Three things you should know about sourdough:
1. It is great for more than rustic bread and flavored pretzels in a bag.
2. It is so easy that people who thought the world was flat had no problem with it.
3. Not all sourdough is sour
Sourdough baking is basically natural yeast baking and the result is both flavorful and filling. The result can be sweet enough for making cookies or substantial enough to satisfy the most ardent night feeder. “Night Feeder”? People like me who need munchies late at night and then let their belts out in the morning. Because of that sourdough pancakes are a fantastic way to start the morning. Now I’m not a nutritionist or doctor so don’t take that as a prescription, just something that works for me.
The ingredients for sourdough are pretty simple. Flour and water for the starter then more flour and water plus salt, sugar/honey, and possibly oil or butter for the bread. As for utensils, how about a wooden spoon and an old glass pickle jar with a hole in the top? This is not rocket science and the rustic look makes the results almost always artistic. No pressure.
Want some more information about Sourdough? Try http://www.io.com/~sjohn/sour.htm
Instead of searching through my archives, here is a little article I wrote on how to make a Starter:
Making a starter is very easy but will take about a week initially with less than ten minutes of actual work. Once it is made though it can last for years with minimal care.
1. Glass or plastic container large enough for about three cups of material.
2. Wooden or plastic spoon or spatula.
3. One cup measuring devise.
1 cup Unbleached flour (Bread flour, whole wheat flour, or all purpose flour work well)
1 cup Warm water (not over 100 degrees)
1. Mix the water and flour together.
2. Place the container in a warm place. 70 to 80 degrees is great.
3. About every 24 hours throw half the starter away and add a half cup of flour and a half cup of warm water. This is called “Feeding”.
4. In about 3 or 4 days the starter will get a bubbly froth and it is done.
5. Use it or cover it and refrigerate or freeze. The cover should have a hole in it about the size of a small nail or wine cork screw.
6. If you refrigerate don’t forget to feed it one a week like in step 3 above.
7. If the starter develops a watery liquid on top just mix it in or pour it out. This is called “Hooch”. If your starter is very wet, throw the hooch away. Normally though I mix it in.