When I was a lot younger than I am now, my mom was given some sourdough starter and she made copious amounts of sourdough bread. One of the best things in the world? Taking a piece of still-warm sourdough bread and burring your nose in it. Trust me.
Then the plague hit Mom’s starter and all those yummy beasties died.
I’ve tried a couple of different starters on my quest to reclaim the childhood sourdough experience and none of them have had the oomph to make the bread rise properly. They tasted pretty good but it just wasn’t the same.
Science experiment time!
Yogurt Sourdough Starter
- 1 cup milk–I used skim cause that’s all we had but the recipe said any kind of milk, even butter milk.
- 1 cup plain yogurt–I used Greek style cause that’s what we had. Sensing a trend?
- 1 cup flour
Mix the milk and yogurt in something other than a metal container and put a lid on it but don’t let it completely seal since if things work right, the biproduct of this happy union will be gas–CO2–and you don’t want your container to explode or anything; that would be messy. Let that sit on your counter for 24 hours. I put mine next to the coffee pot where it’s a bit warmer.
After those 24 hours, dump in the flour and give it all a good stir. You’ll stir your starter everyday for the next 3-5 days. If it bubbles and smells a bit like bread and beer then you’ve succeeded! I suggest you name your starter…but maybe that’s just me. If there are no bubbles then you’ve failed and it’s probably a good thing after all that you didn’t give your starter a name.
Your starter is ready to use! Keep it in the fridge and feed it with a couple of tsp of milk or flour once a week unless you need a lot of starter and then you’d add more “food.”
But use in what, you ask?
Easy Sourdough Bread
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups sourdough starter
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
Dump your ingredients in a bowl and either hand mix or use a stand mixer w/the dough hook attachment. The end result is the same: dough that’s come together to form a ball and isn’t making out with the sides or bottom of the bowl.
Wash your bowl, add a bit of oil and plop in your dough–turning it over once so it all gets coated with oil. Cover it with plastic wrap or a couple of damp hand towels and set it aside for about an hour and a half–you want it to have doubled in volume.
Once the dough has risen, add a bit of flour to your counter and dump out the dough. You’re going to knead the dough but not like you normally knead dough. The point here is to remove as many air bubbles as you can. Once you’ve gotten the big bubbles out, form it into a ball and cover it with a towel and let it rest on the counter for about an hour.
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and put your bread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Slash the top and spray it lightly with water–that makes the top crusty and awesome. The bread should bake for an hour.
Let it cool for 30 minutes if you can.