How to Make Sourdough Starter
- In a large vessel (I use a bulk-size mayo jar), soften the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (not too hot or the yeast will die--test on your wrist).
- Stir in 2 cups warm water, the flour and the sugar. Beat until smooth, cover with cheesecloth, and let stand at room temperature 5-10 days, stirring 2 or 3 times a day, until mixture begins to bubble and ferment. Time required for fermentation depends on the room temperature: if the room is warm, the process will take the shorter amount of time; if the room is cool, a few more days may be required.
- When the starter reaches fermentation, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use for baking.
- To keep the starter going: after using some starter, add 3/4 cup water, 3/4 cup flour, and 1 tsp sugar to remaining starter. Let stand at room temperature until bubbly, at least 1 day. Re-cover and refrigerate. If the starter is not used within 10 days, add 1 tsp sugar. Add 1 tsp sugar every 10 days until starter is used for a recipe.