Using organic whole wheat flour and water, you can easily culture your own sourdough starter from scratch. Organic flour naturally contains plenty of wild yeasts. In culturing a sourdough starter, you are simply providing an environment in which those wild yeasts can thrive and reproduce. Below is a step-by-step process to produce a starter that you can use in making all kinds of sourdough, including breads, bagels, pizza dough, pancakes and waffles.
Ingredients and Supplies
- 1/2 cup room-temperature, purified water. Be careful not to use chlorinated water because it may hinder the growth of your sourdough culture.
- 1/2 cup freshly ground organic whole wheat flour.
- Plastic wrap
- Clean, half-gallon glass jar
1. In the half-gallon jar, combine 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup water. Cover the jar with plastic wrap and let it sit 3-5 days until you begin to see bubbles forming on top of the mixture.
2. Once you see bubbles, discard all but 1/4 cup of the mixture. The jar may have a lot of dried starter on the side by this time, so you may want to transfer the 1/4 cup of mixture into a clean, room-temperature half-gallon jar. Feed the mixture by adding 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup room-temperature, purified water.
3. Once a day, discard all but 1/4 cup of the starter and feed it by adding 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup room-temperature, purified water. Continue to do this daily until the yeast can double in size within 4-6 hours. One way to keep track of the results is to mark the outside of the jar with a permanent marker immediately after feeding your starter. Then you can easily compare its growth to its original volume. When it becomes vigorous enough to double in size within 4-6 hours, the starter is ready to use in making breads, bagels, pancakes, waffles and other recipes.