I believe every kitchen needs this. I had some awhile ago & neglected to feed it so I lost it. When I saw this in my bread book I decided to make a new batch...
2 cups warm water
1 TBSP sugar, honey or maple syrup (optional) - I used sugar
2 cups flour
1 TBSP dry yeast
* Beat all ingredients together in a 2 quart bowl.
* Cover the bowl with a towel and place it somewhere warm. (Use a towel, not plastic wrap, to allow airborne wild yeast to enter - it will contribute to the unique character and flavor of your starter.)
* The mixture will begin to bubble within a few minutes. Initially, it will double in bulk, but as it begins to ferment it will settle down.
* Let the mixture sit in a warm place, stirring the liquid back into the batter (as it will separate) once a day for 2-5 days. when the bubbling diminishes and it has a sour yeasty aroma, it is ready to use.
* Stir the mixture and measure out the amount you need. It will be the consistancy of pancake batter.
To keep starter going:
* Store the finished starter in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.
* Each time you remove some starter to bake, replenish with equal amounts of flour and water. (If you use 1/2 cup of starter, stir in 1/2 cup each flour and water.) Then let the starter sit in a warm place for 12 hours and let the yeast bubble and grow again before returning it to the refrigerator.
* A starter can be kept indefinitely - just stir and feed it every week or two. Stirring, removing and replenishing your starter serves to feed the remaining batter.
*** Do not use metal utensils in sourdough starter!!!