well, we love both — and guess what? It really doesn’t take that long, nor does it take as much work as you might think! It’s like all things— first you have to get started and once you have your starter…You’re on a roll Baby!
So… Let’s get to this!
Catching Wild Yeast (The Good Bug)
To get started, I found it is essential for the temperature to be above 75′ – 88′. Yes, like any yeast, it needs humidity and warmth.
Things you need:
1 Large Bowl
All Purpose Flour
Here we go! The hard part is to try not to get bored for the first couple of days! But you’ll survive…I did! 😉
In your bowl, mix 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water. Mix into a paste. Now take your towel and dampen it with hot water and place over your bowl. Set your bowl some place warm where it won’t be disturb and yet, where you will not forget about it. You will need to stir it up OFTEN. I stir mine at least 3 times a day pending on how hot the temperature is. You’re looking for bubbles and the smell (sour). Every 1 – 3 days (again pending on the weather/temperature) add a little flour and water in the 1 cup to 1/2 cup ratio.
Now that you have a living starter, you need to feed it. (Some people do this stage in the refrigerator. I don’t because its too easy to forget about. Plus, its slower and you only feed once a week). I prefer on the counter feeding TWICE per day. It takes approximately 6-8 weeks for the colony to mature. However, at 2-3 weeks in you can start using some to make to build biscuits, pancakes, even pizza dough, etc… just be sure to leave behind an original 1 cup of starter to keep feeding.
Note: After feeding and before setting to rest with a hot dampened towel, I place a wooden spoon across the bowel under the towel to stop the towel from sticking to dough as it grows and bubbles.
1 flour to 1/2 water as always But the knack is… if you have 1 cup of starter than you must add 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup water…mix. Within a few hours this should rise and bubble like crazy-fun! To mature super fast, do this TWICE a day! Oh Yeah Baby! At this volume you will be able to make bread every 3-4 days with snap of your fingers! (making bread is the true test of your maturity bug).
Note: Whatever you deplete the starter to eg; 1/2 cup add 1 to 1/2 ratio and mix in.
After 6-8 weeks your starter should be able to eat through anything and double in size faster than you can say ‘the big black bug bit a big black bear and made the big black bear bleed!’ I joke, now it only takes 6-8 hrs instead of weeks. I tell you, this is the part that makes my heart sing and mouth water just watching it grow, bubble and burp!
At this point you can cover and stick in the refrigerator where you don’t think about it until next week. (Good luck with that LOL mine has never made it to the fridge with the 5 of us always using it!)
Cook’n Up A Pot’O Sourdough
Things you need:
1 large bowl
Measuring cup and spoons
Cast Iron Pot with Lid
‘Starter’ about 2 cups
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tbsp. natural sugar
2 tbsp. coconut oil
2 cups flour
Now let’s Play! Using coconut oil (not the 2tbsp.) grease up your cast iron, then dust with flour. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400’F.
Using large bowl mix your starter, salt, sugar, oil and 1 cup of flour together with a fork until glumpy. When mixed, gradually add remaining cup of flour with hands, kneading the dough right in the bowl! Knead for approx. 5 mins. Adding handfuls of flour if necessary to keep the dough ball from being sticky. When most of the kneading with a fist and turning is done. I pick all the dough up slapping it with both hands back and forth to form a ball. Then, squeezing underneath and turning as if I were shaping an upside down bowl. Something like that, but don’t leave a hole. Play with it—you’ll figure it out. Now place your ball in the center of cast iron pot. Cover with hot damp cloth then the lid. Let rise ONCE (Yep, that’s right we cut out the typical first bread rise! AWESOME!) for about 1-4 hours (again the weather thing) you want it to typically double.
Bake @ 400′ F for 50-70 mins and golden on top. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Perfection is a hollow sound when tapped underneath.
The HARDEST part is waiting for it to cool enough to cut and butter! I suggest you busy yourself doing your clean up and make a warm beverage or a long cool sweet tea…your preference to go with mouth watering, gut friendly dessert! Oh r’ Bread 😉
Dedicated: To my sweet sister Donna B. who is always there for me. I love you more too!