October 12, 2009
Sourdough Starter Day 3 - It's bubbling!
I have wanted to make my own sourdough bread for a while now. Finally got motivated over the weekend and decided to try Sandor Ellix Katz's recipe for sourdough starter from his book Wild Fermentation.
Sandor's recipe is very simple: combine 2 cups of whole rye flour and 2 cups of filtered water in a medium-size bowl, and mix well. Then add a few pieces of unwashed, organic grapes or berries (fruit with an edible skin - the "bloom" on the skin provides beneficial yeasts and bacteria to get the fermentation started). I stirred in 7 organic green grapes (I have a somewhat unfounded belief that 7 is my lucky number). Then cover the bowl with cheesecloth, so air can freely circulate but flies, etc., can't get in, and leave in a warm spot (mine is sitting on top of the fridge). Stir vigorously each day, and in about a week the starter should be ready for bread-baking.
When I checked my starter this morning, it was bubbling (I guess the 7 grapes worked!) so I think it's alive! With additional luck from the fermentation fairies, I will be baking sourdough bread this weekend. Sandor's book has a recipe for an onion-caraway rye sourdough that looks really good, so I'm planning to try that.
Note: I checked on the starter later in the day and it was even more bubbly and fruity-smelling. Then I looked at the recipe again and saw that the fruit should be removed once yeast activity is apparent. (So I might have left the fruit in a little too long.) I removed the grapes with a slotted spoon and fed the starter with 2 Tbsp of rye flour, stirring well. I'll continue to feed it with a couple of tablespoons of flour every day for the next few days until it is ready to bake with.