A while back my favorite podcast (What Have You), inspired me to learn the art of making sourdough bread. The authors spoke about how they loved learning ancient art forms like weaving and sourdough bread making, and that struck a chord within me.
When Nate and I were first married, I tried to make sourdough bread but I failed before I even made one loaf. The reason? In order to make good sourdough bread, you need a good sourdough starter. You make a starter by mixing flour and water and letting it sit out and catch wild yeast while it ferments. It’s a crazy, wild, amazing, live bacteria thingy. Well, my first starter never really lived. I don’t know if there wasn’t enough yeast in the air in Wisconsin, or it was too cold, or I didn’t measure it right, or a combination of all those things, but I had no success and gave up quickly.
This time around, I was determined to get it right. I watched numerous Youtube videos and read blog posts and books before I even stepped foot in the kitchen.
I named my starter the Yeasty Beastie, because its alive, and it’s sort of my pet now. 😉
I planned on blogging about this right when I began this process, but time got away with me and life happened, and now I’ve had the Yeasty Beastie for a couple of months. I’m happy to report that he does a very good job at helping my bread rise and taste amazing. I haven’t always faithfully fed him on time, yet he never complains and keeps growing.
When I started, I fed him whole wheat flour on the first day, then bread flour the rest of the days (along with water each day, too). After about 8 days he was bubbling and smelled yeasty, so I knew it was ready. Then I tried out a few recipes until I came up with one that worked the best for us.
I hope to post my sourdough bread recipe soon, but for now I wanted to introduce you to my Yeasty Beastie. I should also add, once you have an established starter (after at least a week of feeding it and once you know it’s alive and well), you can store it in the fridge between uses.
Also, here is a rundown of how I use my starter now:
I bake bread once a week. Between bakes my Yeasty Beastie sleeps in the fridge (this slows down the fermentation process so it doesn’t have to eat as often). When I’m ready to bake I get him out of the fridge and let him rest on the counter until he’s room temp again. Then I use the amount I need for the recipe (being careful to never use it all…you always leave some to grow more), feed him the same amount of flour and water (if I use 2 cups starter for a recipe, I put back two cups of flour and 2 cup of water) and back into the fridge he goes (I hope that makes sense :D).
Hope you’re having a lovely day! Any of my readers into making sourdough bread? I’d love to hear about it! Any tips are welcome and much appreciated!