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Sourdough Starter and Sourdough Bread

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“Adapted from Debbie Currie's recipe at Serious Eats.”
READY IN:
264hrs 40mins
YIELD:
1 starter
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Day 1: mix 1/2 ounce flour (about 1 tbsp, packed) and 1 oz water (2 tbsp) in a pint jar. Cover with plastic wrap. (Do not cover tightly at any point in the process.) Stir well several times through the day.
  2. Day 2: no feeding, just stir whenever you think of it.
  3. Day 3: add 1 oz flour and 1 oz water (2 tbsp of each) and stir whenever you think of it.
  4. Day 4: Add 1 oz flour and 1/2 oz water. This now brings the flour and water amounts to a 50/50 ratio, or 100% hydration in bakers' parlance. Continue to stir as often as you think of it.
  5. Day 5: add 1 oz flour and 1 oz water (2 tbsp of each) and stir whenever you think of it.
  6. Day 6: add 1 oz flour and 1 oz water (2 tbsp of each) and stir whenever you think of it. By now, you should be seeing plenty of bubbles, but don't worry if you don't.
  7. Day 7: add 1 oz flour and 1 oz water (2 tbsp of each) and stir whenever you think of it. If you like your sourdough a little more sour, stir LESS often; the bacteria will only produce acid when deprived of oxygen.
  8. Day 8: add 1 oz flour and 1 oz water (2 tbsp of each) and stir whenever you think of it.
  9. Day 9: Assuming your starter is bubbling vigorously, you're ready for your first harvest! Remove 1/4 lb (4 oz, 1/2 c) of starter to a bowl, add 2 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp water, stir and cover with plastic wrap. Add the usual 1 oz flour and 1 oz water (2 tbsp of each) to the jar.
  10. Day 10: Feed starter again with 1 oz each flour and water. To make bread: Transfer prepared starter to the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, then add bread flour and water. Mix on medium-low until elastic, about 5 minutes. Add salt and oil and mix until combined. Form into a ball and place into a oiled bowl. You can let it rise 2-3 hours and bake today, refrigerate overnight and bake tomorrow (let it come up to room temperature, 2 hours or so, before proceeding). Form into desired shape and let rise about 1 hour; slash top in desired pattern. Bake in preheated 350F oven. Bake about 40 minutes until golden brown and hollow-sounding when thumped in the bottom. Cool completely before slicing.
  11. Day 11: if you continue to bake regularly, you can feed your starter every 1-2 days with 1oz each flour and water, then harvest 4 ounces to cook with. If you don't need to bake that often, refrigerate the starter after a last feeding. It will keep at least a month in the fridge, but can last up to 3 months with proper care. Bring up to room temperature, and feed as usual for 3 days before harvesting to bake.

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