Sourdough Starter for Lughnasadh

On Saturday, I created our sourdough starter using the recipe in the September/October 2016 issue of Mother Earth Living. The article, “Sourdough Culture,” included a starter recipe that called for 100 grams of whole wheat flour and 125 grams of lukewarm water. I measured the ingredients using a kitchen scale, then I mixed them thoroughly and covered the jar with a cheesecloth.

Sourdough Starter - lukewarm water Sourdough Starter - whole wheat flour

The article says to stir the sourdough starter vigorously several times a day for about 30 seconds. This aerates the mixture. On day 3, I started to see bubbles in the top and sides of the mixture. It didn’t get the “yeasty aroma (like beer)” as described, however, so I wasn’t sure if I should feed the mixture or not.

I feel like the mixture somehow ended up too “wet” and that it wasn’t fermenting properly, because the odor never changed. Part of me wonders if it was just too warm during the days. We’ve had the windows open, instead of turning on the AC, because our days have averaged under 80 degrees. So I think the high room temperature might have kept the mixture from fermenting properly.

Sourdough Starter - stirring to aerate

Because of my uncertainty, I decided to discard the entire mixture and start again. But first, I would like to read more about sourdough. Our library has an enormous book called The Bread Bible, so I’m going to check that out. Most sourdough starters seem to include yeast in the process, however the appeal of the recipe in Mother Earth Living was that it required only two ingredients. I’m going to do some more reading before I try again this weekend, though.

Have you ever made sourdough starter and had success with it? Did you find that the aroma changed over a few days? Do you recommend any books about sourdough?

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