author
9Instructables31,370Views2CommentsJoined July 12th, 2015

Tell us about yourself!

Complete Your Profile

Achievements

10K+ Views Earned a bronze medal
  • amstar commented on amstar's instructable Home Grown Sourdough Starter4 weeks ago
    Home Grown Sourdough Starter

    Short answer: Plastic wrap is not essential, but I prefer it.Long answer: People have been starting sourdough cultures for centuries, since long before there was such a thing as plastic wrap. Recipes predate plastic wrap, so people used other things and still do. I like that the plastic wrap isolates the culture from the outside. I rely on the fruit wrapped in cheesecloth to introduce the yeast. Nothing else is needed from outside of the bowl. The plastic also helps keep the odor down during the initial period when the yeast has not grown to dominate the culture.Many sourdough recipes stress using loose-fitting lids to allow the culture to breathe, but that isn't important. In fact, sealing the container gives the yeast an additional competitive advantage. Yeast are facultative anaerob...

    see more »

    Short answer: Plastic wrap is not essential, but I prefer it.Long answer: People have been starting sourdough cultures for centuries, since long before there was such a thing as plastic wrap. Recipes predate plastic wrap, so people used other things and still do. I like that the plastic wrap isolates the culture from the outside. I rely on the fruit wrapped in cheesecloth to introduce the yeast. Nothing else is needed from outside of the bowl. The plastic also helps keep the odor down during the initial period when the yeast has not grown to dominate the culture.Many sourdough recipes stress using loose-fitting lids to allow the culture to breathe, but that isn't important. In fact, sealing the container gives the yeast an additional competitive advantage. Yeast are facultative anaerobes. They can survive and grow for a period of time without oxygen. When they grow without oxygen, they ferment sugars to alcohol. This is what gives a happy, healthy starter a winy odor. Being able to grow fast for short periods without oxygen is also what allows them to outcompete molds and other contaminants that could otherwise cause a problem.So as far as I see it, by sealing the bowl, we are actually giving the yeast a leg up on potential contaminants, allowing them to dominate the culture, creating a dense, healthy start that will live for years if fed properly.I wrote this article four years ago. I am still using this starter, even after periodically leaving it in the back of the fridge for a few months at a time.

    View Instructable »