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King Arthur's Sourdough Starter: Submitted by: King Arthur Flour | Date Added: 13 Sep 2011
Listed in: Breads / Yeast

cup water
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

Cooking Instructions

1) STARTING THE STARTER: Your sourdough starter, a descendant of one that began its life over 250 years ago, may look a little the worse for wear after its trip. It may also have a sharp, astringent odor; this is normal. What it needs is food and water. Use chlorine -free tap water or bottled water to feed your starter.

2) To prepare your starter for baking, add cup lukewarm water to the sourdough container, replace the lid, and shake it to dissolve the starter. Place the starter in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Add cups lukewarm water and 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour. Mix, loosely cover the bowl, and let it sit at room temperature (about 70F) for 8 to 12 hours. It should expand and become bubbly.

3) Next, stir the starter and discard about half; this will bring the acidity to the proper level. Mix in cup water and 1 cup flour. Let it sit for another 2 to 4 hours; once the starter becomes bubbly, divide it in half once more. You may share half with a friend or discard it, as you choose. Fed the remaining half with cup water and 1 cup flour, and let rest at room temperature for another 2 to 4 hours. Now the starter can be used, or refrigerated in a 1-quart (or larger) loosely covered non-reactive container.

4) USING THE STARTER:Up to 12 hours before beginning a recipe, stir the starter and discard 1 cup. Feed the remaining starter with cup water and 1 cup flour. Let it sit for 4 to 12 hours before using a recipe. Use however much "fed starter" the recipe calls for, and fed the remainder with cup water and 1 cup flour. Let this remaining starter sit at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, until bubbly, then cover and refrigerate.

5) If you're not planning to use your starter for over a week, take it out and feed it once a week a described above. Start by discarding (or using) 1 cup of the starter. After mixing in more flour and water, you can return the starter to the refrigerator without waiting for it to get bubbly first.


7) Sweetening a starter: If your starter is too sour, reserve 1 cup and throw away the rest. Feed the remaining starter with 1 cup water and 2 cups flour. Mix well and let rest for 4 hours before using or refrigerating.

8) Increasing your starter: To grow a large amount of starter, simply feed it 1 cup of water and 2 cups of flour, without discarding any. Feed again 2 to 4 fours later, and you'll have plenty on hand to use or to share.

9) Resuscitating a neglected starter: If your sourdough starter sits in the refrigerator for too long between feedings, it will develop a thick layer of liquid on top, will smell very strong, and will be sluggish (not producing many bubbles). If this happens, pour off most of liquid, throw all but 1 cup of remaining starter away, and feed the remainder. If the starter is still alive, it will begin to bubble after a few hours. Discard about half at this point and feed it again with cup water and 1 cup flour. Let it sit for another 2 to 4 hours, then use or refrigerate it.

10) When to start over: If your sourdough starter begins to mold, or the odor is not the usual clean, sour aroma (an alcohol smell is OK), or if it develops a pink or orange color, throw it out. These "off" colors or smells indicate a potentially unhealthy strain of bacteria has taken up residence. It's very rare for this to happen so don't worry.

King Arthur Flour

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