One of the most amazing smells in the kitchen is that of Sourdough anything in the oven. All through the Northwest United States, Western Canada, and Alaska you will see the tell tale signs of a sourdough starter bubbly and hard at work.
Long before there was those convenient little packages of yeast, we had wild yeast. In the Northwest, a gift of starter is worth a million dollars. We love to have a piece of those heritage starters to start our own very special starter. But what if you have no one to gift you a starter? Then you use the wild yeast found in flour and grapes and other things and make a starter. Making a starter is easy as 1,2,3 and the baked goods that will come from it are amazing.
How To Make A Starter
Use a 2 quart glass jar
Use 3/4 cups + 2 TBL all porpuse flour or four ounzes
1/2 cup or four ounces of filtered water
Stir until it is well mixed and a sticky dough
Cover with a clean towel and secure with a rubber band
Put in a warm place and leave for 24 hours
Stir down and you may start to see small bubbles. The starter should smell very fresh, a little sweet, and yeasty.
Repeat above everyday for 4-5 days until really bubbly. Then it is ready to use in your recipe.
When you use your starter, you take out about one half and then feed what remains as above. You should use it at least once a week. If you use it every few days, you can keep on the counter. If going a whole week or more, keep in fridge. Take out 2-3 nights before you want to bake and let it recuperate on the counter. Make sure your starter is bubbly and yeasty. Then make your favorite sourdough recipe of bread.
If you want to make Sourdough Bread Pudding, you save your stale pieces of bread in the freezer until you have enough and then find your favorite recipe. Google your favorite recipe and also a recipe for the whiskey sauce.
Remember, working with sourdough is an art, so be prepared to bake often until you finally get that perfect loaf.
While traveling in the Northwest, look for restaurants that make sourdough bread and other products. Most places will have several. Also, you will find these good delicacies in most local Northwest and Alaska bakeries. So have a wonderful sourdough adventure as you discover the foods of the North and Northwest.