Making sourdough starter

I am attempting to make my own sour dough starter with a recipe I took out of the KA cookbook. I proofed my yeast to make sure it was still alive, because it had a 2010 date with water and a little sugar. Then I added the flour and covered it and left it overnight. This morning it WAS bubbly and the cloth and sunk into the mixture with what looked like fruit flies on top. I mixed it and put a new cover on top, but notice that these insects are on top. Is this normal???   Thanks to anyone who can help me!   Sincerely,

gailrobin

 

 

2 comments

I don't know why anyone promotes the making of starter from commercial yeast (saccharomyces cerevisiae) - and especially King Arthur Flour who should know better. Commercial yeast and wild yeasts require different conditions to thrive, and the creation of a proper wild yeast starter is not difficult.

This site has one of the best guides I have seen, in Sourdom's blog - just click on the "make your own Sourdough Starter" pic which should be on the right side of your page here, or click on this link:

www.sourdough.com/blog/sourdom/beginners-blog-starter-scratch

It's definitely worth the effort to do it properly.

There are a zillion ways to get sour dough. Each using different ingredients, but the same process. each yielding a different flavor, sometimes for different breads, sometimes for a different flavor in the same bread.

Your flies might be because of the sugar, but I'm not sure where they come from. In any case, they won't hurt anything, but just the idea of having them in your bread might stress you, so discard the culture and start over.

I am new to sour dough, but I am past the creation process, so now I concentrate on the bread baking. There is a thread where you can find all the key points, but I will list them here so you don't have to look for it..

I would use flour and water. Most any kind of flour, or a mixtures of flours will work, but keep it simple and use bread flour, and warm spring water. If you have no spring water, fill a container with tap water, and let it sit on the counter to let the gas escape. This would take a short while.

Use a clean container.  add one cup of flour and enough water to make a thick pancake like dough. if you see the dough sticking together to start to form dough, thin it more and stir it well.

Loosely cover the container and put it someplace warm. Since warm is a relative term, keep it at 80 F, or higher. The warmer it is, the faster the process will be, but only up to a point. If it is too warm and you might cook it, killing off any culture.

After a day, or two, you might see a few bubbles, not as many as when you used yeast, but any bubbles are a good sign. Once you see the dough have bubbles, it might have expanded enough. This would be very obvious in the correct size of container for the amount of culture you are working with. I would start with something smaller, then work my way to a bigger container when the quantity increase.

The next step is a continuing process of Stir, add flour, add water, wait. Do this each day, keep the consistency fairly constant. if the temperature is correct, you will be well on your way in less than a week, maybe only a few days. Each day, smell the culture, you will notice the sour smell, and it will increase during the process.

I hope this helps.   Joe