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Sour Dough Starter

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2 cups flour
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups lukewarm water
3 tablespoons sugar

With a wooden spoon, in a large mixing bowl that IS NOT metal, stir together dry ingredients. Gradually add lukewarm water. Stir until mixture resembles a smooth paste.

Cover with a towel and set in a warm place (85 degrees) to sour. Stir mixture several times a day. In two to three days, sourdough will be ready. Store in a heavy plastic or glass container in the refrigerator; cover loosely or make a hole in the cover to allow gas to escape.

To make a batter for a favorite sourdough recipe, take 1 cup sourdough starter and combine with 1 cup flour and 1 cup lukewarm water. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Don't worry about lumps--fermentation will dissolve them. Cover with a towel and set in warm location for several hours before adding to recipe. To replenish starter, add equal portions of flour and water and cover (for example, if you remove 1 cup of starter, replenish with 1 cup flour and 1 cup water). Let starter stand in a warm (85 degrees) location overnight.

If starter isn't replenished in this manner at least once a week, add 1/2 cup each of lukewarm water and flour to container of sourdough. Mix together; leave out of refrigerator overnight, covered. Next morning, stir, cover, and return to refrigerator.

Occasionally, pour all of the starter into a mixing bowl and wash the storage container to remove flour build-up

Pairs Well With


This recipe doesn't call for actual baking. However, it provides you with a tool--your own sourdough starter--you can use to bake many wonderful recipes in the future. In pioneer days, everyone kept a precious starter tucked away in a crock, ready to provide leavening for the day's baking. The pioneers relied on nature to deposit yeast spores in their starter; fortunately, you can use commercial yeast to get your starter going. Makes about three cups

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