May 9th, 2011 by Lisa
In How to Bake a Perfect Life, the main character Ramona has a sourdough starter, also known as a mother dough, that her ancestor carried from Ireland in 1845. Upon doing additional research on making a sourdough starter, I read the best way to do it is with a successful starter. You can get an 1847 Oregon Trail Sourdough Starter just by sending in a self-addressed stamped envelope to CarlsFriends.net. For more tips and techniques for starting your own mother dough, visit SourdoughHome.com
I have never tried making my own sourdough starter so I was excited to give it a try. I used the recipe in How to Bake a Perfect Life (thanks to the author, Barbara O’Neal who let me reprint it here). The recipe says to use a 2 quart container. I almost had to use something smaller, but luckily I found my 2 quart glass jar… this recipe really expands! I was a little concerned about the brown liquid that was forming on the top, but it turns out this is normal. It is due to the natural alcohol produced by the yeasts. Just stir the liquid into the starter before refreshing the sourdough.
Sourdough Starter Recipe
- 2 cups potato water (water in which potatoes have been boiled)
- 1/2 cup rye flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 2 teaspoons dry yeast
- In a 2 quart jar, mix the water, flours and yeast until smooth.
- Cover loosely with cheesecloth and let stand in a warm spot, stirring every 24 hours, until bubbly and sour, usually 4-10 days. Taste it everyday to know how it is progressing.
- When it is ready, store loosely in the fridge, refreshing it once a week by placing half the starter in a clean jar and adding 1 cup water and 1 cup white flour. Let it stand overnight before returning it to the refrigerator.
Maybe my progeny will be making bread from my sourdough starter for years to come!
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