Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sourdough Starter

My husband will sometimes have me purchase him food that he doesn't always get too.  There are times I wish I had a dog to share his leftovers with as they just hit the trash after a few days.  The milk went bad earlier last week.  So what do I do with sour milk?  I make sourdough starter.  Thank you Mr. Howard.

In eighth grade I had a wonderful science teacher by the name of Mr. Howard.  One of our science labs was about culturing healthy and beneficial bacterias, in this case an edible yeast.  Yeast in the blood is a bad thing, yeast on the body also is bad.  Yeast created by soured milk and flour gives you sourdough starter.

I now have a nice spongy culture of which I just fed, called doubling.  All you need to start your own sourdough starter is a single cup of milk left out in a container, covered to prevent bugs getting in it, for two days.  After two days of staying out in a warm area you should have it soured.  Add in one cup of flour.  Let it sit with the flour mixed in for another couple of days until it resembles the above photograph, it will be rather spongy in texture.

I added one more cup of flour and one more cup of soured milk to the mixture.  Twelve hours later I will have the option of using some of the sourdough yeast to start my batches of bread or refrigerate it to prohibit the growth of bacteria.  If mold grows on top it has to be thrown out.  If it starts to separate I have to stir it back up.  I has to be loosely covered so it can breathe.  We don't want the organism to die.  It can be kept in the refrigerator for one to two months without using it.  After two months its best to flush it down the toilet.  Oh yes, its also great for the septic system.

After using one cup of it I have to add back in another cup of flour and one of milk to keep it fed.  Quite simple really.  Rather amazing that I still have my lab papers from the eighth grade too.

If any of you remember Mr. Howard and want to try his recipes out let me know I have those too.

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