Making Wild Sourdough Starter

Did you know that you can make sourdough starter from the air around you? After reading about capturing wild yeast from the air I set out to make my own natural sourdough yeast starter.

I was so excited to know that if you couldn’t buy yeast that one could still make breads and other products from natural yeast in the air. While it may sound unbelievable, it’s true and I am here to tell you that it is possible.

It is so simple and the results are so amazing. Just take 2 cups of flour and cover it with 2 cups of water. Now you can use white flour, whole wheat flour or other grains but make sure your water is non-chlorinated. I am on a private water well that is not chlorinated so I just use my tap water. If you are on a public water system that is chlorinated, either filter, boil or leave your water out for 24 hours on the counter so the chlorine is gone from your water.

The next step is to feed and stir the yeast starter. You want to stir it at least once or twice a day if not more. I try to vigorously stir my starter at least 3-4 times a day. I have read the more stirring, the more active the starter can become as it captures more air thus more active the starter can become.

You want to feed the starter by adding more flour at least once or twice at day. Depending on the feedings, stir in a tablespoon or two of flour to keep the sourdough starter happy and active. I leave the sourdough starter covered on my kitchen counter with a piece of cheese cloth or paper towel to keep out the flies and other things attracted to the sour odor of the starter as it ferments.

After a few days you should begin to see small bubbles and the “bloom” of the yeast forming on the batter surface. The number of days you keep it on your counter will vary. The warmth of the room, the time of the year, your environment, and other factors all affect how many days the sourdough starter will require to become finished. You want a bubbling, thick batter to use in a sourdough recipe. I generally found that my starter takes between 5-6 days.

Once you have a nice active batter, you can now use the starter to make whatever sourdough recipe you’d like. Remember to keep back a small amount of your original starter to begin another batch. I like to save at least a 1/4 cup of starter to begin my next batch of sourdough starter.

Here is a loaf of sourdough bread I baked in my dutch oven using my homemade sourdough starter. The result was some fantastic tasting sourdough bread. I will be posting the process and recipe for the sourdough bread loaf in the near future.

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