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Friday, November 27, 2015

Sourdough Starter


I love sourdough bread because the breads and  buns that we used to get in India were always on little sour side, yet there was no such category of bread as sourdough bread there. 
Here I did not like the breads at first as I found them to be always toward sweeter side, until I tried sour dough bread and I fell in love with it. I started trying different sourdough breads. For me sour the better. So far only bread in this area that really has pleased my palate is sourdough bread from Costco.
 
I always was very curious as to how they make the sourdough bread here.  I started researching more about and it found out that you have to make the sourdough starter, you can get one ready made, or you can make it from scratch.  I decided to look in to different recipes and some called for pineapple juice, some for rye bread flour. I decided to experiment on my own with fermentation methods that we use in Indian cuisine, and made my own starter.  I am proud to say that now I have sourdough bread starter in my fridge all the time. I have used this to make sourdough bread loaf and sour dough pita bread.

So here is how I made my own sour dough starter.
You will need total of at least  4 days to come up with successful sourdough bread starter.
You will need a tall  glass or plastic airtight jar with lid,  and following ingredients:
  • 1  cup of milk
  • 2 slices of sourdough bread (I used one I buy from Costco)
  • 1 cup of all purpose or white whole wheat flour, (I used King Arthur flour)
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar 
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt (little toward sour side)
 
On day 1:
Break up the slices of sourdough bread dump the pieces in the jar.
Add milk and flour, mix well.
Add yeast to warm water and sugar., then add this mixture to jar with milk and bread pieces.
Add one cup of yogurt.
Mix well with wooden spatula and  with hand blender whisk  until smooth texture is acquired. (I used blade with the hand blender to break up lumps of bread in the mixture).  Cover the jar with lid and let it sit for 24 hour in a warm place.

On Day 2:
You will see the mixture get bubbly or may not see any changes.
Stir with wooden spatula and  mix well, cover the jar again and return it to warm place.


On Day 3: You will need following ingredients and follow these steps:
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast.
  • 1/8 cup of warm water
  • 1/4 cup of flour ( you can use either AP or white wheat flour)
  • 1/4 cup of plain sour yogurt
  • Add yeast to warm water,  add flour to the sour dough starter in jar, Mix well add water and yeast.
  • Add yogurt and mix well.
  • Cover the jar with lid and return it to warm place for another 24 hours.
On day 4 : Add 1 cup of flour to the bubbly mix, may add water if needed.
Mix well and return it to warm place of another 24 hours.

Day 5: you can use the starter to make your favorite sour dough bread loaf or sour dough pita bread (Recipe to follow next).Refrigerate the unused starter in fridge and feed it one day prior to use gain.
To feed the dough, you can take it out of fridge and discard some of the starter from top and then add one cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water, keep in the warm place for 8 hours before adding this to make the bread.
This method of feeding has worked well so far with me, I made this started in end of October and still good. Just took it out and fed it and will make sourdough pita bread again tomorrow.

Recipe adapted and modified by Surekha
from a recipes at kingarthurflour.com
Photographs by Surekha

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