Ma's Sourdough starter. The Little House series is perhaps the best chronicle of early pioneer food on the prairie. In the By the shores of Silver Lake, which takes place in the Dakota Territory, Laura Ingalls Wilder tells how Ma made her own sour dough starter. Ma would put some flour and water in a jar and let it stand, uncovered, until it captured yeast from the air and it soured. from this, she would make a sponge that would become the basis for the breads and biscuits and pancake. every few days, she would feed the starter with flour and liquid. Before packaged yeast and factory milled fours were available, these sourdough breads made from a sponge starter were the norm. they required a long rising time and had a spongy chewy texture from the hand-milled grain and natural yeast. today such breads are making a come back as artisan breads. After a century or so the time and labor- intensive everyday breads of the great Plains are back in fashion..
AMISH FRIENDSHIP STARTER
MAKES ABOUT 8 CUPS OF STARTER
4 C ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
2 C LUKEWARM WATER
1 PACKAGE ACTIVE YEATS
2 C MILK
2 C SUGAR
Day 1. With a whisk or a wooden spoon mix 2c. flour the luke warm water and yeast thoroughly in a glass or ceramic bowl Let it sit, uncovered, on the kitchen counter: do not refrigerate
Day5. stir the yeast and flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Stir in 1c flour,1 c milk, and 1 c sugar. Stir well. This is called Feeding the starter.
Let mixture sit on counter uncovered. Do not refrigerate
Day 9. Stir mixture and add remaining 1c flour,1 c milk,1 c sugar. Stir Well. Let mixture sit, Uncovered on kitchen counter, Dont refrigerate
Day 12. Ladle 1 cup starter into a container and freeze, freeze for safe keeping( incase you forget to feed your starter and it expires) Ladle the rest of the starter( you should have 7 cups) in a large container with a lid and refrigerate,covered until you wish to use it.
TEN DAYS LATER YOU NEED TO FEED YOUR REFRIGERATED STARTER!
Begin by removing 1 c starter: reserve this cup to use in a recipe or to give to a friend. Add 1/4 c sugar, 1 c flour, 1 c milk to the remaining starter in container. Stir well to blend and return container to refrigerator.(The starter will be ready to use again- as it will reach sourdough point in 4-5 days)
REPEAT STEPS 5 EVERY 10 DAYS
Note: If bacteria takes over the starter and and takes on a pink color and smell offensive ,, throw it out.