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How to Make Potato Sourdough Starter

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Many people love the flavor of sourdough bread, sourdough biscuits, sourdough pancakes, and various other breads and batters using sourdough. I’m one of those people. Pancakes, biscuits, and breads that are made with sourdough usually rise up so nicely, too. The great thing is that it is easy to make sourdough starter, though it isn’t a fast process if you want the best sourdough possible.

We use a ceramic container that has a clamp top for storing the starter until it is needed (pictured above), but you can use other containers as well. The container should keep the starter dark and it should have a lid. Most glass jars are unsuitable because they are not only clear, they could burst from the carbon dioxide that the dough produces. The container shouldn’t be made of metal, though. Note that if you use a clamp-style ceramic jar, it shouldn’t be clamped shut with the starter inside because of the amount of pressure that can build up.

Sourdough ingredients:

4 cups of potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 cups of water

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons sugar

Sourdough instructions:

1. Put the potatoes into a pot and add the water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat and cover the pot. Boil the potatoes until they are soft. This takes about a half hour or so.

2. Drain the water off into a bowl. It is the water that is used, rather than the potatoes, so the spuds can be used for soup, stew or mashed potatoes.

3. Mix the flour and sugar into the water and cover the bowl with a clean towel or cheesecloth. Air needs to get to the water, but you want to keep dust out.

4. Set the bowl in a warm place and leave it until it begins to ferment; roughly three to five days, depending on the temperature. You’ll know when it starts fermenting because it will start bubbling. This is the action of wild yeast. If it doesn’t start bubbling, add a packet of baking yeast.

5. pour the sourdough starter into the container you have for it and keep it in the refrigerator.

The sourdough starter should be used every couple of weeks or you will need to refresh it. To refresh it or when using it, keep one cup of the starter in the container and add a cup and a half of water and a cup and a half of flour to the container.

Our favorite use for the sourdough is in pancakes. Still, biscuits, bread, dinner rolls and many other things can be made from sourdough. It can also be used to coat fish for cooking and it is superb when used on onions for deep-fried onion rings.  It all starts with a good starter, though.

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Written by Rex Trulove

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