July 20, 2008

start your own starter

I've been selfish. I've been making sourdough recipes left and right and I've never shared with you how to make your own Eb. I apologize.


I know there are several different types of sourdough starter out there, like that darn Herman, for example. Some take a lot more effort than others, both in making the starter and maintaining it.


This one's easy. With attention, you can keep this baby going for a long time. Plus, it apparently gathers wild yeast from the air and therefore gets better and better.


A lot of people are surprised to learn that you can use sourdough starters in both traditional plan-ahead rise-and-knead breads and quick, batter breads.


This particular starter is very versatile. And powerful. And hard to kill, which I find most advantageous.

Sourdough Starter
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 package (2-1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
3 tablespoons instant potato flakes

Starter Feeder and Bread

To make starter:
Mix water, sugar, yeast, and potato flakes. Let ferment on counter for two days. Then feed with starter feeder and continue with the instructions found in the link above.

UPDATE: Eb lives in the fridge until feeding time, which can be anywhere from 3 to 14 days after his last meal. (I've actually gone longer than two weeks without feeding him and he still did fine.) Upon feeding, he sits on the counter for about 8 hours, and then he's ready to go.


The most important step of all--name your new creation. Seriously. You'll form a stronger connection that way.


May your dough be sour and your bread delicious. That is all.

37 comments:

Peter M said...

IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE!

THanks for sharing, I've been curious about my own starter...filed under Amzing Grace's Starter.

Ann said...

I'm really jealous. Someday, when I have a decently insulated and calibrated oven, I will go back to regular bread baking. In the meantime, I just seeth with envy. :-)

Elle said...

Grace, you must be reading my mind! I was just reading a cookbook last night and a recipe like this was in there. I was thinking I should start one, and since you say yours is hard to kill--I'm going with this one.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Wow, Eb is a big boy. :o

I need to just do this already. Certainly sounds like an easy enough thing to get going. And hard to kill is good for me, lol

noble pig said...

I love that your starter is in a fancy trifle dish...it's so cool...your cup runneth over.

Lori said...

Yowie! I've been so jealous of all your great sourdough recipes and just had no idea how to get a starter. Thank you so much! I'll be making one of my own. Harvey, I think I'll call him.

Sandy said...

I love that - name your creation. It does become rather beastly, hanging over the edge like that.
WHAT'S GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES there Grace? :0

Brenda said...

I just recently found your blog and have been devouring all the wonderful recipes and saw the mention of sourdough. I was hoping you'd post a starter recipe. Couple questions...once done growing, where does it live? Counter or fridge? And how often does it need to eat?

Indigo said...

Is it strange that I really want my own sourdough starter to name? Not to, you know, start sourdough. Just to name. And maybe talk to when I'm in the house on my own. How I envy you your Eb...

Grace said...

brenda:
i've updated the post with answers to your questions, but just to reiterate--eb lives in the fridge unless he's eating, and he gets fed every 3 to 14 days (give or take). let me know if you have any more questions!

mindy said...

Rawk! So, that's the 2nd time I've read about Eb, and it's high time I got, uh, started...

You know, it would just be so much easier if you could just toss some in the mail to me! ;)

LisaRene said...

Thanks for sharing with us how to clone Eb! I have thought about keeping another starter after my previous one got a bit sick and was dumped down the garbage disposal :( It is a bit like caring for another pet!

LyB said...

I really need to stop procrastinating and make me some starter! Thanks so much for sharing Grace, you're the best! :)

carmencooks said...

awesome! sourdough starter! i've been curious about trying it out myself.

Rayrena said...

Ah man! Like I need another project to take on! I can barely keep my dogs alive...

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Ack! That starter looks a little scary! ;) If I had all that beautiful starter in my house, I would want to bake bread all the time. Then, I'd need to buy all new clothes, because mine wouldn't fit anymore.

Paula said...

It's a pleasure to meet Eb! Long ago I had a starter, but I didn't name it. Now I know better! Thanks for sharing this!

KJ said...

amazing. i would love to try this.

by the way, your starter looks like its about to crawl off into corner and start plotting the takeover of the world. i suggest keeping a close eye on it.

giz said...

I've always been curious about where these sourdough starters actually start. The trifle dish is especially fancy for this beast that could take over a city.

Time is a precious thing these days but once settled down, this is tagged and will for sure become an obsession.

jodycakes said...

ewwwwwwwwwwwww...I can't wait to make my own...thank you so much
jodycakes

Krysta said...

i was hoping you were going to post a starter recipe. i have so many things i want to make and didn't know how to begin. i wanted to to start with a recipe with somebody i trusted rather than something pulled off google.

Pam said...

That is one lively starter. Unfortunately I killed mine. I kept it alive for almost a year and a half, and then didn't feed it for too long!

The Blonde Duck said...

Peter M stole my comment. My first thought when I saw the yeast overflowing was "It's alive!" Drat, he beat me to it. This sounds like it would make perfect bread for tasty sandwiches and by itself, of course.

My Sweet & Saucy said...

Those photos are way too funny! I love the last one!

Leslie said...

Attack of the killer yeast!LOL

On your comment on my rice pudding...Hell no my kids didnt eat it! Its something new..of course they hate it!

Kevin said...

A sour dough starter sounds like fun!

Lorraine E said...

I love how puffed up and spilling over the edge it became. Thanks so much for the starter recipe, I love sourdough but have never made it (I'd always thought that the sourdough involved a bit of magic and witchery or something along those lines :lol: )

Marilyn said...

Grace, that is one lovely monster starter, and you can only make killer bread with a monster like that. You and Eb make a fine pair!

Emiline said...

I'm going to have to try this sometime...maybe this fall.

I can't forget about your event. Don't let me forget! I like you so I really want to enter. I know this is boring, but I'm thinking ice cream. It sounds so good right now.

Sophie said...

I loove loove sourdough. I've actually had the chance to try San Francisco sour dough bread; I'm a huge fan. I've heard about the gathering yeast from the air part, that's so cool! :)

Julie said...

I totally need to do this. I don't know why I resist. Glad you posted about it.

peuryan said...

Fantastic! I am just now making my own starter - I'm using the recipe from my favorite bread book 'The Bread Baker's Apprentice'. If you are into baking bread, I seriously recommend you take a look. His technical approach is very informative. I can't wait to see some pictures of the sourdough loaf you make!

Deborah said...

I am going to do this one day. Maybe not today - but I WILL do it!

descentintodessert said...

this totally reminds me of "the beast" in kitchen confidential. but you are wayyyy more in control!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I have been wanting to start my own starter. Now I'm set to start growing some 'kudzu' in the kitchen.

EAT! said...

What a great science experiment. I think I may be afraid that the starter would take over my kitchen. It will be fun to see if it does.

Min said...

Okay. Taste & Create XVI is on! Should I cover the starter while it's on the counter?? Wish me luck!