Alaska's Golden Spoon - Heirloom Sourdough Starter
Raven About Alaska!
(because that's what I do)
Activate Your Starter

Soak the coated portion of the Golden Spoon in 1/2 cup warm water (not too hot - it could kill the yeast! Test the water on your wrist like a baby-s bottle.) A small jelly jar works real well. The dried sourdough starter will turn the water cloudy after a 1/2 hour or so, then you can blend in 3/4 cup white flour. The mixture should have a consistency of a thick pancake mix - add more warm water if you need to. Lightly cover the container and set it somewhere warm - 80 degrees is an ideal temperature.

Over the next 2 days occasionally stir your starter and soon you will start seeing tiny bubbles appear as the sourdough starts "working". The more patience you have at this point the better tasting those first flapjacks are going to taste! After a couple of days you will start to see that the mixture is full of bubbles and has almost doubled in size! Add another cup of flour and enough warm water to make a consistency once again similar to a thick pancake mix. Let this "work" for another 12 hours or so.

You can now use the starter following any sourdough recipe! Just remember to save a small amount of pure starter - even a tablespoon full will get you going. Personally I keep a small sourdough pot in the refrigerator. When I am interested in using some, I pull out the jar to let it warm up to room temperature overnight. I pull out a cup or so of starter - depending on the recipe - and put it in a bowl with the specific amount of flour called for. I "feed" the main sourdough pot in the morning with a cup or so of flour/water mixed to the consistency of a thick pancake mix. If I have time I let this sit on the counter for an hour or so before returning it to the refrigerator.

Keeping the sourdough starter fed and happy.

1.) Remember, always keep the starter pure - nothing but flour and water goes into the pot!

2.) When you need to replenish the starter in the sourdough pot because you have used some in a recipe - add a cup or so of a mixture of flour and water with the consistency of thick pancake mix. As long as you save at least a tablespoon of pure starter - you can rebuild the amount of sourdough in your pot by feeding it.

Sourdough Terms

Sourdough pot - it can be as simple as a quart mason jar (with some kind of loose cover) or a ceramic pot with a loose fitting lid. You generally only want to keep it half full, because once it heats up and expands - you can easily have an overflowing mess!

Sponge - the unadulterated flour and water mixture or starter that lives in the pot. It is the source for all your sourdough needs. You must feed this regularly or put it into dormancy by storing it in the refrigerator.

Feeding - This is when you add flour and water to your starter. Very different opinions are held on how best to do this as far as ratio of flour/water and starter. A very basic rule of thumb is - if you use a cup of starter to cook with, add a cup of fresh flour/water to feed the pot.

Proofing- Letting the batter ferment. When you mix starter with straight flour for a recipe and let it sit out for a period of time - you are proofing it

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