A Sourdough Starter Guide for Beginners II 🍞

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Baking Great Bread at Home 🏠 By: Henry Hunter

📅 November 14, 2023

Hello, my favorite Carbohollics!

Follow me on a sourdough journey filled with my unique methods and personalized touches. This guide is your first step into the world of sourdough, a tradition spanning an estimated 12,000 years.

In this guide, we’re going to focus on the essential basics that will set you off on the right track. Let’s jump in and start this adventure!


Day 1: 🗓️

The Basics: Getting Started

  • Day 1: Mix 60g of whole grain flour (rye or whole wheat) with 80ml of lukewarm water in a clean glass jar. Aim for a thick, sticky mixture. Cover loosely with a cloth or plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature 70°F (21-24°C) for 24 hours.

Day 2: 🗓️

Day 2: Don’t worry if there’s not much activity yet. Discard half of the starter and add 60g of unbleached all-purpose flour and 80ml of lukewarm water. Mix, cover, and let it sit for another 24 hours.


Day 3: 🗓️

Observing Changes and Adjustments

  • Day 3: You should see bubbles and smell a fruity aroma. Now, feed your starter twice a day, discarding all but 60g each time and adding 60g of unbleached all-purpose flour and 80ml of lukewarm water.

Tip: Pay close attention to the size of the bubbles, the texture, and the smell of your starter. These are key indicators of its health.


Day 4 to Day 7 (The Path to a Mature Starter): 🗓️

  • Day 4 to 7 (Marlon BranDough): Continue feeding twice a day. The starter is ready when it doubles in volume within 4 to 6 hours after feeding and has a pleasant, slightly sweet, tangy aroma.

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.


Maintenance Mastery: 📌

Regular Bakers: Keep your starter at room temperature, feeding it once or twice a day.

  • Occasional Bakers: Store your starter in the fridge and feed it once a week. Allow it to sit at room temperature for about an hour before use.

Tip: Adjust your feeding ratios if your starter seems too active or sluggish. Use filtered or dechlorinated water to protect your starter’s microorganisms.


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.

Remember to feed your starter after using it to keep it healthy and active..

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! 🥖🍞


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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!

Happy baking,

Henry

Baking Great Bread at Home

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