- 3 cups warm (45ºC) water
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Let sit until the yeast becomes foamy, about 5 minutes. (If the yeast does not foam, discard the mixture and begin again with a new yeast.)
Add the flour and stir vigorously to work air into the mixture. Cover with a towel and let rest
in a warm, draft-free place (an oven with its pilot light or light bulb turned on works well) for 8–12 hours. (The mixture should become very bubbly.) Use immediately or cover loosely with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Preserving the starter: Each time you remove a portion of the starter for a recipe, reserve at least 1/4 cup and replace the amount you have taken out with equal amounts of flour and water.
For example, if you remove 1 cup of starter, you must replace it with 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water. Whisk these ingredients into the starter until blended but not completely smooth, then cover loosely and return to the refrigerator.