If you’ve ever kept your own starter nice and healthy you know it’s a daily job of feeding, checking the weather, maintaining a good temperature and “listening” to it’s nuances, and coming to love its funky smell.
If you know absolutely nada about a sourdough starter it is simply flour and water with fresh flour and water added each day attracting naturally occurring wild yeast based on type of flour and geographical location.
Dan’s sourdough starter began in 2013 and we each took turns feeding it (okay, I fed it 10% of the time). It’s been on vacation with us twice and moved across the country with us. Centex-Kimberley-Market still has some to culture their bread, but as each hand feeds it a starter changes. Other people who have gotten Dan’s starter over the years would have different starters now, each baker has an affinity to their starter and prefers it wet or dry at different times of the year. Check out this beautiful video about The Puratos Sourdough Library, to learn more about how starters are so varied.
The most fascinating part for me though, is a starter gathers wild yeast from the air. Wild yeast culture is so extraordinary even science hasn’t quite grasped how it effects us. When I first started to explain sourdough to my friends, they imagined Dan running around the nature park hands in the air scooping up invisible wild yeast. It’s more simple than that though. Explained very well in this awesome podcast The Fridge Light “One word: Yeast” produced by CBC hosted by food writer Chris Nuttall-Smith
What has your sourdough experience been like? Tell us in the comments below.