Do you know how simple it is to make a sourdough starter??! I made my sourdough starter from an apple in 2005. It is still going strong after nearly 7 years! All you need to do is feed it with some flour and water every 2-3 weeks – easier than looking after a goldfish!
Sourdough starter are not only good for making sourdough bread. I add my sourdough starter to almost EVERY loaf of bread I make. I find it to be the best natural “flour conditioner” because it tends to stop the bread from drying out. I find a loaf of bread made with only commercial yeast tends to keep for around 3-4 days. With the addition of a small amount of sourdough starter, a loaf of bread can keep for at least an entire week!
To make this sourdough starter from apple, you’ll need:
- 1 apple
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 6-8 tablespoons of boiled then cooled water
Follow these steps:
- Core and chop the apple finely (use a food processor if you have one).
- Put chopped apple, sugar and water into a 1.5 liter or larger transparent container that has a lid.
- Open the lid every day for 3-7 days until lots of bubbles appear and the mixture smells strongly of ripe apple. (The time it takes will depend on the season and environment.)
- Note down the volume of your apple mixture. Add the same volume of high grade flour to the mixture and roughly stir to mix. Cover with a lid and leave for 24 hours.
- Add to the mixture, the same volume of flour you added the previous day. Also add the same volume of water and mix. Cover with lid and leave for 24 hours.
- Repeat step 5 until the mixture is full of bubbles.
When the mixture if full of bubbles, the sourdough starter is ready to be used. Keep feeding the starter with flour and water at a volume ratio of 2:1 (i.e. 1 cup flour to 1/2 cup water). When you feed the starter, don’t bother mixing it too much. The mixture only needs to be roughly stirred and lumpy. Note the time it takes for the volume of the starter to peak and this is your sourdough starter’s rise time. Keep feeding flour and water every rise time cycle or longer until you have enough for the recipe plus one cup left over. (Mine starter has a rise time of 6 hours but I don’t bother feeding it more than once a day.) Keep the left over sourdough in the fridge when you don’t use it*. Whenever you want to use it, take it out of the fridge to return to room temperature, feed it with 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water every rise time cycler longer until you have enough for your recipe plus one cup left over. Return the left over cup of starter to the fridge until you next want to use it.
* The sourdough can keep for 3 weeks in the fridge without feeding. If you do not use it for more than 3 weeks, take it out of the fridge at 3 weeks, feed with 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water. Let it raise till it peaks in volume and put it back in the fridge.