Total Calories: 208
Yield: 3 cups
1. Place the flour and water in a glass, ceramic, or plastic container and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended (it doesn’t have to be smooth). Make sure the container is large enough that the mixture can double without overflowing. Loosely cover the container with a cloth, a paper towel, or a piece of plastic that has a hole punched in it.
2. Place the container in warm spot (within a few hours, the mixture will begin to bubble). Let it sit for three or four days. During this time, it will bubble up and fall several times. It will also begin to emit a sour but pleasant aroma. If the starter turns pink or orange, or it develops an unpleasant odor, throw it out and start again.
3. The starter is ready when it has a strong yeasty smell, is slightly yellow in color, and has the consistency of pancake batter.
Helpful Guidelines . . .
When making a sourdough starter, keep the following general guidelines in mind:
* Starters can react to metal, so don’t use metal bowls, spoons, or other utensils during their preparation.
* As the starter ferments, it is normal for a clear yellowish liquid to form on top. Just stir it back into the mixture.
* If you are not going to use the starter right away, cover it with plastic wrap (punch a few holes in the plastic so the starter can breathe) and store in the refrigerator.
* A starter uses up nutrients as it ferments, so you can “feed” it to keep it active. Just add a little mixture of flour and water (about 1/2 cup of each) to the starter, and let it sit in a warm spot for 3 or 4 hours before returning it to the refrigerator. The older a starter gets the better it becomes, so it is worthwhile to keep it going.
* Each time you use some of your starter, replace it with an equal amount of flour and water to keep it going. For instance, if you use 1 cup of starter, add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water to the container. Stir it well with a wooden spoon, then let it sit in a warm spot for 3 or 4 hours. Stir it again, cover tightly, and return to the refrigerator.
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