social spark Aisling Beatha: Sourdough Starter

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sourdough Starter

When I wrote my Summer Bucket List at the weekend, I included the whole idea of starting and growing a sourdough starter.  I said, at the time that I had almost begun.  What I meant was, I had put some water to sit out for 24 hours to get rid of the chlorine.  Apparently sourdough starters do not like chlorinated water.  So, you can either leave it out uncovered for 24 hours, OR you can buy mineral water, which, you will see, is what I did later on.

I got the instruction from Gnowfglins.  They have an e-course on sourdough and lots of other naturally fermented foods.  To go with that e-course they sell a book, and on the page for the book there is a sample of the first few pages of the book to download for free.  That sample includes the basic starter instructions.  So I figured, I would get the starter going first, then either get the book or pay for the course.

Saturday evening I got the starter going.
1/4 cup water and 3/8 cup of flour.  Hmmm wonder if anyone sells a 3/8 cup measuring scoop?  I use 1 1/2 of the 1/4 cup scoop, but it would be nice to have a scoop that was the right size.
I left the jar open and covered it with a clean tea towel.

Sunday morning there didn't seem to be much happening yet, and the instructions say if nothing is happening to give it another 12 hours.  So I let it rest.

Sunday evening I fed it with 1/4 cup water and 3/8 cup flour.

This is how it looked then.


Monday morning I removed half of the starter and put it on the compost heap.
Added 1/4 cup water and 3/8 cup flour

Monday evening it didn't look like enough had happened since the morning so I gave it another rest.

This morning I fed it again, and yes the smell is there that you expect with a sourdough starter and the bubbles are there too.


Before I started:


You can see that the jar is much too big, but it is what I had.
With such a big jar there is just a small layer in the bottom of the jar, but it definitely had bubbles:


I removed half to take out to the compost bin:


Then I added the water and flour.  Hmmm, I knocked the jar over after I put the water in, so I put a bit more water and a spoon of the removed starter back in, then put todays flour in.


At this point I decided that I needed to transfer to a smaller jar and went searching in my box of jars in the shed.  YEAH I found something that I think will work.  The jar needs to hold at least 2 cups, but not too much more, this looks just right:


After transfer to the other jar, the contents looked like this:



After taking this photo I took a permanent marker and marked the jar at the level of the starter contents, so that when I come to feed it this evening I'll know how much it has grown.

Wish me luck!  And come back later in the week for an update on how well it's growing.


You can check out the Gnwoflgins sample video here:


Part 2 post now up. We have LIFE!

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