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Sourdough Adventures May 19, 2007

Posted by live2cook in Sour dough, What we call it....

The saying goes “Necessity is the Mother of all Inventions.”

This is true for everything in this world. Necessity motivates us to explore more. When one such need arose, I started exploring about “Sourdough“, an year and a half ago. From this post on, I am going to share my adventures with sourdough.

Like all of my friends, I had the dream of baking a loaf of bread by my own. I bought the necessary ingredients and had fun of baking. After few successful attempts, it became a routine. Whenever I start mixing the flour for any dough, my toddler will sit with me and start playing with it. And put small pieces of dough in his mouth. I was concerned whether he can eat the raw dough and more specifically the bread dough with commercial yeast. Though any of the dough that we make at home doesn’t contain eggs, I was afraid to give him the bread dough. And my search for an alternate to commercial yeast started. I entered the world of Sourdough.

I am not trying to justify whether sour dough is better than commercial yeast or it is good to eat raw dough when made with sour dough. As a mom, I tried to find a harmless way to make bread that gives me and my son, some fun time.

What I did as a kid, when my mom was grinding the batter for Dosa and Idly, is what my son is doing now. My mom and grandma allowed us to play with the dough or batter they made, as they knew that the ingredients were harmless. The ingredients were from mother nature. I wanted to give my son the same. And started my “starter” from scratch.

A sourdough starter is simply a fermented mixture of flour and water. It is the same concept of Idly or Dosa batter, but with wheat flour. To start a starter, all we need is a cup of flour and water and a non metalic jar or bowl.

I started my starter with the whole wheat chapati flour that I had in my pantry. I took 1 cup of flour, 1 Cup of distilled water and mixed them in a glass bowl. Covered the bowl with damp cheese cloth and kept it on my counter.

As it was winter that time in New England, it took 2 days to see small bubbles, in my batter. And that meant my starter started fermenting.


sourdough bubbles


Everyday I removed 1/2 cup of batter and added 1/2 cup each of flour and water to the batter. when it fermented, I repeated the process. They call it feeding the natural yeast. After 3 days, I moved it to a jar and stored in refrigerator. Every week I take the starter out, use it in my bread baking, feed it and store in refrigerator again.

This process has been going on for an year and a half and this is how my starter looks:

sourdough starter





1. Asha - May 20, 2007

I have read about this too but dared to try!;D
Heard that you can use this to make Naans too like Indians do in India instead of Yeast.

2. live2cook - May 20, 2007

Yes! Absolutely right. Sourdough can be used for Naans too 🙂

Please stay tuned for more Sourdough Adventures and Recipes.

3. Coffee - August 4, 2007

“Everyday I removed 1/2 cup of batter and added 1/2 cup each of flour and water to the batter. when it fermented, I repeated the process”
Why do you have to remove 1/2 cup of batter out everyday??? I plan to start this soon! 🙂

4. lvleph - September 3, 2007

It is to keep the natural yeasts alive, and to get them to propagate. Once, the yeast reaches the right levels one refrigerates, so that they don’t have to feed the yeast so often.

5. kumari - July 18, 2008

i don’t understand this process, how many time do u have to remove 1/2 of the mixture to make sourdough starter

6. live2cook - July 19, 2008

Hi Kumari,

A sourdough gets the ability to rise a bread through aging. For this aging we have to remove some starter and add the new flour and water and ferment again. The more it ferments the sooner it rises a bread. To answer the question how many times, I would say until the starter doubles in volume in an hour or so, when the flour and water are added. If you start the process in winter it might take 7 days. If it is summer, it might take 2-3 days.

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