Some 25 years ago, I received this recipe and some starter from a good friend, who is now a neighbor. I use it to make many loaves of the Sourdough French Bread (recipe also in Recipe Finder).
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
- In a covered 4-qt. glass, ceramic or plastic container, mix flour and yeast. Gradually stir in warm water until smooth. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel; let stand in a warm place 2-4 days or until mixture is bubbly, sour smelling and a clear liquid has formed on top. (Starter may darken, but if starter turns another color or develops an offensive odor or mold, discard and start over.)
- Cover tightly and refrigerate starter until ready to use. To keep starter alive, use and replenish, or nourish starter, once every 1-2 weeks.
- To use and replenish starter:
- Stir to blend in any liquid on top. Remove amount of starter needed; bring to room temperature before using. For each 1/2 cup starter removed, add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup warm water to the remaining starter and stir until smooth. Cover loosely and let stand in a warm place 1-2 days or until light and bubbly. Stir; cover tightly and refrigerate.
- To nourish starter:
- Remove half of the starter. Stir in equal parts of flour and warm water; cover loosely and let stand in a warm place 1-2 days or until light and bubbly. Stir; cover tightly and refrigerate. Yield: about 3 cups.
Originally published as Sourdough Starter in Best of Country Breads 2000, p53
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