Of course I'm talking about my sourdough starter which I started this morning, thus taking the first steps I have ever made towards baking bread. Looking around at the exhaustive amount of information on the Internet, I have possibly bitten off more than I can chew. One particularly comprehensive site states unless you know what you're doing, making your own starter for the first time is akin to trying to build your own bike before you've learnt how to ride it. Well in the spirit of adventure I say up yours to that, I don't need stabilisers, my Dad always held onto the seat whilst walking behind me.
So the basic premise of creating a sourdough starter is to try and capture some of the wild yeasts that float around us within the dough and then feed it with flour to keep it alive, replacing what you take out when baking your loaf. If you get it right and take care of it, the starter or 'mother' will stay alive in a yeasty, bacterially kind of way (you can tell I'm not a scientist) and you will have access to an endless supply of tangy, moreish, yummy bread. If you get it wrong, I've heard you can end up with equivalent of paint thinner.
I've used a recipe from the first Moro cookbook which uses grapes giving a head start for getting those essential wild yeasts in there. Simply mix up 500 grams of strong flour with 1 litre of water in a suitable bowl, tie up a bunch of grapes in a piece of fine cloth ie. muslin, crush the grapes and submerge into the watery dough. Leave for 2 weeks.
Can it be any easier?