Sourdough bread isn’t just a bakery-only item. By learning how to make a basic sourdough starter, you can bake your own yummy loaves of sourdough bread and have the makings for sourdough pancakes, waffles, and rolls. Because a sourdough starter is literally a living ingredient, you will have to “feed” it and give it some TLC every few days. It may be more high-maintenance than regular yeast breads, but the fragrant, tasty result is well worth the effort.
Basic sourdough starter
- 3 cups warm water
- 1-1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl, whisk together water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside for abnout 5 minutes or until the yeast becomes foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Add the flour and stir vigorously to work air into the mixture.
- Cover bowl with a damp towel and set the bowl in a warm, draft-free place for 12 hours. The mixture will become quite bubbly.
- At this point, you can use the starter in a sourdough recipe or cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To keep starter thriving, you will either have to use at least 1 cup of the starter (or give it to a friend) and “feed” the original starter with 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water, stirring to combine. Keep starter loosely covered and refrigerated (and never seal it in an airtight container).
- When you use a portion of the starter for a recipe, replace it with equal amounts of flour and water. For example, if you use 1-1/2 cups starter, add 1-1/2 cups flour and 1-1/2 cups water to the original starter, stirring to combine.