Saturday, February 14, 2015

Momma's Potato Sourdough Starter

Growing up my Momma made the BEST cinnamon rolls and dinner rolls. I can remember her baking in our galley kitchen and every surface was covered in jelly roll pans lined with dozens of cinnamon rolls rising. And oh man, when she would put them into the oven to bake? The smell of cinnamon and sugar was like a calling from heaven. The whole house became warmer and cozier somehow with that smell coming from the kitchen. There is something about home made bread, of any kind that just makes a house feel like a home!

So today, I'm going to share with you my Momma's potato sourdough starter. It can be used for any type of sourdough bread. The two I'll be featuring this month are Cinnamon Rolls and Cheesy Dinner Rolls. But today we'll just cover the basics of the starter.

The starter I am going to show you how to make is super easy and very versatile.

Sourdough Starter
(These are estimations, you may need a little more, or a little less)
1 tsp dry yeast
1 1/3 c sugar
6 Tbs instant potato flakes*
2 c warm water (NOT from the tap. Use filtered water, otherwise you might kill the yeast.)
1/2 tsp salt

*This go around I used dehydrated potato pearls from food storage and because they are pre salted I skipped adding the salt.

Combine all the ingredients in a glass bowl and mix well. Do not use a metal bowl or spatula. It will leave a taste in the starter that is most unpleasant.

Let the starter stand for 1 to 3 days in a warm draft-free place (I used my oven turned off), covered with cling film with a small edge turned back so it can breathe. Remember yeast is a living thing and needs air to breath and grow.

The surface should get bubbly, stir it every once in awhile so that the yeast continues to "eat" all the ingredients and grow.

There are a few options from here for how you can proceed.

Option 1:
If you don't need rolls or the dough the same day you made the starter than you can refrigerate and let the mixture rest, stir and feed it every 5-7 days. As the starter matures over time, a clear to light yellow liquid may form on top, just stir it in.

To Feed Starter do the following:
Add -
2/3 c sugar
3 Tbs potato flakes
1 c warm water
1/4 tsp salt (depending on potato flakes used)

Mix well and let it stand at room temperature for 8-10 hours. It should be very bubbly. Then remove one cup to make bread with and return the rest to the refrigerator.

Option 2:
If you want to use the starter to bake the same day it is possible. You will have to let the yeast grow and become bubbly, stirring occasionally just as before. When you are ready to make your bread pull your starter out and in a large bowl combine the following:

1/3 c sugar
1 Tbs salt
1 c starter
1/3 c corn oil
1 1/2 c warm water
6 c bread flour
1 tsp (heaping) yeast

This will make your dough which you can then either bake as a load, or turn into dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls like I did.

Stay tuned for how to turn this starter into the most amazing cinnamon rolls and cheesy dinner rolls! 

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