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Wednesday, July 12

Start Me Up (Rolling Stones)

As a kid, we used to have a pet named "Herman."  Herman was our sourdough starter, kept on the third shelf of the fridge, and everyday he had to be fed, just like a pet.  We loved Herman....he made the tastiest bread!  You, too, can have your own Herman...it's really quite easy!

A lot of people talk about gluten-free diets, and while it's necessary for some, more people have a gluten-sensitivity.  By properly fermenting the gluten in wheat, it becomes more easily digested as the yeast pre-digests the phytic acid in the wheat, causing fewer issues.  

Sourdough bread can even be considered a health food!  When it's fermented, it unbinds, and makes available, amino acids, complex carbs, B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, and several other trace minerals that our bodies need to function properly.

Many people see the process for making sourdough as overwhelming, but it's really quite simple - and once you get the hang of it, you'll always have fresh, nutrient-laden, bread available.  Added bonus - the smell of fresh bread baking!!


If you read through this and STILL want to skip the first step (making the starter), you can pick up a starter culture.

Step 1 :  Make the Starter



  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c cool water

Day 1 :  Mix flour and water in a glass or steel bowl.  Make sure it is thoroughly mixed.  Cover the container loosely and set it at room temp for 24 hours.

Day 2 :  You might see bubbling, but you might not, within this first day.  Either way, discard 1/2 cup of the starter and add another cup of flour and another 1/2 cup of water.  Cover and let stand at room temp for 24 hours.

Step 2 : Feed the Starter

  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c lukewarm water

Day 3 : You should start to see some bubbling.  This is your baby for the next few days, and you'll be feeding it twice a day (as evenly spaced as possible).  For each feeding, discard 1/2 cup of the starter.  Then add one cup flour and 1/2 cup water and mix thoroughly.  Cover and let stand 12 hours, then repeat.

Day 4 : Repeat Day 3.

Day 5 : Repeat Day 3

Day 6 : If starter is very bubbly and growing, give it one last feeding.  If it is having difficulty growing, continue to repeat Day 3 until it is tangy-smelling, slightly acidic, and full of tiny bubbles.

Day 7 : If Day 6 went well, you may begin to use parts of your starter for baking.  Put the rest of the starter into a crock or other long-term home.  Store it in the refrigerator and feed it regularly - at least once a week.

Step 3 : Bake Your Bread (makes 2 loaves)

  • 1 1/4 c water
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 2 c sourdough starter
  • 4 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  1. Mix water and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Give the yeast a few minutes to dissolve completely. Stir in the sourdough starter until the starter is mostly dissolved.
  2. Add in flour and salt.  Knead dough.  Add extra flour as needed if dough becomes too sticky (don't add too much).  Dough will be ready when it comes together like a ball in your hand.
  3. Coat mixing bowl with oil, return dough to bowl, cover and let stand at room temp 2 hours (until doubled in size).
  4. Pull out dough and divide into two parts.  Shape each loaf into a pan and let rise another hour.
  5. Bake 10 minutes at 450.
  6. Reduce heat and bake 30 minutes at 400.

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