Sourdough Starter Recipe

I like it when my recipes get right to the point so here’s to avoiding the fluff except when it comes to bread… and pastry’s… then fluff is good… you want the fluff.

Ingredients:

  • Flour- You can use all purpose, bread flour, or mix it up with some whole grain love.
  • Water- You should use quality filtered water as tap water can attack and kill your yeast.

Equipment:

  • A large Glass, Ceramic or Plastic container *Avoid metal as it is reactive and can kill your yeast. *Pure stainless steel is an exception, it is the least reactive but I still wouldn’t use it to house your starter since it will be spenidng alot of time in there. *
  • Scale or measuring cups * Scale is more acurate
  • A spoon
  • Plastic wrap, lid for your container or a kitchen towel

Instructions:

This is your baby, you need to feed, keep warm and love your baby everyday. To get your starter up to speed you’ll need about 5 days, it could take longer. Each day you will feed it equal amounts of flour and water. This period is also your “building bulk ” stage. See bubbles? smells sour? looks frothy? then practise your best Colin Clive impression as Dr. Frankenstein.

What your week will look like:

Day 1: Initial Start

  • 4 ounces flour ( 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp)
  • 4 ounces water ( 1/2 cup)

Add ingredients together in your container. Stir until combined into a smooth batter and no dry flour remains. Loosely cover the container with plastic wrap, lid ( don’t snap shut, just loosly place on top) or a clean kitchen towel.

Place the container somewhere with a consistant temperature of 70-75 fahrenheit (21-23 Celsius) On top of the refridgerator is a good choice. Let sit for 24 hours.

Day 2: Feed the starter

  • 4 ouces Flour ( 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp)
  • 4 ounces Water ( 1/2 cup)

It’s alive…. it’s alive… It’s Alive!, IT’S ALIVE!!

Frankenstein ( 1931)

Take a peak, you might see a few bubbles today. Bubbles mean life! Your starter should smell fresh, mildly sweet and yeasty. Don’t worry about bad bacteria growing, the yeast will take care of that by increasing the acidity of the mixture.

If you don’t see any bubbles just be patient, creating life takes time and depending on the conditions of your environment it may take a little extra. Go through the same process as day 1, place back in its warm spot and wait 24 hours.

Day 3 : Feed the Starter

  • 4 ouces Flour ( 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp)
  • 4 ounces Water ( 1/2 cup)

Starter Day 3

You should see the surface of your starter dappled with bubbles and it will have increased in volume. Stiring, it should feel thick like a batter. It will smell a little sour and musty. Repeat the process from Day 1 and tuck away back in it’s spot for another 24 hours.

You’re in my spot

Sheldon- Big Bang Theory

Day 4: Feed the Starter

  • 4 ouces Flour ( 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp)
  • 4 ounces Water ( 1/2 cup)

You should see a very bubbly surface, both large and small bubbles. It will have doubled in volume. When you stir it , it will feel looser and bubbles will be seen through out. Take a whiff, but get ready for the punch! it will smell quite sour and pungent. Repeat Day 1 process, kiss it good night for tomorrow we shall make dough!

Day 5: Starter is ready to use

Starter day 5

Bubbles!? Frothy goodness!? you got a green light. Stiring the starter will be loose and webbed with bubbles. It also will have doubled in volume and pack that same powerful punch as yesterday maybe more so.

** If your starter isn’t quite mature yet, keep going with ” Maintenance instructions”until you see the above results*

Maintenance

Welcome to the maintence stage. You no longer need to bulk up your starter so from here you can add as much or as little flour as you want, based on your baking need, just make sure to maintain the “equal parts” method. I personally cut the ingredients in half. Each day you will discard half of your starter and feed it with new flour and water following Day 1 process. Place back in its warm spot and repeat every 24 hours.

Phew too much work? you can place your starter in the fridge for a bit of a break. Seal tightly and feed once a week, Let it sit out over night on feeding day to help the yeast recuperate before putting back in the fridge. If you are baking with starter from the fridge leave out on the counter over night before using.

Going on vacation? if your a serious sourdough baker there is such a thing as a sourdough “baby sitter”.. huh imagine that, I think I need a gig like that. Here are a coupe more options:

Thicken the starter:

Feed double the amount of flour to make a thick dough. it will maintain the yeast over a longer period of inactivity in the fridge.

Dry the Starter:

Smear your starter on a non stick surface, parchement paper would work good. Let it dry completly. Break into flakes and store in an airtight container. With this method the starter can be stored for months. To restart it dissolve 1/4 cup of the flakes in 4 ounces of water and stire in 4 ounces of flour. Continue feeding until it is active again.

Wait… Did you say I have to throw out HALF my starter every day!?

Yes, however there are many “sourdough discard” recipies out there. I encourage you to explore and try something new. Below are a few of my favorte recipies I’ve tried so far. Found one you love? let me know in the comments.

Sourdough Discard Recipies:

*Coming soon*

Here’s the latest

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