DIY Sourdough Starter
PREP 10 MIN•COOK NONE
Number of servings
100g plain flour (or gluten-free if required) organic preferably
100ml water lukewarm (or room temperature, not hot)
200g plain flour (or gluten-free if required) organic preferably
200ml water lukewarm (or room temperature, not hot)
Day 1: Mix the base mixture of flour and water in a jar to a thick paste. Cover with a damp clean cloth/tea towel and set aside at room temperature, away from any heat.
Day 2: The next day you need to feed your starter. It will have expanded and have visible bubbles as the wild yeast fermentation process has begun.
To your jar of starter add the daily feed of flour and lukewarm, not hot, water. Mix well, cover and set aside. (It’s a good idea to put a rubber band around your jar at the level of the mixture so you can gauge how much it’s growing. If it’s not expanding, something is wrong. It’s either dying because it’s too hot or it needs to be fed.)
Day 3-5: Each day, take 100g of starter mixture and combine with the daily feed of flour and lukewarm, not hot, water. Mix well, cover and set aside.
You can set aside the remaining starter for other use - see tips below.
Day 6: Take 100g of starter mixture and combine with the daily feed of flour and lukewarm, not hot, water. Mix well, cover and set aside.
By now your starter should be doubling in size and have many bubbles below the surface. If not continue for a few more days. If after a week nothing is happening, bin it and start again.
Feed your starter one more time the night before you plan to use so it will be bubbly and raring to go. Remember more bubbles means lighter bread.
Baking Day: Take 100-250g of starter, depending on your recipe to make your bread.
Remember to keep the remaining starter for your next loaf. Starter can be kept covered in the fridge for a few days or even weeks until needed again. Just give it at least 2 feeds, as above, before using to refresh. If keeping for a number of weeks then a weekly feed will help keep your starter active.
You need approximately 200g of starter to make a loaf but check your specific recipe as they do vary from 100g-250g.
Filtered water is best.
Use organic ingredients where possible to avoid any preservatives or fungicides that may be present in non-organic flours.
You can add 3 sultanas in the original sourdough starter mixture, and discard after the first feed - they add extra wild yeast which helps get the starter going.
It will have a sour, almost alcoholic odour. If it’s smelling bad like rotten eggs, then only use 1 tsp of it with 100g of flour and water and continue the process. It just means it was contaminated with some not-so-friendly bacteria but will bounce back to life very quickly.
Don’t forget to feed it, otherwise it will start to sweat and die.
Heat will destroy your culture so keep away from heat. Room temperature is ideal.
Cold temperature will slow the growth, so if you want to slow things down until you’re ready to use then put it in the fridge, remembering to bring back to room temperature and feed the night before you bake your bread.
Try and keep your starter going, the older it is the more flavour it has. Some have been going for over 150 years!
Discarded starter can be added to your compost or collected in a jar and stored in the fridge. Use it to make sourdough pizza bases or crackers.
2247 kJ / 537 cals
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