Sourdough Bread Starter

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Sourdough Bread Starter
  1. I started here with 1 cup of fresh milled organic rye seed. If you don’t have your own mill you can purchase rye flour. I would recommend storing the flour in the freezer as whole grain flours can go rancid in about three days. Just make sure to let the flour sit at room temperature before using it to feed the starter.
  2. Add 1 cup of cold filtered water to make a soupy consistency.
  3. The bowl is then covered with a layer of cheesecloth so the starter can breathe. Remember, we are creating a living organism! Secure the cloth tightly with a rubber band and store in a warm, dry place, like a cupboard. This is best for fermentation!
  4. Daily, I transfer everything to a clean bowl and add 1 cup of the fresh ground rye flour and approximately 1 cup of cold filtered water, or until it is a soupy consistency. Again, if you have stored rye flour in the freezer, make sure it is room temperature before using it or it will alter your starter results.
  5. By day 3 or 4, your starter will begin to bubble at the top and smell like beer. You know by this smell that it is alive! By about day 7, the bubbles on your starter will subside and that’s when you know it’s ready to be used! Refer to my Sourdough Bread recipe for actually using the starter to make bread.
  6. To maintain your starter: If you are using it within the next couple of days, leave it out on the counter and discard half every day and feed it with new flour and water. Basically, you repeat step 4 until use. For long-term care, cover tightly and place in the fridge, remember to take it out and feed it once a week. You will need to discard approximately half and then feed it with flour and water. I also usually let the starter sit out overnight after feeding it to give the yeast time to recuperate. Continue to use rye flour to feed the starter but you can use wheat flour to bake with. Just remember, your starter is a living thing! It must be fed. I know people who have had the same starter for years. Every week you can either use, give away, or throw away about half of it.

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