Hello my favorite Carbohollics
Embarking on a sourdough journey can be as exciting as it is bewildering. You’ll quickly find that there are as many “correct” ways to maintain a sourdough starter as there are bakers! 🤷♀️🥖
Ask 15 bakers for a sourdough starter recipe and you’ll get 20 different answers. Each baker has their unique method, honed over time and through countless loaves. After all, the art of sourdough baking has been with us for an estimated 16,000 years! 🕰️🍞
Do you cover your starter with a cloth? Use a loose fitting lid? Maybe a coffee filter? How about sticking it in your pocket? You’ll hear countless opinions and methods. Some bakers feed their starter twice a day, others let it chill in the fridge, some stir the hooch back in, others pour it off. 🤔
In this guide, we’re not going to delve into the nitty-gritty of the balance between lactic acid and acetic acid or how the microbial biome impacts flavor. That’s more of a ‘Sourdough 301’ topic! Instead, this is a beginner’s guide, and we’re going to focus on the high points – the essential basics that will set you off on the right track. There’s so much more to learn, but you don’t have to (and frankly, can’t) learn it all in one day. 🎓
All these variations are part of what makes the world of sourdough baking so rich and diverse. But when you’re just starting out, it can also make things feel a bit overwhelming.
That’s where this guide comes in. I’ve been on this sourdough journey for years now, and along the way, I’ve gathered my own set of tips, tricks, and methods. This guide shares my take on sourdough starter maintenance. Of course, this doesn’t make it the definitive or only way. It’s simply the method that works for me.
Remember, everyone’s sourdough journey is unique. Other bakers are more than welcome to write down their own methods and share their own wisdom. And who knows? Maybe a few months down the line, you’ll have your own tips and tricks to share. 📝
So, without further ado, let’s jump in and start our sourdough adventure!
Day 1: 🗓️
- In a clean glass jar, mix together 60g of whole grain flour (like rye or whole wheat) and 80ml of lukewarm water. Mix well until you get a thick, sticky mixture.
- Cover the jar loosely with a cloth or a plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature (around 21-24°C) for 24 hours.
Day 2: 🗓️
- You might not see much activity yet. Regardless, discard half of your starter, and add another 60g of unbleached all-purpose flour and 80ml of lukewarm water. Mix well, cover, and let it sit for another 24 hours.
Day 3: 🗓️
- By now, you should see some activity in your starter: bubbles, a fruity aroma, and some expansion. It’s time to start feeding your starter twice a day, roughly every 12 hours.
- For each feeding, discard all but 60g of the starter. Add 60g of unbleached all-purpose flour and 80ml of lukewarm water. Mix well, cover, and let it sit.
Day 4 to Day 7 (or until your starter is ready): 🗓️
- Continue the twice-a-day feeding routine: Discard all but 60g of the starter, then feed it with 60g of unbleached all-purpose flour and 80ml of lukewarm water.
- Your starter is ready when it doubles in volume within 4 to 6 hours after feeding. It should have a lot of bubbles on the surface and throughout the culture, and give off a pleasant, slightly sweet, tangy aroma.
Maintaining your Starter: 📌
- If you bake often, keep your starter at room temperature and feed it once or twice a day.
- If you bake less frequently, you can keep your starter in the refrigerator and feed it once a week. Always let it sit at room temperature for about an hour before using it.
- Using your Starter: 🥖
- When you’re ready to bake, use your starter when it’s at its peak (usually 4-6 hours after feeding). It should have doubled in volume, have a domed surface, and bubbles throughout.
- Measure out the amount of starter needed for your recipe with a scale. This will ensure accuracy and success in your sourdough baking adventures.
- Remember to feed your starter after using it, to keep it healthy and active for your next bake.
- Reviving your Starter: 🆘
- If you’ve neglected your starter, don’t panic! Starters are resilient. Begin daily feedings again, and your starter should revive within a few days. If it has a layer of liquid (hooch) on top, you can either pour it off or stir it back in, then proceed with feeding.
- Congratulations! 🎉
- Remember, the key to a successful sourdough starter is patience and persistence.
- You’ve just made your very own sourdough starter. With care, this starter can last for years, providing you with delicious, homemade sourdough bread. Enjoy the process and happy baking!
- Happy baking! 🥖🍞
Baking Great Bread at Home
As we enter the summer season, I wanted to chat about something that affects us all: the change in temperature and its impact on our sourdough baking. I’ve noticed that with warmer weather, it can be a challenge to maintain the perfect fermentation conditions, leading to potential issues like over-proofing. But fear not, I’ve found a solution that has been a game-changer for me: Sourdough Home.
Sourdough Home is a fantastic tool that helps me control the temperature of my sourdough starter, especially during this time of year. It’s a compact refrigerator-like device that provides the ideal environment for my sourdough starter, keeping it cooler and preventing unwanted over-proofing.
I can’t stress enough how much of a difference Sourdough Home has made in my baking. It’s concise, easy to use, and has become an essential part of my sourdough routine. If you’re facing similar challenges with temperature control and want to avoid over-proofing, I highly recommend checking out Sourdough Home.
You can find more information about it on their website: [https://bit.ly/44C777p].
Remember, we’re all on this sourdough journey together, and it’s wonderful to have resources like The Sourdough Home to help us overcome the challenges we encounter. Give it a try and let me know how it elevates your baking experience!
Baking Great Bread at Home