I've always wondered how they made bread before you could go to your neighborhood grocery store and buy yeast...........I did a little research and was amazed at what I found.
Did you know that there is yeast floating around in the air? Did you know that the Egyptians made leavened bread, learning the art of creating a bread starter?
Can you imagine being the first person to leave flour and water set out, watching the bubbles form, and then saying to yourself, "Hmmm, look at these bubbles. This smells funny. I think I'll make some bread with it anyway."
Sourdough has a wheaty, tangy taste to it. This is because the flour and water "sour," allowing the bacteria to enter the flour/water mixture. You can see bubbles in a sourdough starter.
Get your geek on people! Try something different - taste what nature has to offer you!
To start a sourdough starter, mix 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup of water. Mix together until a dough is formed. Place in a plastic, glass or ceramic bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Let that sit for 1 day. Your mixture should create bubbles.
After 1 day, you should be able to smell the yeast that is forming. Mix a 1/2 cup of flour and 1/4 cup water. Cover this dough with a damp towel and let it sit another day.
Refresh the dough by discarding 1/2 of the starter and mixing 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup water.
Your starter should double between each feeding. You will use a small portion of the starter in a recipe. Save the rest and store it in the refrigerator. Feed the starter once a week by adding more flour and water.
My starter has been fermenting away for a week now. Guess who's baking bread tonight?