Simple Sourdough Starter

Reader Contribution by Texas Pioneer Woman
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My favorite time of the year for baking has started, autumn and winter. And with the approaching holidays, many home bakers will be trying out new recipes or reusing recipes passed down from generations before.

The tantalizing aroma of homemade bread baking in the oven is reason enough for making bread at home. Bread provides energy giving carbohydrates and body building proteins in a tasty and low cost product that can be made at home easily.

One of my favorite ingredients in baking is sourdough. I use it to make honey and wheat sourdough rolls and sourdough biscuits. Actually sourdough can be used in many recipes to make pancakes, waffles, buns, pizza dough, cake, pretzels, tortillas, crackers, muffins, pie crust and doughnuts.

Traditionally sourdough is started without addition of yeast, because this dough was supposed to attract naturally occurring yeast from the air. But life is hectic enough so this is the simple sourdough starter I use in my baking.

Sourdough Starter Recipe

1 package dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 cups flour

Mix ingredients in a large non-metal bowl. Pour blended ingredients into a jar with a loose fitting lid and let stand at room temperature for 36 to 48 hours.

Afterward, starter can be stored in refrigerator until needed.

When you need the starter, take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before you use it. Stir starter before using it so that ingredients are blended together.

Every time you use some of the starter, you must replenish it. For example, if you use 2 cups  starter, you must mix in 1 cup flour and 1 cup warm water. Then let it stand at room temperature for a few hours until it bubbles. It then can be stored in the refrigerator until it is needed again.

A Few Hints about Sourdough Starter

  • If it separates with water forming on top and dough on bottom, stir well to make a smooth batter again.

  • Never use your entire starter. Leave 1 cup starter to make a new batch.

  • Cover sourdough container loosely, when out of refrigerator. Inside of refrigerator, you can add a lid because it is dormant in cold temperatures.

  • Sourdough can be kept in the refrigerator when not needed, but it takes at least a few hours to a day at room temperature to start working again.

  • Sourdough reacts best at room temperature.

  • If your sourdough starter turns pink or red, shows signs of mold growth or smells putrid, throw it out and make a fresh batch of sourdough starter.

  • Make sure to share with friends so they can start their own sourdough baking.

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