Gloom and Doom. That’s the word on the street these days. Everyone is tightening their belts and pinching their pennies in case they lose their job, inflation skyrockets, or the nation collapses in on itself. Whatever the reasoning there is no doubt that people are looking for more and more ways to spend less. Well, I’m throwing my idea into the hat…make some dough. Sourdough that is. It is quite possibly the easiest and most economical bread to make. It is really just flour, water, and yeast, all very cheap ingredients. And, if you have a large family, this might be a great way for you to whittle down that grocery budget. I know as a family of four ( half of which are 2 year olds) we eat about 3-4 loaves of bread a week. I can’t imagine how much bread a family of 5 or 6 goes through.
Now I’m sure you are all thinking to yourself “where am I going to find the time to make bread”. Well, if you think about it, the actual “making” part doesn’t take long at all, it’s the “waiting” that takes all the time and you don’t have to be there for all of that.
So, we will start out with this very basic recipe for sourdough starter. You will find fancier ones out there, but remember, the more you put in, the more it costs.
1 package of active dry yeast ( or 2 1/4 t. if you have a jar of yeast like me)
2 1/2 cups of lukewarm water ( NOT HOT!)
1 1/2 cups AP flour
Combine the yeast and water, stir and let it bloom for 15 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until it forms a batter ( it can be lumpy). Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for at least 24 hours , but preferably 2-4 days before using.
*After using, or after 3 days at room temperature, feed the starter with a handful of flour and enough water to restore it to a thick batter. The starter can be refridgerated for up to a week, but must be brought back to room temperature before using.