1/2 cup of sourdough

Day 3 out of 40

My sourdough “Mother” is a wild yeast community fueled and glued with flour and water. 

I like to think of time as a magical ingredient that can hold our community together. 

In  the video below, I am making a pre-ferment for tomorrow’s fundraiser even – Cook & Connect for Ukraine to support World Central Kitchen March 4th from noon-1:30pm EST. Amy Halloran and I are cooking from Olia Hercules book Summer Kitchens and we hope you can  join us. Thank you very much all who already signed up for your generosity. 
We still have room. For more details and to sign up:

To Make levain. Take an egg size portion or scrapings of sourdough seed starter from the fridge and feed water and then fresh flour. Make a loose paste that releases from the sides of the container. The paste should  fill your container about half full.  I have a container that I always use to make levain and it holds almost two cups. Let the levain sit on the counter at an ambient temperature until it doubles and gets bubbly. This could take 4-6 hours. On very cold days it could take 8-10. It depends how much starter you use and temperature and flours. Using levain at peak time is desirable, if the levain is ready to bake it will float with most flours, but just past peak, the starter will also rise bread. If you want to slowdown your preferment because you will be gone all day, make a thicker stiff paste. If you want to  speed up, make it more liquidy.

I feed my seed starter culture (mother) every week 1:1:1 by weight. Usually 50g: 50g: 50g for a total of 150g and it is plenty for the amount of baking I do. After feeding it, I let it rise at room temperature and then put her back in the fridge. When ready to make a levain that will rise my baked goods, I take scrapings from the jar throughout the week making sure to always leave some seed starter in the jar to keep it going. I prefer to maintain my mother at this ratio, but again, some people do different ratios and the mother can also be fed by intuition where you mix just the way I mix the levain. Sourdough starter is very flexible and also unique.


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