It can be confusing. Leaven, Levain, Starter, Mother, Sponge, Biga, Poolish, Preferment.
Whatever you call it, it’s all the same — water and flour and yeast. The yeast can be from wild, natural yeast or activated packaged yeast.
And they are all “Preferments”.
We’ll use the term “starter” to indicate the combination of flour, water and yeast that will be used to make “sourdough” recipes.
Back in the day, starters were passed down from our grandmothers like the family china.
We don’t have that benefit today, so we’ll be making our own.
I’m a purist when it comes to my starters.
Flour and water.
The type of flour you use will depend on the flavor you want to create with your starter.
Common flours are All-Purpose Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, and Rye Flour.
This recipe is going to use All-Purpose Flour.
Ingredients and Equipment Needed
ο All Purpose Flour
ο Filtered Water
ο Digital Scale (I like this one)
ο Measuring cups if you don’t use a scale
ο Spatula or wood spoon for mixing
ο Cheese cloth
ο 2 Wide Mouth 1-Quart jars (these mason jars work great)
*You’ll need 2 jars because you want to keep your jars clean when letting rest after feeding and the mixing can create a crust on the sides that you don’t want to mix back in.
The way I do it is this:
After the first day, when I go to do my 2nd day of feeding, I’ll remove a portion of my starter (discard) and add the additional water and flour to the jar.
I’ll mix it all together then pour the new mixture into the clean jar carefully as to not get too much on the sides of the jar. Then I let that jar rest until the next feeding and start the process again.
I’ll wash the old jar to be used the next feeding.