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KING ARTHUR FLOUR - SOURDOUGH STARTER TIPS 2

Category:    Bread
Yield:1 servings
 
           -DEBBIE CARLSON   (PHHW01A)              -KING ARTHUR FLOUR HINTS
 
  (Continued) How to Feed & Care for Your Sourdough Starter:
  
  "Keeping a sourdough starter is somewhat like having a pet because it needs
  to be fed and cared for.  But its requirements are simple and not time
  consuming. Baking with sourdough is also a simple process. All it takes is
  a little planning and timing. The results are so satisfying, you'll grow to
  treasure your invisible pet the way our ancestors did."
  
  "When you receive your starter, refrigerate it if you don't intend to feed
  it immediately (at any rate, starter should be fed as soon as possible
  after you receive it). To feed it for the first time, snip off a corner of
  the plastic bag and squeeze the starter into a glass or ceramic bowl (not
  metal).  Stir in 3 cups of lukewarm water (what feels comfortable on your
  wrist) and 3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour. Mix until it's well
  blended and the consistency of pancake batter. Let the replenished starter
  sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours to give the yeast a chance to
  multiply and become active before you put it in the refrigerator.
  Ordinarily you would feed your starter when you remove some to bake with
  it.  A good rule of thumb is to replenish it every two weeks or so,
  preferably because you made a wonderful loaf of sourdough bread, a stack of
  pancakes or a delicious sourdough cake." (This previous paragraph is for
  those people who have ordered King Arthur's Sourdough Starter from their
  catalog.)
  
  "During the time the starter is stored in the refrigerator, it becomes
  relatively dormant which is why it can survive so long with so little
  attention. You'll find that a clear, amber colored liquid will accumulate
  on the surface of the starter. This liquid contains 12% to 14% alcohol."
  
  "When yeast is in contact with air, it produces carbon dioxide; when it's
  not, it produces alcohol.  When you blend the alcohol back into the
  starter, it helps produce the unique flavor you find in good sourdough
  breads.  For milder flavor, you can pour off some of the alcohol if you
  wish although this will thicken the starter requiring a bit more liquid to
  return it to its "pancake batter" consistency. 


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