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It took me 2 times to get this right. The first time I let the starter sit too long because I had some notion that it should be thicker, why I don't know. The 2nd time around I probably let it sit 1 day too long because my sourdough bread turned out quite sour - but still VERY good. I replenished the starter and it is now resting in the fridge. The starter consistency should be like yogurt once it is done.
I first came upon this starter in "California: The Beautiful Cookbook" by John Phillip Carrol and subsequently in the Sunset cookbooks. There are testimonials on the Internet that people have kept it going for 30+ years and have passed it on to their children. Despite my initial anxiety, it matured without problems. I have used it in Sourdough English Muffins, which called for extra leavening. But the big news is that I used it for Classic San Francisco Sourdough Bread without any additional leavening, and it was VERY active after only two weeks from its inception. The taste was pleasant ... I can hardly wait to see how it will be after some months. In conclusion, a very good starter for the fretful novice baker.
This worked very well for me. Easy to make although mine developed water on top often, but just stirred it back in. I let it sit out on the counter for the full 5 day with instructions for DH to stir when the water surfaces. This never really developed a very strong sourdough smell and the sourdough flavor was very mild, compared to other starters I've used. I discarded all but 1/3 cup. Made my Sourdough French Bread and it turned out very nice. Thanks for sharing. Made for 1-2-3 tag game :)
Unbelieveable. I made sour dough correctly! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I used this starter for The Doctor's Sourdough Bread nd it worked beautifully! I really did not know I should bring the starter to room temperature before using in a recipe. That made all the difference.
I lost my wild yeast starter recently, so I'll try this one next because it sounds so yummy with yogurt (which I lost too, so I'll have to buy more to start back up). Thanks for including the note to include extra leavening until it ages 8^)