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Sourdough Starter

The pandemic craze of 2020 - raise your hand if you made it out of the pandemic without getting a dog, starting a business, or making a sourdough starter...

Starter


DAY ONE 4 oz flour

4 oz water

  1. Place in bowl and mix well

  2. Cover with towel and leave on counter

DAY TWO

4 oz flour

4 oz water

  1. Add to the existing starter and mix well

  2. Cover with towel and leave on counter

DAY THREE

4 oz starter

4 oz flour

4 oz water

  1. Take 4 ounces only of the starter, discard the rest.

  2. Add flour and water, mix well

  3. Cover with towel and or plastic wrap and leave on counter

DAY FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN

  1. Repeat day three, 3 times.

DAY EIGHT

-feel free to use the starter to make bread, or other sourdough recipes.

-you can continue feeding if all is going well and you have a good system, to grow that flavor even more.

-place in fridge in a glass container or jar with a lid, until ready to start your sourdough journey again.


INGREDIENTS


FLOUR

All flours can be used for this, I use this one for all of my baking here in Colorado. Rye flour is also a great addition to this starter. You can switch flours between feedings! If you make this starter and next time you take it out to feed you want to start with another flour that won't hurt!


WATER

Tap water can contain certain bits of chlorine, to get rid of most of it, you can set it out on the counter overnight. I always use filtered water to add to my starters, though this Colorado water is amaze right out of the tap, reminds me of that good New Hampshire water!


ADDING YEAST

If you are looking for a quick starter for a recipe and don't want the long process of feeding, watching over, or just don't want to keep a starter in your fridge; than you can add yeast to the first initial step. Day one, you will add 1/8th tsp dry yeast to the starter, continue onto step two and complete the recipe.




THE SCIENCE


Making a starter is like growing your own science experiment, it is a living thing, it's own ecosystem. I know people get very sentimental about their starter, I know I am, and if anyone threw mine away, I would murder them, jk, but not really. The fact that this is a living eco system is astounding, and the patience, and love that goes into it, makes you really want to hang on to it. There are so many factors to getting the right microbial byproducts - the air, water, flour, temperature, feeding times, and just your own two hands. It's important that we keep everything as clean as we can when we cook, bake, etc. especially in this covid world, but we don't want to cook in a sterile environment, so much of a starter depends on all these environmental factors of imperfection. I do often wonder, in the craze of the 2020 pandemic, when the world was a giant Clorox, hand sanitizer, germ free zone, and everyone was making starters, some of which didn't pan out, if this was a byproduct of things being too clean.

Ratios play an important part in getting the right consistency for the starter, normally everyone will start with a 100% hydration ratio; if you put in 4 oz flour, you will use 4 oz water. This ratio works great and eventually becomes your 1:1:1 ratio (starter, water, flour) This could however become too watery, and it depends on your environment. You may need to limit the amount of water you use lowering your ratio. Go by feel, looks, smell, and adjust accordingly. It is really hard to kill a starter, so keep feeding it and watching it.





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Meli Alexander

Chef and Creator

Meli is a professionally ​trained chef in fine dining high end resorts.  She has worked for 15 plus years through all aspects of hospitality, always pushing for perfection.  With a strong sense of creativity and passion for style, her knowledge for all things culinary is vast.  She has met people from all over the world, cooked along side some great chefs, and traveled to the best restaurants, she is here to share her stories, recipes, and more with you, in hopes that you will do the same.

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