wild yeast

How To: Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

25 March 2020

 

Up until a few months ago, I had the same thoughts about sourdough starter that you probably do. I thought it was too hard to make. That it would be impossible to get the same, high quality sour from my ‘few months old’ starter when compared to a 100-year-old starter. That it would be a high maintenance project that I probably wouldn’t get much use out of in the long run.

Then I found this article that completely changed my point of view and had me eagerly fermenting things on my kitchen counter. After creating both a high-tang wheat starter and a milder ‘all-purpose’ white starter and maintaining them for several months I’ve found a relatively easy and straightforward way to create your dream starter and begin a baking legacy to pass down, generation to generation.

Something to note: A new starter is like a child, it needs supervision. If you are headed out of town in the week put off your starter genesis until you return.

 

HAVING STARTER ISSUES?

 

 

Sourdough Starter

Gather [materials]:

  • 1 kitchen scale that measures in grams and ounces

Gather [ingredients]:

  • 1 lb wheat flour or bread flour
  • 32 oz glass jar for storing your new starter

 

Instructions:
Day 1: Combine 115 g of flour with 115 g of room temp water in a glass or food-grade plastic container. A 32 oz jar is perfect for this as it allows space for the starter to grow. Mix thoroughly to fully hydrate the flour, cover (screw lid on a half-turn shy of tight to ensure gas can escape), and place in a warm spot in your home (anywhere around 70-75°). If you live in NYC the hot pipe in your bathroom is the perfect place. Leave it alone for 24 hours.

Day 2: The first 24 hours may have no or a little visible activity (wheat starters will be more active after the first 24 when compared to bread flour starters). Regardless, pour 4 oz of starter into a small mixing bowl (glass or food-grade plastic) and discard the rest. Add in 115 g of water (cool if your home is warm, lukewarm if your home is cool) and 115 g of flour. Mix thoroughly, cover, and leave it alone for 24 hours.

Day 3: This is when you’ll definitely begin to see some activity. The starter will be bubbling, fresh-smelling (slightly bread-like), and you will see that it has grown in size. (If this does not happen on Day 3 repeat the instructions from Day 2). Once this happens you will begin feeding the starter twice a day. Each feeding will be 4 oz of starter (discard excess), 115 g of water, and 115 g of flour. Mix thoroughly, cover, and leave it alone for 12 hours. Do this twice daily for the next two days.

Day 5: By the end of Day 5 the starter should have doubled in size. There will be lots of bubbles in varying sizes and rivulets across the top. The starter itself should have taken on the classic sourdough tang, slightly acidic, but not overpowering. If it is not doubling in size or showing lots of bubbles (read: activity) continue the process of discarding and feeding twice daily until the starter will double in size in approximately 6 hours.

 

Once the starter is doubling in size within 6 hours it is ready to use!

To use your starter, feed as you normally would (4 oz starter, 115 g water, 115 g flour) approximately 6-8 hours before you intend to use it.

To store, feed as you normally would (4 oz starter, 115 g water, 115 g flour) and allow it about 3-4 hours to rise at room temperature before placing it into the refrigerator. Feed once weekly, allowing it to sit at room temperature before returning to the fridge, to keep the starter active.

 

 

Sourdough Starter

Equipment

  • Kitchen scale

Ingredients

  • 115 g flour whole wheat flour or bread flour
  • 115 g water

Instructions

  • Day 1: Combine 115 g of flour with 115 g of room temp water in a glass or food-grade plastic container. A 32 oz jar is perfect for this as it allows space for the starter to grow. Mix thoroughly to fully hydrate the flour, cover (screw lid on a half-turn shy of tight to ensure gas can escape), and place in a warm spot in your home (anywhere around 70-75°). If you live in NYC the hot pipe in your bathroom is the perfect place. Leave it alone for 24 hours.
  • Day 2: The first 24 hours may have no or a little visible activity (wheat starters will be more active after the first 24 when compared to bread flour starters). Regardless, pour 4 oz of starter into a small mixing bowl (glass or food-grade plastic) and discard the rest. Add in 115 g of water (cool if your home is warm, lukewarm if your home is cool) and 115 g of flour. Mix thoroughly, cover, and leave it alone for 24 hours.
  • Day 3: This is when you’ll definitely begin to see some activity. The starter will be bubbling, fresh-smelling (slightly bread-like), and you will see that it has grown in size. (If this does not happen on Day 3 repeat the instructions from Day 2). Once this happens you will begin feeding the starter twice a day. Each feeding will be 4 oz of starter (discard excess), 115 g of water, and 115 g of flour. Mix thoroughly, cover, and leave it alone for 12 hours. Do this twice daily for the next two days.
  • Day 5: By the end of Day 5 the starter should have doubled in size. There will be lots of bubbles in varying sizes and rivulets across the top. The starter itself should have taken on the classic sourdough tang, slightly acidic, but not overpowering. If it is not doubling in size or showing lots of bubbles (read: activity) continue the process of discarding and feeding twice daily until the starter will double in size in approximately 6 hours.

Notes

Once the starter is doubling in size within 6 hours it is ready to use!
To use your starter, feed as you normally would (4 oz starter, 115 g water, 115 g flour) approximately 6-8 hours before you intend to use it.
To store, feed as you normally would (4 oz starter, 115 g water, 115 g flour) and allow it about 3-4 hours to rise at room temperature before placing it into the refridgerator. Feed once weekly, allowing it to sit at room temperature before returning to the fridge, to keep the starter active.

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