10 October 2010
For this receipt you can use any flour, here I use rye to get the most sourness out of my starter. There are different methods of starting the sourdough culture, but I prefer this easy receipt from the book 'Wild Fermentation' by Sandor Katz. He uses double of the amounts indicated below. I use just half as I find it enough for our small household, plus it fits perfectly into my 1 liter jar that subsequently perfectly fits into my fridge.
250 ml (1 cup) water (preferably filtered)
250 g (1 cup) rye flour
2 organic unwashed grapes (optional) or 2 tbsp starter (if making for someone and already have a starter of your own)
Preparation time: around 7 days
Mix all the ingredients in a glass jar, stir very well and cover with the cheese cloth. Place the jar in a warm spot, I usually keep it on the counter close to the stove. Check on the mixture as often as you think of it, but at least daily, and stir it vigorously. This will distribute yeast activity and stimulate the process.
After 2-3 days you will notice tiny bubbles releasing at the surface of the mixture (please do not confuse them with the bubbles that appear after you vigorously stir the mixture). This is the indication that the yeast is active. If this doesn't happen after 3-4 days place it in a warmer spot.
Once you see the yeast is active, remove the grapes and start adding 2 tbs of flour every day for the next 3-4 days. Here you can use any flour even cooked oatmeal, because you are now feeding the starter.
Once your starter is ready you can use it straight away and keep it on the counter and feed it 2 tbs of flour + 2 tbs of water every day if you regularly bake or if you bake occasionally, like me, once a week or less you can store the starter tightly closed in the fridge. In this case you just need to feed the starter once a week usually after you used it with 2 tbs of flour + 2 tbs of water.
For the further information and maintenance of the sourdough starter please visit this The Definitive Guide to Sourdough .. by another blogger.
Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments.