Baking while homebound: A recipe for yeast

Sourdough starter. Credit: Olivia Gossett.

Many people have taken up baking as they’re sheltering in place. If you want to join that trend, KCRW’s Evan Kleiman gives some tips. 

She shares this sourdough starter technique by Clemance Gossett of Gourmandise Cooking School in Santa Monica. Her Bread Boot Camp is on IGTV. 

Starting your sourdough starter:

There are a few different methods for imploring the yeast in your kitchen and those in the flour to converge and begin replicating themselves. But all of them need the same basic ingredients: oxygen, water, carbs and time. 

I prefer to mix equal parts (by weight) bread flour and water in a glass jar, so that it takes up just a third of the container (about 100g of each for a medium-sized jar). If you only have all purpose flour in the house, that is fine. Cover, leave in a warm spot overnight, and return to it 24 hours later. You should see a little bit of bubbling action through the jar. If you don't, leave it out another 12-24 hours.

Once you see a little bubbling, remove half of what's in the jar, and feed it another 100g or so of water and flour. If you're in a hurry for this to happen, add a pinch of rye flour. Cover, go about your business, and return to it a day later. Repeat this process for a few more days. Once you begin to see a pattern of behavior, watching it rise up 5-6 hours after feeding and crashing back down, you've successfully gone from creating a culture to a working, active starter.