I named him "Voldy" after Voldemort, and yes, this is an important first step to a successful sourdough starter. However, my husband preferred to call him "Yeastie Boy" (even playing him "Intergalactic" to prove the point that this was a superior name), and while this happened to coincide with Voldy's upswing after some dicey days, I stand by this being purely a coincidence. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Ah, the sourdough starter. So simple, and yet, all consuming. "Make bread easily without yeast," they said. "It only requires two ingredients: flour and water," they said. "Just 10 minutes a day," they said. If only I had known just what I was taking on that sunny spring day when I threw together some flour and water in the only large jar I owned and stuck it on the windowsill in the warmest room in the house.
Now that I'm at the point where Voldy is essentially a Tamagotchi requiring minimal effort to keep alive and thriving, I can finally share my experience so that you, too, can ruin your life with a sourdough starter. I kid, I kid. I'm sure it will go smoothly without any problems. But if it is a trainwreck, just know that you're not alone. Hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes and incessant googling all through the night and persevere until you have a crusty and delicious loaf of bread at the end of this. And if not? Well, there's no shame in store-bought.
Buckle up, let's take a yeast journey, shall we?