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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Save Your Sourdough

If you have had a chance to make a sourdough starter, and it was successful, here is something you can do to safeguard your efforts in case your starter goes bad. It is also away to preserve your starter if you will be gone on vacation or don't plan on using it for awhile.

Take a piece of wax paper (or a rinsed out cereal bag), and paint your starter on it with a kitchen brush. The starter should have been fed no later than a day before. If you proof a starter - without using any ingredients besides water and flour, you can also just leave the bowl out to dry without washing it. Allow this to set out until it is completely dry.

When it is dry, the sourdough starter you left out will be flaky. Take these flakes, put them into a zip lock bag or a clean jar, and then store it in a dry place or put it into your freezer. You will probably want to store a cup or so of flakes just in case.

To start a new batch of sourdough from your flakes, put about a tablespoon of flakes into a medium, non reactive bowl. Mix your flakes with lukewarm water (about a tablespoon) to form a paste. Slowly mix the paste with one cup of lukewarm water. When this is smooth, add about 1 1/4 cups of flour.

Cover the bowl and allow it to sit overnight on the counter or a in a warm place.

The following day there should be bubbles covering the surface and it should have expanded a bit. If it looks a bit slow, give it one more day. If all went well, your starter should be up and running quickly, and you can feed it accordingly to get the amount you want.

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Lisa said...

Wow! I never thought about doing that!! Great idea! I made my starter with your wonderful tutorial, and had a question. The starter made wonderful bread, but it isn't very sour tasting. Is there a way to get the starter more sour (without ruining it!) so that the bread tastes more like San Francisco sourdough? TIA

Pam said...

That is a really neat tip! I can over from ~*~Jennifer~*~ and was just reading a little. You taught me something already! Will be back, nice little blog. Any friend of "~*~" is a blog friend of mine, she's pretty cool.

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Pam - Thanks for dropping by! Jennifer is great, isn't she!

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Lisa- I have read that the longer you let your sourdough proof, the more sour your bread will be.

I haven't ever had San Francisco sourdough, so I'm not sure what it tastes like. Maybe they add another ingrediet?

I do know that starters will always taste a bit different depending on where they are at - starters from different areas of the world, country, state, and even city will pick up different yeasts which add different flavors. Hope you can get a bread you love!

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