I completely skipped the first round of sourdough craze at the beginning of the pandemic mostly because it is such a flour hog at the beginning. All my precious flour was getting mail ordered and I had to prioritize its use for other things.
I decided to finally get her back up and growing now that that crazy phase of pandemic has passed. I use the discard mostly for waffles and for one of the house’s favorite pizza crusts that is super-easy for day of pizza whims.
There are several how-tos out there that have way better step by step instructions if you want to get started. King Arthur Baking does a good job of outlining the beginning end, but I thought it might be helpful to leave you with some tips from my latest go rounds.
Warm kitchens can be great when you are proofing dough, but I found that my Texas kitchen was just a tad too hot and working against my hungry starter. So to that end I found it best to use cool water for feedings and to use a half whole wheat and half all purpose flour mixture for feedings. These two things in particular seemed to slow things down just enough to get me to 12-hour feedings after 48 hours. If all else fails… find the coolest spot in your house!
I’m still feeding it a half-half flour mixture now that I am down to weekly feedings (in the fridge between) and I think I am liking the slightly nuttier flavor that this approach is yielding.
Have you had any trouble getting your sourdough starter going? Any tricks or tips that you found helped yours to a nice stable and manageable life?