Keeping a sourdough starter is a little like caring for a pet or a child. They need the right conditions to thrive, you have to feed them daily (or weekly if refrigerated), and they die on you if you neglect them.
The Right Conditions for Sourdough
Remember that sourdough needs a few things to thrive:
Warm temperatures between 65° and 85°F,
A space of several feet between the sourdough culture and any other culture (yogurt, kombucha, kefir, etc.),
A non-reactive (glass or plastic) vessel and stirring spoon for storing and feeding,
A consistent food supply.
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Feeding Your Starter
A note on ingredients: Non-chlorinated water is best for a sourdough culture as chlorine can interfere with the organisms in the starter. A freshly milled flour of the variety that your culture specifies is preferable.
A note on the flour-to-water ratio for feedings: When you feed your sourdough starter you want to feed it approximately equal weights of flour and water. You can measure the flour and water by weight with a kitchen scale or you can figure that for every cup of flour you will need about 1/2 cup of water. The measurement ratio can vary depending on how heavy or dense the flour is.
How frequently you feed your starter is dependent on how often you wish to bake with it. If you think you’ll be using your starter every couple of days or even more frequently then you should feed it every day. If you will only be baking with it once a week then you may refrigerate it and feed and refresh it before baking.
In 1976 Bill Casing gave me his book, How to Eat on a Dollar a Day. The most important bit info was on grinding grain. My primary purpose was to make delicious pancakes. More recently I bought a tortilla press and have been making tortillas. But now I have learned about the benefits of natural leavening, flour, salt and water. I want to practice/learn and would love reading this book. But a hundred bucks for a paperback or a pdf download... Is this just for the rich?
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