Thursday, May 17, 2012

Caring for your Sour Dough Starter

Sour Dough Starter is a living bacteria, so it needs the same as anything to live, water food, and air to live and grow strong. I normally feed mine 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water daily, of more depending on how much I am using it.

It's YOUR starter! So you need to find what works best for you! If you bake regularly(daily and several times a week), leave yours out at room temperature and feed daily, if not so regularly put in the fridge and feed weekly or when ever you bake with it, replacing what you take.
Good homes for your starter are containers that your bug can breath in, crock pots, glass Jars, Tupperware containers ( Tupperware being the only plastic that I would recommend) You can cover the top with a cloth, paper towel, and loose fitting lid, what ever works for you, during the winter I often don't cover might with anything, as it reminds me to feed and stir it.
Also giving the bug a new/clean home once a month. You don't need to be too finicky with this, but don't leave it too long.
Changing your starter Base
So you have a whole wheat starter and want a rye starter for a particular recipe. Here's what you do, you could make a brand new starter. But the easiest, quickest way is.

Take 2 Tbs of your Starter and put it into a clean jar, add 2 tbs of rye flour and 2 tbs of water stir and leave in a warm area for 2 hours, after that add another 2 tbs of rye flour and water, leave for another two hours continuing the process until you have just over 1 cup of starter. You don't have to be strict about the two hours if you have something to do and it's longer before the next feed don't worry, just don't feed before the 2 hours. Once you have 1 cup of starter you can then feed the start 1 cup flour and 1 cup water. If in a hurry every two hours or daily, Again what ever works for you!

You now have a Rye Starter and can make that Rye recipe that you have be wanting to try. :)

Ok when looking into Sour Dough along the way you may run into the advice of not letting anything metal touch your starter . This is true of all metals except stainless steal. Now I don't recommend using stainless steel for your starters home, but using spoons, mixing bowls and other stainless steel utensils is fine.

Now if you have forgotten about your starter for a a little while and think you may have killed it, try feeding it every couple of hours before throwing it out. You may be surprised to see it come back to life, if you get no reaction then it probably is dead, but they are pretty resilient, so worth checking first.

Hope that Helps.
Mathewson's Cultures

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