By: Mary Walsh
Sourdough bread is usually included among the favorites of many bread connoisseurs around the world. Novice bakers find it difficult to capture the intense and deep flavor present in Sourdough breads. It also takes considerable practice in creating the perfect sourdough breads.
They say that sourdough bread likely originated around 1500 BC in Ancient Egypt. It became the main bread consumed in Northern California during the Gold Rush period. There are several regions, such as San Francisco, that's known for producing the best sourdough in today's market. In fact, sourdough bread is very much a part of San Francisco's culture. It's the perfect bread to partner with soups such as chili, cioppino and clam chowder, as well as most seafood dishes.
But the thing is, you could make your individual version of sourdough bread right inside your very own kitchen. It's not as hard as it sounds. You'll only need two ingredients, flour & water. Unbleached bread flour is recommended for starting bakers but you also try using flours made of whole-wheat & rye. You could also use organically grown flour if you want. You'll also be needing a clear glass jar big enough to hold in all the mixture.
Here are the directions to creating your very own sourdough starter:
First Day: Cleanse jar thoroughly. Put 1 c of your choice flour & 1 c of water into your jar then stir the mixture. Use a plastic or wooden spoon for this. Don't attempt using your metal spoon. Find any damp clean towel then use this to cover your jar. Store jar in any warm place. Ideal temperature is somewhere around 70 - 80 deg. Fahrenheit.
Second Day: All you need to do is to take care that your jar is still securely in its place. Bubbles may appear inside your jar, but don't worry about this.
Third Day: Open your jar & observe that there might be a bit of a sour smell. Don't be alarmed. This is normal. Now throw away 1/2 of your mixture. Add 1/2 c of lukewarm water and 1/2 c of the flour to your mixture then stir it well. Next, cover your container again then return it to its original location.
Fourth to Seventh Day: Do the third step in Days 4 to 7. Throw away 1/2 of your mixture and add fresh water and flour to your jar again.
By the seventh day, the container should be already filled with bubbles. The expansion in its volume indicates that your starter can now be used. You could now use this mixture for baking your very own sourdough bread, or store it for future use