Sunshine and Starting a Starter

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These days the sun is lightening the sky as we get out of bed, not an hour after, and we sit down to dinner and sunset, not dinner in the dark. The birds are singing and swooping. The signs of spring are in the air, even though the ground is covered with a heavy blanket of snow that will last for months yet. But I don’t mind. I love the sunlight on snow, the white and blue world with pin pricks of red cardinal and green pine. Somehow I don’t need the green grass and sprouting bulbs to feel spring. The sun does it all. Knowing that this sun will only get stronger until the snow melts and the heat seeps into every living cell, and we all bask in the warmth for the summer is enough for me.

I have always known that I love winter, but I have only just realized how much I love summer too. This past one, our first back in the States, was so hot. Feeling warm everyday, all the time for days on end, was not something I had felt for 11 years. I missed it. And now I look forward to the hot sun again this summer; to that easy feeling of being outside in shorts, t-shirt and bare feet; to knowing it will be hot again tomorrow and the next day and the next. Winter has made me appreciate summer more than ever, but it will come soon enough. For now, I will ice skate under the blue sky surrounded by white fields and be happy.

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There is a lot of advice about starting a wild yeast starter out there but as I’m likely to be putting up several posts that use it here is my own version of starting a starter.

You can do this with any flour but I recommend using tap water as I’ve killed off a starter with filtered water before. I use rye flour because I love rye, but it is supposed to have a lot of microbes on it which help to start the starter so it might be a good choice to get things going. You can always switch to feeding your starter a different kind of flour later on.

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Day 1
In a glass jar mix 45g rye flour & 50g water. Cover with lid but do not seal tightly.

Day 2
The starter may look bubbly or not. Either way add 45g rye flour and 50g water and mix well.

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Day 3
Same as day 2.

Day 4
If you are getting bubbles remove 150g and then add 45g rye flour and 50g water.

Day 5
Things should be bubbly now. In the morning take out 15 g of starter and put it in a clean glass jar. Then add 25g rye flour and 27g water.

In the evening take out 50g of starter and throw it away. Then add 25g rye flour and 27g water.

Day 6 and thereafter
Cull (or use) & feed the starter twice a day. So if you are going to make pancakes one night put the 50g of starter that you were going to trash into a bowl and follow the recipe instead. Remember to feed the starter too. If you don’t bake with the starter throw the 50g away and feed. The yeasts need fresh food to eat frequently.
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