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.
- --1 cup whole wheat flour
- --1 cup white flour
- --1/2 cup warm tap water
- --1 teaspoon salt
- --1 cup sourdough starter
- 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!
- The dough should be a li'l bit sticky, so if it's dry add a bit more water.
- Start kneading away!
- 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.
- Cover with a towel and let the dough rise for at least 12 hours. The warmer the dough is, the better.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
- BONUS: try adding herbs and spices to your dough! My favorites are rosemary/garlic, rosemary/parmesan and olive.