Last year we were on a really tight budget for a while, so I started to make Sour Dough Bread as it was really cheap, filling and lasted ages in the cupboard. A beautiful friend of mine was successfully making it, so I was lucky enough to get starter from her. Hubby loved it, and would eat it straight from the oven, dripping with butter, or he would make piles of cheese toasties from it.
He asked me a few days ago if I would make it again, so today I have made a start on my starter. I got the instructions from the wonderful ladies at Above Rubies. Because I have a smaller family I have adapted it a bit to suit my family size, and I just use good ole wholemeal flour from the supermarket.
Firstly steralise a bowl (I just use it straight from the dishwasher while its still hot or you can pour boiling water over it). Add a cup of wholemeal flour and a cup of pure water.
I had no wholemeal flour so I made a mad dash to the supermarket. Then they had no 5kg bags so had to go a small bag until the bigger ones come in!
Keep it on the kitchen bench covered with a breathable cloth. I had no cheesecloth so I 'borrowed' one of the baby's muslin cloths to cover mine with! I am not sure if this is enough to let it breathe properly, so I'll probably give it time during the day without the cloth. Everyday, for seven days, swap it into a new clean steralised bowl and add a half cup of water and a half cup of flour. The purpose for swapping into a new bowl is to make sure you don't catch any bad yuccies that will kill it.
After seven days the starter should be bubbly and smell really sour and yeasty. It does settle and get a film of water over the top each day - thats OK - just stir.
Don't ever use metal in your starter - it will kill it. Stir with a wooden spoon and use ceramic or glass bowls.
Once your starter is ready, switch it into a clean bowl - this is where it will now live. Clean its bowl once a month, and feed it daily with a half cup of flour and a half cup of water.
If my starter lives, I will post a recipe on how to make the bread. Fingers crossed in seven days I have nice yeasty starter and not dead smelly gloop!!