Prep 30 mins
Cook 96 hrs
This recipe comes from "The Best Bread Ever" by Charles Van Over, who thinks food processor doughs are the best doughs for bread. He gives credit for the starter to the Moulin de la Vierge Bakery in Paris and baker Basil Kamir. I've used orange juice in other natural starters, but not at the start of the recipe, as this one does.
- 1⁄3 cup fresh orange juice, about 3 ounces
- 1⁄2 cup whole wheat flour, about 2 ounces
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, about 15 ounces
- 2 cups water, 16 ounces 75 deg F
- In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and whole wheat flour. Stir to blend well. The mixture will be a soft, sticky dough.
- Scrape into a large plastic container of about 2 qt capacity. Let it stand, covered, for 12 to 24 hours. Bubbles will begin to form visibly on the surface of the dough.
- Uncover the starter and add 1 cup of the all-purpose flour and 1 cup of water. Stir to combine. Cover, then let stand at room temperature, 70 deg F to 72 deg F, for about 12 hours or until bubbles form on the surface.
- Uncover and discard half the mixture or give to a friend. Add 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup of water. Cover, then let stand at room temperature, as above, for about 12 hours, or until bubbles form on the surface of the starter. Transfer to a larger container, if necessary.
- Feel the starter two more times, adding 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup water with each feeding, and allowing the starter to ferment for 12 hours at room temperature between feedings.
- Discard 1/3 of the mixture and feed one more time with 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup water. After12 to 24 hours, the starter is ready to use.
- Store the starter in the refrigerator. Feed it every four to five days with 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup water. If you like, at every fifth feeding, discard 1/2 cup of the starter and feed with whole wheat flour instead.
- Maintain by feeding at least once a week, removing it from the refrigerator and adding 1/2 cup water and 1 cup of all-purpose flour (I would be discarding half of it or so, as if you do not bake enough, you will have a gallon of starter before you know it).
- Let it sit at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours before using.