Friday, 30 April 2010

Starting a Starter

I don't know if you have heard of a starter before, but it's a way to make a yeast like product from just flour and water. I saw Hugh F-W do it on one of his many River Cottage programmes. Some people may call it a leaven. Apparently these things keep for years, decades even. Anyway, everyday you feed your starter, to get it going, you also have to discard a bit as well, as you'd have a ginormous amount of this flour mixture!

After 2 or 3 weeks, I should be able to use some of the mixture to make a sourdough loaf of bread.

It seems like an intriguing thing to try, and is fairly cheap thing to do. So I'll let you know if I can make a success of my starter. I have started it using wholemeal flour, but apparently after a time, it's best to switch to white flour (less microbes in it).

Have a lovely weekend. The Brighton Festival starts tomorrow, yah, and I'm also off to look at an allotment as well!

UPDATE Sat 1st May: Just discarded the first half of the starter and fed it with more flour and water, and it smells disgusting. Absolutely acrid. Beyond foul!

1 comment:

KL said...

I read about this in "The Little House Cookbook" (an interesting study of the foods in the Little House on the Prairie series). Just looked in my copy and it says "after a few days you should get bubbles in the dough, a pleasantly sour smell and tacky texture. If after several days, you've only got a bad smell, you should throw out, scald the jar and start again!"

I might give this a try myself. I'll let you know!