The first time I got sourdough starter was from my grandmother when I was in high school . She gave me some starter, instructions and some recipes to take home with me. I kept it in a 2 quart sealer in the fridge feeding it regularly and using it for a number of things - biscuits, scones, muffins and pancakes. I had it for a number of years but lost interest when I went to university.
After I was married, I found a recipe to make my own starter from Robin Hood Flour. It was called Sherwood and I sent away for a booklet of recipes. I found the recipe on their website for those who are interested. http://www.robinhood.ca/recipe.details.asp?prcid=54&rid=3301
To start sourdough you dissolve 1 tsp. sugar in 1/2 cup warm water. Sprinkle in 1 package of yeast and let stand 10 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups warm water and 2 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Cover and leave overnight at room temperature.
Day 2: Mix 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup milk and add to sourdough. Stir well, cover and refrigerate.
Day 3 & 4: Stir daily.
Day 5: Feed the sourdough again as on day 2.
Day 6 to 9: Stir daily.
Day 10: Bake with the sourdough and/or give away 1 cup starter to a friend with feeding instructions and some recipes. Keep 1 cup to feed as on day 2.
Here is a photo of my sourdough bubbly and ready to use.
Once your sourdough is established you can feed every 5 days if you are using it often or every 10 days if you don't use it as much. If you want to leave it for an extended length of time you can freeze it. When you bring the sourdough out of the freezer, thaw in the fridge for 24 hours. Then feed as on day 2 and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours before using.
Some of the recipes in that Robin Hood booklet have become my all-time favorites. From time to time I will share sourdough recipes with you. I have collected quite a number of the years but seem to use the same ones over and over.
Sourdough is very easy to keep. I keep it in an ice cream pail in the fridge feeding it and using it much more in the winter than the summer.