If you’d like to make sourdough breadsticks or pizza crust, you’re going to have to start with a sour! Thankfully, there’s nothing to it. Begin by whisking together 1 1/2 pounds of flour and 1 1/2 pounds of water to make slurry. Place the slurry in a large, food-grade plastic container with a lid. Leave covered to minimize contamination. Allow the slurry to mature at room temperature (76 to 81 F) for 6 to 8 hours, and then retard it below 42 F for 16 to 18 hours. At this point, the slurry now becomes a sour.
Next, add 2 1/2 pounds of water and 2 1/2 pounds of flour to the sour. Allow it to mature again for 24 hours. Add the same amount of water again and allow it to mature for another 24 hours. Sour can now be placed into the cooler for use during the next several days.
As you use the sour, replenish the amount extracted with equal parts flour and water. The sour will be perpetual in that you will not have to allow it to set at room temperature to mature again, unless the flavor changes. Be aware that this can be a common occurrence, however, as it’s difficult to control the flavor on a sour.