There is a group of volunteers who call themselves Friends of Carl who are continuing the late Carl Griffith’s practice of sending anyone who asks (and sends a self-addressed stamped envelope) free starts of his sourdough starter. I sent in my SASE, and a couple of weeks later my starter came in the mail. I received the start, revived it using the instructions on the web site, and today used my bread machine to bake my first loaf of sourdough. I used the recipe below, which just makes a plain white bread. That isn’t my favorite, but now that I’ve proven the viability of the starter I can branch out and make it fancier.

The bread was only moderately sour, in spite of the recipe calling for a lot of starter. On the other hand, I had just revived the starter about ten hours earlier and I suspect it might get a lot more sour if given time to ferment. I think this starter will yield some excellent breads once I’m able to experiment a bit.

Give Carl’s starter a try!

—2p

Recipe for 1½ pound loaf of white sourdough bread in a bread machine.

Adapted from a recipe published by King Arthur Baking

  • 1½ teaspoons (9g) table salt
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 2½ cups (300g) white all-purpose or bread flour
  • 2 cups (454g) sourdough starter
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) vegetable oil
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons (57g to 85g) lukewarm water, enough to make a soft dough
  1. Place the ingredients into the pan of your machine, program for French Bread, and press start.

  2. Check the dough after about 10 minutes of kneading; add additional water or flour as necessary to make a smooth, soft dough.

  3. When cycle is complete, cool the loaf on a wire rack.

Addendum 2024-05-04

The recipe above is pretty basic. I’ve posted the recipe for Queen B Sourdough Bread, much more interesting.

I’ve also posted some basic notes on maintaining your sourdough starter as you use it.

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