Maintaining the Starter
Keeping your sourdough starter alive seems to be the thing that takes new sourdough bakers the longest to master. There's a good reason for that - I think it takes people a while to grasp the fact that sourdough starter is actually alive, not just flour and water. As such, it has its own rhythms and requirements, and it doesn't always conform to our own.
Intro to Sourdough Starter
The thing about Sourdough Bread which makes it unique is the Starter it is made from.
Starters are living things - they eat, sleep, multiply and, if looked after correctly, can be very productive. Starter is tough, too - in the case of my own starter, it has had a long life (over 20 years), and while it's had a few close shaves, so far it's lived to tell the tale!
Dough Starter (Desem)
The amazing thing about making sourdough bread is that each time one makes a new discovery, there is a pretty good chance that someone has been there before; thus, nothing is new!
When I started running my starter at a ratio of 2 parts flour to 1 part water, I thought I had finally solved a long term starter issue. Turned out, the Finnish folk have been running their starter that way for centuries!