The History of Sourdough Starter
Sourdough bread is a well known San Francisco treat. It is unique in that each batch takes a “sourdough starter” that is saved from the previous batch. Usually your initial starter is obtained from a friend but you can start your own as discussed in this article:
Out of yeast? Don’t worry: It’s not hard to find.
The feisty critters that make bread rise actually live all around us. In fact, the use of yeast in bread-making probably got its start accidentally, when “wild” yeast caused doughs meant for unleavened flatbreads to ferment.
To this day, many bakers still use “wild” yeast to make bread, especially in San Francisco, a city famous for its sourdough. To make sourdough, bakers use a “starter,” a piece of dough in which yeast is continually reproducing with the help of regular doses of flour from the baker. The yeast that gets the starter “started” usually comes from the air in the kitchen or bakery where the bread is made, but some starter recipes also use store-bought yeast.
Working with starters takes practice. Many variables—for example, the amount of yeast in the air and the temperature of the room—will affect the fermentation process. It might take a few tries before you get the flavor you like.
Making sourdough bread can be a fun and satisfying project. You can see the complete article and a recipe for your bread and creating your own sourdough starter at the Exploratorium website.
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