Our 200-year-old Sourdough Starter
I just bought the starter, now what do I do?
Artisan Sourdough Bread
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
Pour the fed sourdough starter into the lukewarm water. Add flour a little at a time. Mix thoroughly with wet hands. Cover and wait 1/2 hour or so.
Bulk Fermentation Period
Sprinkle in salt a little at a time and mix with hands. Cover and wait 3-4 hours. Every 1/2 hour or so, stretch edges and fold to center (stretch forcefully the first few times, then more gently later).
Form the loaf
Pat dough out onto a floured board. Incorporate more flour or water as needed. Pat into a loaf or ball as desired. Wait about 15 minutes for it to relax.
Place shaped dough into proofing basket or bowl to help hold its shape. Wait 2-4 hours.
Preheat oven and Dutch oven or baking pan at 400F for 30 minutes. Remove Dutch oven or baking pan from oven, and transfer shaped dough into Dutch oven or baking pan. Cut slashes into top of the dough. Reset oven to 375F. Cook with cover on for 20 minutes. Remove cover and continue cooking for 15-25 minutes until bread is done.
Place bread onto a cooling rack and wait for 1 hour.
Sourdough Waffles + Pancakes
*Adapted from King Arthur Flour
- 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup sourdough starter, unfed
- To make the overnight sponge, stir down your refrigerated starter, and remove 1 cup
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the 1 cup starter, flour, sugar, and buttermilk
- Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight
Waffle or pancake batter
- All of the overnight sponge
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- In a small bowl or mixing cup, beat together the eggs and butter. Add to the overnight sponge.
- Add the salt and baking soda, stirring to combine. The batter will bubble.
- Pour batter onto your preheated, greased waffle iron, and bake according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Serve waffles immediately, to ensure crispness. Or keep warm in a 200F oven until ready to serve.
Sourdough Pizza Crust
*Adapted from King Arthur Flour
- 1 cup unfed sourdough starter
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2-1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 4 tsp pizza dough spices (oregano, thyme, garlic, onion, etc.)
- Combine all the ingredients. Mix then knead the dough, by hand, mixer, or bread machine, until smooth and slightly sticky. Let it rise in a lightly greased, covered container until it has just about double in bulk. This should take about 2 to 4 hours depending on how vigorous your starter is.
- Divide the dough in half and shape each into a flattened disk. Drizzle two pieces of parchment paper with olive oil. Place half the dough on each piece of parchment. Cover, and let rest for 15 minutes. Gently press the dough into 12" circles, letting it rest about 15 minutes if starts to shrink back.
- Cover the circles, and let the dough rise until it's the thickness you like, about an hour with fresh starter.
- Towards the end of the rising time, position a baking steel or stone in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Transfer the dough circles to the hot steel or stone, and bake for 4 to 5 minutes. Add half of the toppings to each of the circles then bake an additional 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the pizzas from the oven. Cool on a rack to help keep the bottoms crisp.