There is nothing like biting into a fresh, warm, chewy, slightly sour slice of sourdough bread. mmmm…. droool… *gazes off into the distance thinking about delicious*. Lucky for us making your own sourdough starter is super easy.
Making your own sourdough starter is a very simple process. This is because there is a huge amount of natural yeasts in the air and conveniently on the wheat that they grind to make our flour.
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If you prefer you can buy a starter culture, but it really is very simple to make your own.
Make your own sourdough starter
Wheat or rye flour of some sort – organic would be better, but it is also 4 times the price, I haven’t managed to get my head around paying that yet…
A jar or bowl
Mix 2 Tablespoons of flour with 1 1/2 Tablespoons of water in a bowl or jar and leave uncovered on the countertop or somewhere warmish for 3-4 days.
After that, remove half of it and throw it in the compost or feed to your chooks.
To the remaining half add 1 heaped Tablespoon of flour and 1Tablespoon of water and mix and leave until the next day, keep repeating this until in the morning your starter smells yeasty and is covered in little bubbles.
Once it is active you can keep it loosely covered with a lid to keep cretins and goobies out.
If your starter grows mold, smells putrid or goes funny colors throw it out and start again!
Once you have an active starter you can feed it up with 2/3C flour and 1/2C water to make your leaven for your first loaf!
If you keep your starter out of the fridge you need to feed it daily – the general rule is feed it the same amount of flour as you have starter plus 2/3 the volume in water.
So if you have 1 Tablespoon of starter you add 1 Tablespoon flour and 2/3 Tablespoons water. As you can see it grows in volume exponentially, hence all the instructions around the place to discard half the batch every time.
To avoid wasting it all the time, either keep making bread, or put the starter in the fridge to hibernate until you need it again.
Simply get it out of the fridge a day or two before you want to make a loaf and feed it up once or twice to get it active again. I cheat and take it out the morning before, feed it then and feed again at night and start the bread in the morning the next day. See here for how I make sourdough bread.
For more information on keeping your starter healthy and baking sourdough, and all our sourdough secrets -we have compiled it all into one fantastic, informative book.
Have you made your own sourdough at home? Tell me about it in the comments below!
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