Sourdough has been around forever. There are starters that go back literally hundreds of years and some of the breads u can get now are baked using starters that come from a batch that originated decades -if not more- ago! Sourdough is fascinating to me-besides being just plain delicious. A lot of people are scared of maintaining a starter- no need to be. Easy rule of thumb: if u are keeping it in the fridge, feed it at least once a week. If u are keeping it at room temp, feed it at least once a day. Here's my starter recipe- hope u enjoy! (look for feeding instrux at the end)
In a large jar or crock (at least 2 quart) mix all dry ingredients, stirring till well blended. Stir vinegar into water. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir the water mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until well mixed. Starter will resemble pancake batter. Cover jar opening with a paper towel or coffee filter, rubber banding it over the jar opening. Let sit out in a warm area to 'ferment' To be safe, u might want to put jar on a baking sheet in case of overflow- starter will increase in size.
After roughly 12 hrs, stir starter and add in 1/3 cup of water and 1/2 cup of flour (feeding the starter) U will feed the starter once a day in this manner as long as u leave it out of the refridgerator. After 4 days, you may choose to either leave the starter out - in which case u will feed it daily as mentioned above (except on the day when u do the weekly major feeding/upkeep) or u can refrigerate it-in which case u will feed it ONLY once a week when doing a major feeding/upkeep.
Once a week upkeep/major feeding:
Measure out 3 cups of starter and set aside. The starter u have left over after u have removed the 3 cups to set aside is what u can now use to bake with (or discard) Put the 3 cups of reserved starter back into your starter container and to it add 1 cup of water and 1 1/2 cups of flour, stir and then store in or outside the refridgerator as usual.