Since we are pretty much on lockdown, it’s been a bit weird. I haven’t had my husband home this much since I don’t know when. Sometimes its been a little cramped, sharing space all day everyday, but it makes one appreciate the freedom of running an errand.
I’m working on my anxious feelings. I didn’t realize how anxious I make myself. Those feelings I should be doing something every second of the day or I’m wasting time. I’m working on appreciating more of the little things. Taking time to feel, smell, breathe. Feeling the sun on my skin, the smell of fresh baked cookies, the first sip of that dark, delicious brew in the morning. Trying to slow down, it’s not been easy. At all.
But I’ve been trying to take my own advice. Stay away from the news, keep busy, allow myself to enjoy the time Covid19 has given me. The dog is loving the walks, he has a huge yard to run in freely but he knows his boundaries, to be able to leave the yard has gotten his nose all worked up! I’m cooking and baking regularly. Real meals, not just packaged.
I started a sourdough starter for bread, pancakes, cinnamon rolls, etc. It’s doing it’s thing, fermenting and bubbling, I am hoping it will be ready by the weekend. Super easy to do. 2 ingredients, flour and water. That’s it!
I used 3/4 C All Purpose Flour and 1/2 C water. Mix it together with a wooden or plastic spoon in a clean plastic or glass container. Make sure it is big enough for the starter to grow into and expand. If possible, stay away from using metal with your starter, there is a possibility the acid from the starter could react with the metal. It’s going to be a super sticky dough at this point. Cover it loosely and let it sit 24 hours (at about 75 degrees F) to “do it’s thang”.
Day 2 will begin the “Feeding Stage”. Your starter may start making a few bubbles by day 2 or 3, it should smell yeasty and fresh, maybe even a bit sweet. It may take a couple days to get to this point depending on your conditions, that’s ok. At this point you will feed your starter daily with 3/4 C flour and 1/2 C water, stir until a smooth batter is formed. Cover again and let her sit another day. You are going to keep up this process until it starts smelling a bit sour and pungent and has quite a lot of bubbles, almost frothy looking. It should also start growing in volume and feel looser when it is stirred. You can taste it, it should taste sour and vinegary.
Usually about day 5 or 6 it should be ready to use. You will then be entering the “Maintaining Stage”. In this stage you won’t need to continue bulking the starter up, so you will have “discards” or starter to use in your baking. Or maybe to give away to friends and family whether they want it or not!
To maintain, remove about half of the starter to use or discard. Feed with 3/4 C flour and 1/2 C water and stir vigorously. Cover and store. Do this daily. If you want to slow the process down because you aren’t baking as much, you can store it in the refrigerator, just remember to feed it once a week. When you are ready to use the starter again, let it sit out overnight to warm up and become active again. Another option is to decrease the amount of starter you have by decreasing the amount you are feeding, resulting in less to use or discard. You should be able to go a couple days this way without discarding or baking.
If you want to know how to adapt a recipe for your starter use, Cultures for Health has some good info. If you have any great websites to share ideas on how to use my starter, drop me a comment! I’m going to have a lot of starter to use, so stay tuned for my first bake!