Recipe for Wild Sourdough


Begin with a heap of faith that the wild yeasts will land in the wet dough you set out in a corner of the kitchen. Pray that they colonize peacefully and bubble and alchemize into the promise of bread. Do not fret about the smell. This is fermentation, after all.

After three days expand the starter with flour and water and hope. Leave overnight.

Doubt the results but forge ahead. Coax the yeasties. Tell them, this, This! is what you were meant for. Rise you yeasties, rise!

Add a smidge of baking yeast from the freezer. Do not despair! All is not lost. Only helped along.

It rises. Oh, joy! Knead and let rise again. Bake and be grateful for any extra rising. But do not expect it.

Exclaim in wonder, the fresh loaves so lovely and the smell, why, its heavenly. Sourdough!

Slice and serve your family without apology for the dense bread. Say, If ever we had only water and flour, this bread could still be made with nothing more than the lively air and a hot oven. We will always have bread!

In the meantime, keep practicing.

3 Replies to “Recipe for Wild Sourdough”

  1. Yum. A beautiful bread poem. Soothing to me since in my last bread-making adventure I ultimately murdered my branch of an heirloom starter…

  2. OK. sourdough gets better the older it is. Over here, we usually start with a bit of sourdough bread and water – leave out in room temp, continue as you did and bake. LEAVE THE DOUGH IN YOUR BOWL! Let it dry fast to the sides. When you want to bake more bread, just moisten the dried dough and use that for your starter. There’s cultures dozens of years old … a friend (who does this more than I do) has one that’s been going for 30 years, and that’s just in her house.

    Have fun!

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