How to feed your sourdough starter right!

People aren’t the only ones that appreciate kindness-Just look at my sourdough starter, only one day after concocting!  (Granted, this is highly unusual but, these days, my kitchen seems to be extremely hospitable!)Typically, a starter takes anywhere between one week and ten days to reliably rise and fall, at room temperature.

 

What’s in my starter(s)?

I use only organic flour: I usually use a 50/50 mixture of unbleached all purpose flour with whole wheat flour.  I also make other starters, using a mixture of other flours. I use a scale to weigh each flour, as I add to my container.

My 50/50 starter (below), first thing in the morning, 24 hours after a feeding.

Here (below) is my high-gluten starter.

Now, about the liquid. On an everyday basis, after removing 2/3 cup (I use a dry measure, as a scoop) of starter, I use weighed filtered water (4 ounces), and an equal weight of flour, to feed my starters.  But, (and this is what most people are wanting to learn): to start a starter from scratch, I like to use homemade fermented fruit water.

It’s easy to do. You want to use raisins and only organic ones. Nonorganic raisins (or anything else that’s not organic), that’s been treated with pesticides, herbicides, etc. to prevent the growth of bacteria, also removes the ability to allow the good bacteria (the kind that’s needed in sourdough bread) to grow and thrive. So, organic is the way to go-So either use the link provided above or look for them in the supermarket.

Anyway, fill a quart jar half full with organic raisins and cover (by an inch or so) with filtered water. Apply the lid loosely and stick in a dark place (I cover my jar with a towel and keep it in my pantry.) Every day, twice a day, uncover, screw on a bit tighter, and tilt the jar back and forth a couple of times, to rotate things. Uncover the jar and wave back and forth twice, to encourage air to enter. Recover the jar loosely and put back in its spot. Do this every day for a week or more until you see the signs of fermentation (little bubbles will rise from the bottom and you’ll see some bubbles surrounding the raisins, which will have risen to the top, now swollen with liquid.)

Then, pour the contents of the jar into a sieve, positioned over a bowl.

Although you don’t need to use fruit water to “start” your starter, doing so creates a very vibrant one, indeed! And, occasionally using this to feed your starter (mixed with filtered water) will help keep it robust and happy to perform for you. Keep whatever you don’t use initially, in a clean jar, in the refrigerator and use, for up to two weeks. (Don’t do it everyday-just like with children, this is a special treat-You don’t want your starters thinking this is their regular diet!)

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