my first new friend in sf
I have been living in California for almost exactly one month now and I just met my first friend. My new boss, sir Josey Baker, introduced me to her yesterday afternoon and I am so excited to introduce you all to her today. She is unobtrusive, polite, cooperative, and pungent, like a good friend ought to be. Ladies and gentleman, my newest pal is some San Francisco sourdough starter:
I am unsure of a fitting name for her as of right now, but you can rest assured she will have one soon (it would be much easier for everyone if she would just introduce herself already but I guess she is shy). In case you don’t know about sourdough starters, my shy, nameless little blob of goo needs to be fed every day. What does she eat you ask? Well, she has quite possibly the cheapest diet of any of my friends which consists of equal parts (by volume) of flour and water, a cheap—albeit sticky— date indeed. A ripe and well-fed starter can be used in a plethora of baking adventures (bakeventures?) to make tasty things like this no-knead sourdough loaf, this kouign amann (instead of the yeast, silly!), and these sourdough sticky buns. But, before you can do any of that, you must master the feeding part first.
As per Josey’s recommendations, he suggested I compost most of her, save about 1 tablespoon, and then feed her one cup of water and one cup of flour a day. So to start, I whisked 1 tablespoon of the day old starter he had given me with one cup of water.
Then I added the one cup of flour and whisked until it was all combined and looked like pancake batter. I used some soft white wheat flour that Josey also generously donated to my bakeventures (I just decided that bakeventures is indeed a word) but you can use whole wheat or all-purpose flour.
And that is all! My new friend has been fed! I put her in a container with a lid and plan to feed her daily and leave her out at room temperature, where she will be happiest. Josey told me that if you must go out of town and don’t feel like taking a container of wheat paste with you, you can always shove her in the fridge for a few days and she should be fine until her next feeding. Also, if you don’t have a new boss to introduce you to some stinky sourdough starter, here is a good resource to get started making your own from scratch.
So there she is, in all her yeasty glory, my new pal and the gateway to all things San Francisco sourdough.