Sourdough Starter (How to guide)

What is a Sourdough Starter? 

Our Sourdough Starter is essentially the cultivation of Wild Yeast into something we can use for baking. Wild Yeast is everywhere, which is why you might find some Starter recipes calling for grapes?!? We keep things simple, the Wild Yeast is in the air, it’s in our flour, so we see no need to complicate things. 

What you need 

Container to grow Sourdough Starter. I use a glass Kilner jar. 

All Purpose flour (350g, 1 ½ Cups in total) 

Tepid Water (350g, 1 ½ Cups in total)

Method 

Making a Sourdough Starter can seem intimidating, or too much effort. It REALLY isn’t. Yes it takes a week to get the Starter up to speed, but this recipe will take no more than five minutes out of your day. What’s more, once your Starter is up and going, it will only demand five minutes of your attention each week! 

On day one, take your clean container and add in 50g (1/3 of  a cup) of flour. We use all purpose flour, but you can use whatever flour you like, we have been known to mix and match on occasion! To the flour add 50g (1/3 of  a cup) of tepid (luke warm) water. Give everything a good mix to create a thick but smooth paste. Leave somewhere warm and loosely covered. 

That’s the hard part over, from here on in you are simply repeating the process daily. Eat, sleep, sourdough repeat! 

So, on day two, open up your container, discard half of your mixture and to the remaining, add 50g (1/3 of  a cup) of flour and 50g (1/3 of  a cup) of tepid water. Mix and again leave loosely covered. 

Over the first couple of days you will see bubbles begin to appear on the surface of your mixture. This is great, this is showing you that the Wild Yeast is activating. 

Follow the same process each day for one week and by the end of day seven you will have grown the base of your Sourdough – A lively, bubbly jar of goodness!  

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Maintenance 

Once your Starter is up and running, maintaining it couldn’t be easier. Once a week, you just need to give it some love.  

Every seven days, in order to keep everything fresh, pour off (or better still, use) about half of your starter and feed in equal measures of flour and water, just as you did when you were making your creation in the first place. Mix everything together to recreate your smooth batter and place back in the fridge, covered. 

When you are next in the mood for a Sourdough creation, take out the desired amount of starter 24 hours in advance, feed as before and leave out at a consistent room temperature until ready to use. 

Further reading