Dear Sourdough Starter (plus a recipe!),

Beautiful sourdough baguette! Photo credit/Connie Ma

Beautiful sourdough baguette! Photo credit/Connie Ma

A few months ago, I wanted to make bread, but I had a problem: I didn’t want to buy a an $8 jar of baker’s yeast because I probably wouldn’t use most of it and the unused yeast would just die. I also didn’t want to buy some of the little packets of yeast because that’s ultimately, like, one-third of the yeast for the same amount of money.

So I had a brilliant idea: I will get myself a gooey mess of active yeast and bacteria that has to be periodically fed with flour and water lest it dies, thereby forever creating more work for myself just so I don’t have to shell out $8 for a jar of yeast.

That, my friends, is how I got a sourdough starter.

Much to my chagrin, when I started looking through sourdough recipes, I discovered that most of them still required baker’s yeast. I wasn’t going to do that for obvious reasons. The recipe below is an adaption of one of the few I found that didn’t have any added yeast. It’s relatively easy and will feed a single person for at least two, if not three days (both important qualifiers for a lazy college student).

If you want to wade into the wonderful world of sourdough starter ownership (or as I like to think of it, parenthood), you can get one from a friend, buy one online, or you could try your hand at making your own.

This recipe is adapted from one I found here.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Baguettes
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  1. --1 cup whole wheat flour
  2. --1 cup white flour
  3. --1/2 cup warm tap water
  4. --1 teaspoon salt
  5. --1 cup sourdough starter
  1. Combine all ingredients and mix 'em together. I start with the flour and then add the wet stuff, but don't let a set of instructions dictate what you do!
  2. The dough should be a li'l bit sticky, so if it's dry add a bit more water.
  3. Start kneading away!
  4. Cut the dough in half, then form it into two slug-shaped loaves that are 5 or 6 inches long. Place on a greased cookie sheet.
  5. Cover with a towel and let the dough rise for at least 12 hours. The warmer the dough is, the better.
  6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
  1. BONUS: try adding herbs and spices to your dough! My favorites are rosemary/garlic, rosemary/parmesan and olive.
Adapted from Cultures for Health
Dear Food

Bianca is an almost-graduate of George Fox University. She is an amateur mycologist, fermento and pepperhead, and she could really go for a cup of coffee right about now.

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