Bread Starter

Yeast Starter in Ball Canning Jar
Take ten minutes today to make the starter (also called sponge or Biga in some recipes) and tomorrow you can bake marvelous breads with your own starter.

To Make A Bread Starter:

1/8 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp warm non-chlorinated water (NOT hot!)
1/3 cup warm non-chlorinated water
1 cup bread flour

1. In a small bowl stir together the yeast and 2 Tbsp warm water and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy.
2. In a bowl stir together 1/3 cup warm water and 1 cup of the bread flour.
3. Add the yeast mixture
4. Stir 4 minutes, then cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge stand at room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.

For Your Own Wild Yeast Starter:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups non-chlorinated water (bottled or spring water)

Combine flour and water in a medium bowl; stir well. Cover loosely with a cloth and let sit on a kitchen counter for 2 to 3 days, or until bubbly.

1. To use your starter; take out the amount needed for your recipe, leaving some in the jar, and then replace the amount removed with equal parts flour and non-chlorinated water.
2. To feed your starter; add equal parts flour and non-chlorinated water (1/2 cup each).
3. Allow refrigerated starters to rest at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours to give the yeast a chance to warm up and feed. After about 2 hours feeding, refrigerate.
4. If you keep your starter at room temperature it should be fed every other day, and if refrigerated, fed weekly. If you accumulate too much starter, simply dispose of the unwanted portion.

Every time the starter is used to make a product set aside a cup or two to be used as a “starter” for your next bake. Lea’s family has a starter that has been passed down from homemaker to homemaker for several generations. There’s hardly anything that smells as good as a homemade yeast while it is feeding, except for those homemade breads just finishing their bake.