There is a lot of information available about starting and maintaining sourdough starter. Over the years we have encountered lots of theories.
Many say that you need to add sugar, whole wheat, the white dust you see on ripe fruit, etc. We have made sourdough starter from Sunrise Flour Mill Heritage White Flour by using only flour and water. If it is fed by doubling it in size everyday for 8-10 days it will become a viable starter. We believe the reason for this is because SFM flour is very alive. It has not been over-processed that removes most of the micronutrients and natural yeast. Wheat and wheat flours that have not been highly processed likely have small amounts of yeast as part of their natural composition.
All that being said, Marty brought home a box of plums the other day from our favorite big box store, Costco. Naturally there were more plums than we could possibly eat. They were sitting on the counter and I noticed how much white powder the plums had on them.
Yet another experiment with sourdough! I took one of the plums and washed it with just a little water, enough to get the white powder into the water.
I put the water into a clean jar and added some Heritage White Flour.
The next day to my surprise there were a few bubbles. (With just water and flour our starters usually take 2 or 3 days to start getting bubbles). I added more flour and water to double it in size and the next day there were lots of bubbles and it started to look like a starter. I added more flour and water to double in size again, and on the third day this looks like a sourdough starter.
I was going to bake with it then lost my confidence in it and decided to feed one more day.
On the fifth day I baked with it and the bread turned out amazing. There was a subtle difference in the taste that some might describe as a very faint sweet undertone. There was a great chewiness, which we loved!
The possibilities of sourdough bread are truly endless. Have any of you tried making a fruit based starter? What did you use, how did you do it, and what did you think?
See the pictures!!!