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Abu: The Sourdough Starter

Abu: The Sourdough Starter


If you’re looking to start baking sourdough bread, it’s by-far the easiest with a good sourdough starter.

Enter: Abu!

Abu is our very own sourdough starter, straight from Miriam’s Kitchen!

He’s dehydrated, weighed, packed in a plastic baggie, tucked in a cute brown envelope, and sent to your mailbox.

You can keep your starter for up to a year in the fridge, or follow the directions below (also included) to get started!


What You’ll Knead…I Mean, Need:

* Organic Flour

* Filtered Water (room temperature)

* Abu the Sourdough Starter

* Glass Jar (1 quart)

* Coffee Filter or Cheesecloth

* Rubber Band (Abu prefers a red hair tie)

* Wooden Spoon (no metal)

Step 1:

Add Abu to 1 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp of room temperature water in your quart sized jar. Stir thoroughly. I use the end of the wooden spoon. Put Abu’s headdress on (i.e. cheese cloth and a red hair tie) and let him sit for 12-24 hours on the counter or on top of the fridge (70-80°). He prefers a warm climate. I mean, who doesn’t?

Step 2:

After 12-24 hours, Abu will be ready for his next feeding. This time, he’d like to have 2 tbsp of flour and 2 tbsp of water. Stir thoroughly. Always stir thoroughly.

Step 3:

After 12-24 hours, he’ll be begging for more. 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup water. Stir thoroughly. Ideally, this is when you start singing to him if you haven't started that already.

Step 4:

After 12-24 hours, he’ll be ready for his biggest feeding yet! 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water.

Step 5:

After 12-24 hours, discard 1/2 cup of him.* I know, I know. It feels weird, wasteful, and totally painful, but welcome to life. You’ll then want to feed Abu with a new 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water.

*You can save your discards, but that was too overwhelming for me at first. There's a million recipes and opinions on what to do with “sourdough discards.” I'm sure you know how to find your way around the Internet by now. You’ll find what works for you.

Step 6:

Repeat Step 5 every 12-24 hours for 3-7 days. Once he’s bubbling, he’ll be ready to add to a recipe!


Frequent Bakers:

If you’ll be baking frequently, keep Abu on the counter or on top of the fridge. Remember, he likes it warm. You’ll want to feed him every 24 hours:

1 part starter, 1 part water, 2 parts flour

Weekly/Monthly Bakers:

If you’ll be baking once a week or once a month, you can keep Abu in the fridge. While he loves living in the tropics, he doesn't mind vacationing in the Arctic. Just be sure to dress him appropriately. His headdress must come off, and be sure to top him with a plastic cap—no metal.

Ideally, you feed him once a week. If he runs off to the back of the fridge for a friendly game of hide-and-seek, you may forget to feed him for a month or more. Trust me, I’ve done it. He’ll probably get a little upset, but he’ll forgive you.

You won’t mess him up, I promise! I’ve grown him so large he's spilled all over the counter and I’ve left him unattended in the fridge for weeks on end. He always comes back! Just make sure you sing to him… I mean, feed him. He’ll start bubbling again in no time. His favorite song is “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King. Such a classic. I do hope that you introduce him to new music, it would be great if he was a truly cultured sourdough. Just think of the stories he’ll tell.

If for some reason you manage to kill him, make sure to have a proper funeral. You two have spent too much time together at this point to just dump him down the drain.

Oh! One more thing! If he’s asking for a new name, all I ask is that you hyphenate Abu. His lineage is very important to him. Or maybe I’m projecting. Either way, Starseed-Abu has a beautiful ring to it, don’t you think?

Congratulations! You’ve officially grown Abu into a fine young sourdoughman!

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