This generic sourdough starter recipe works with any grain flour, except oats. Use it to make an active, rich-tasting starter that can be incorporated into any sourdough bread recipe, gluten-free or glutenous.
Instructions include "Putting the starter to sleep", "Feeding" the starter, and "Waking up" the starter.
Yield: About 1 quart ready-to-use sourdough starter.
Time to make: 10 minutes per day for 10 days
Tools needed: 1 Qt or larger glass, plastic or stainless steel container with lid. Measuring spoons and cups. Stirring spoon. Zip-lock bag.
1) Place 1 Tablespoon flour into the glass, plastic or steel bowl. Add 1 Tablespoon of water and mix thoroughly. Cover loosely and place in a sheltered, room-temperature area away from direct sunlight.
2) 24 hours later, add to the mix: 2 Tablespoons flour and 2 Tablespoons water. Stir to thoroughly mix, cover, and return to previous resting place.
3) 24 hours later, add to the mix: 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup water. Stir to thoroughly mix. Batter should now be the consistency of commercial mayonnaise. If crumbly and dry, add water 1 Tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency. If a layer of water rests on the top (batter is too wet), add flour 1 Tablespoon at a time, and stir, repeating if necessary. Cover, and return to previous resting place.
4) 24 hours later the batter should have formed a dome and appear loose. Stirring, it will be bubbly. It should taste sour and smell "beer-y." Add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water, stir to thoroughly mix, adjust water or flour to reach desired consistency (see above), cover and return to previous resting place.
5) 12 hours later, the starter is ready for use. However it is not yet "finished." Remove half (approximation is OK) and refrigerate for use within 24 hours. If unused, discard. To remaining starter, add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water, stir to thoroughly mix, adjust water or flour to reach desired consistency (see above), cover and return to previous resting place.
6) 12 hours later, remove and reserve (or discard) approximately half the starter. To the remainder, add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water, stir to thoroughly mix, adjust water or flour to reach desired consistency (see above), cover and return to previous resting place.
7) 12 hours later, repeat step # 6. Continue repeating step # 6 for two more days. At the end of this time the starter is "finished." You should have somewhere between 1 pint and 1 quart of starter. Up to 90% may be removed for use. Any unused portion should be "put to sleep" (see below) for storage. Stored, "sleeping" starter should be "awakened" and "fed" monthly.
8) To put starter to sleep: Measure or weigh starter that you intend to put to sleep. Add flour that is 1/2 the measure or weight. Stir very well (a small electric mixer is recommended) until a sandy texture is achieved. Place into a zip-lock bag. Squeeze out the air, seal and refrigerate.
9) To wake starter up for use, or to feed: Measure or weigh sleeping starter into a glass, plastic or stainless steel container that has a lid. Discard (or use) approximately half. To the remaining half, add flour that is 1/2 the measure or weight and water that is 3/4 the measure or weight. Stir to thoroughly mix. Let starter stand, covered, at room temperature, until it forms a dome. Put back to sleep following # 8 above, and return to refrigeration, or remove a portion for use. Unused portions should be put back to sleep and returned to refrigeration.