Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sourdough Starter Tips

About every 3-4 weeks, you will want to change the jar that you keep your starter in because the starter on the sides of the jar will begin to go bad.  If you notice a putrid smell coming from your jar, do not throw away your starter.  Chances are that you just need to change your jar.  If you pour your starter into a clean jar and it still smells off, throw all but half a cup away, and feed your starter.  It will get active and bubbly and smell fine by morning.

Here's how my jar looks after two weeks.

Remember to feed your starter daily. In the hot summer months, you may need to feed it twice a day to freshen it up because the warm weather makes it sour faster and go bad faster. The more you feed it, the less sour it will be.

Sometimes your starter will look dark and watery if you have missed a feeding or two.  No worries.  Just feed it and keep it going.  You may want to feed it again a few hours later.

Give your starter at least 10-12 hours to sour (after the last feeding) before you make your bread.  Otherwise your bread will not have much flavor.  If you like it really sour, let it sit longer. :)

Never use all your starter.  Always leave at least half a cup in the bottom so that you don't have to go through the process of making your starter again.

As I said in my first post, I do not measure my water and flour when I feed my starter.  I just use a wooden spoon and put a few scoops of rye four in my jar, and then hold the jar under the faucet and add some water.  I mix it up really good, and that's it! :) 

If you are going on vacation and need to refrigerate your starter, feed it first before you refrigerate it.  When you take it out, feed it again.  Then wait until the next day to use it.

I grind rye berries about once a week and fill a container with the flour.  I keep the container of ground rye flour in my freezer to prevent it from going rancid.  I get my rye berries in 25# bags from Country Life Natural foods.

Any questions? :)

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