The Sourdough Starter
It's Tuesday night and I usually make bread on Wednesdays. I take my sourdough starter out of the fridge to feed it. I check it. Does it still have bubbles? Is there hooch on top? If I see a layer of dark liquid (called "hooch") and no bubbles, this means my starter is really hungry and needs to be fed. As I get ready to feed it, I often have too much starter and I need to keep the ratios the same - equal portions of starter, flour, and water (1-1-1). If you have too much starter compared to the additional flour and water you're adding, your hungry starter consumes all the nutrients and then it's not as bubbly. Treat your starter like you would any pet in your home. It needs food, a little warmth, and some love - give it these things and it will make you all manner of yummy creations. Do you want to know if it's ready to use? You can tell by the bubbles. It will have them all over. Then you know it's ready to use. Look for the bubbles, that's your sourdough starter smiling at you saying, "I'm ready for you."
A sourdough starter has only two ingredients: flour and water. Combined with unseen organisms of bacteria and yeasts and its mysterious ability to transform food, you'll have a universe of possibilities.
Getting a Routine For Your Starter
Getting a routine for your starter is really helpful. Since I've done it for so many years, it's automatic and feeding it only takes a minute once a week. I bake weekly, sometimes twice a week, but it's always pretty easy since I use it so often. If you're struggling to keep your starter bubbly then check out my FAQ page that has all kinds of help and tips to keep your starter happy and bubbly. I have many reasons to keep my starter ready to use, and honestly I don't do well on other breads that are not fermented. I'm so very thankful for the magic of fermentation that transforms my bread and makes it not only delicious but imparts more vitamins and minerals that my body needs.
I think a lot of foods have been demonized like wheat and milk but it's not the food, it's what we've done to them. Ferment those foods and they become a completely different food that is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics too!
Extra Sourdough Starter
Here are a few of the things you can do with extra sourdough starter. A great way to use up your leftovers is waffles or pancakes, or I have three other recipes that are not only easy to make but also really delicious. Super Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies and Peppermint Sourdough Brownies are perfect for the holidays or any time. You can also make Sourdough Dumplings with extra starter and it will turn any soup into a warm, comforting meal. Don't waste your sourdough starter, put it to good use!
"It isn't bread that feeds you, it is life and the spirit that feed you through bread."Angelus Silesius