Starting Starter

Sourdough StarterI’ve been excited to bake a loaf of bread with the hard red wheat flour that I picked up at the farmers’ market last weekend.  To make it really special (or, alternatively, a total flop), I decided to give sourdough a try!

When I say sourdough, don’t assume that I mean the actually sour-flavored bread sold in stores.  That’s not a flavor I particularly covet.  In this case, what I mean is that I’m cultivating the yeast naturally present in my flours, rather than using the active dry yeast that I bought at the store and keep in my fridge.  You do this by mixing a good flour with an equal (by weight) quantity of water, and letting all the yeast and good bacteria jam while you continue to feed the mix.  I’m basing my starter on Mike’s, but I’m starting with the whole grain triticale flour that I unsuccessfully tried to bake with when I first bought it.  It’s moisture absorption is weird, but when I actually make the bread I’ll use the whole wheat flour that I want to try and, hopefully, it will all work out.  I wanted to see what kind of interesting flavor the triticale might lend.

I just mixed the starter this morning, so it will be a while before I get to actually make some bread with it.  But I’m excited, and you should be, too!  Why don’t you start your own starter?  We can try this experiment together.

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