What is it?
The sourdough "starter" is a mixture of flour and water that naturally collects yeast and bacteria. It is part of the bread making process called "pre-ferment".
Making your own sourdough is very easy, the only ingredients you need are water, flour and a few days. The microorganisms will do the work for you.
Once you have it, making bread, banana bread and pancakes of all kinds will be absolutely delicious for your body and mind.
What kind of flour?
It is best to use a flour that contains at least 10% protein. The starter will be more active.
How to make it?
The following process takes about 7 days. It consists of mixing flour and water in a jar, waiting for it to start fermenting, then removing part of the mixture and adding water and flour in the same proportions to "feed" the starter, which will then become more and more active, day after day.
With the lid open or closed?
The jar should be covered to protect the sourdough but not completely closed to let it "breathe".
Mix 50 g water with 50 g flour in a large glass jar.
Keep it at room temperature for approximately 24 hours.
Add 100 g water and 100 g flour, mix well.
When the starter starts to become active, keep ~100 g of the activated mixture and set the rest (~200 g) aside. Add 100 g of water and 100 g of flour. Mix well.
Repeat the operation the following days.
The set aside part
We use the set aside part to make delicious pancakes. Though if the sourdough taste is too strong, mix it with a little flour and water.
How to keep it alive?
The starter, to stay alive and active, needs to be fed. The best way to feed it is to use it. If we take a part of the sourdough, we add the same weight as the part taken. Let's say that if we took 200 g to make a sourdough bread, we will add 100 g of water and 100 g of flour to our sourdough to keep it happy.
By being stored in a cool environment (a fridge), the fermentation process slows down and the sourdough can live for ~10 days without being fed.
To keep it alive without using it, just remove a small amount from the jar and replace it with fresh water and flour. But it's better to use it, isn't it?