A Mom's Guide to Saving on Groceries


Sour Dough Starter

 This is so easy, it’ll only take a minute.  But first, going back to the characteristics of yeast:  the only thing you need to keep in mind as you go on from here is that the yeast is alive.  Until you cook it, or at least it should be.  To keep it that way, you will need to feed the little guys.  More on that at the end of the recipe. 

 To start:

2 ½ cups bread flour (I like to put a little whole wheat in there)

2 ½ cups water

1 packet of yeast

3 tbsp. of sugar

 Okay, stir that up into a thick batter, and make sure you put into a really large container.  Keep in a warm part of the kitchen for 5 days, stirring every day.  When the liquid comes to the top, stir it in.  One whiff of that stuff told me it was alcohol, a by-product of yeast metabolizing the sugar.  I’m guessing this is how people must have discovered alcohol, but whatever possessed them to take a swig of it is beyond me. 

Anyway, after 5 days, it’s ready!  It should smell yeasty and sour, not BAD.  It should also contain bubbles. 

Here’s something interesting from the Mad Scientist’s Lab: 

When I made my starter, I used quick rise yeast because that’s what I had on hand.  The first thing that happened was that it quickly exceeded the boundaries of my smallish container.  Hence the admonition to use a LARGE one.  Big mess…. 

The second thing that happened was that the starter took on the qualities of the quick rise yeast!  In the past, I found that starter took forever to rise, but this one just goes to town.  Apparently, the quick rise yeast are a whole different strain, and they just make more of themselves.

Okay, care and feeding: When you use your starter, you will make a sponge.  It’s an extra step, but necessary to keep your starter going.  Otherwise, it’ll just get used up. I’ll put the recipe for sourdough bread up in a day or two, in time for you to use your starter. 

Meanwhile, if you do not use your starter right away once it’s done, add a little sugar and flour, stir it up, and keep it in the refrigerator.  Once your starter is done, you will always keep it there, in a jar.  It won’t rise much in there, all of the explosive action happens the first day.  Just feed it about every 5 days, and you are good to go.




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