How to make a Sourdough Starter from scratch
How to make
Here are the three most commun questions I get :
-What types of flour can be used for starters?
Preferably, use organic unbleached all purpose white flour and whole grain rye flour.
-How to know if the starter is working well?
A lively starter should be bubbly, and have a sweet/sour smell.
-How long does it take to make a starter? It should take about 6-7 days to make a good smelly bubbly sourdough starter.
- DAY 1 : CREATE YOUR STARTER
Combine 50g of whole grain rye flour and 60g of water (if your kitchen is cold, use some warm water) in a large jar. Mix with a spoon until smooth, it should be thick and pasty. Cover the jar loosely with a lid, and let it rest at room temperature for 24 hours.
- DAY 2 : FEED YOUR STARTER
You may see some fermentation activities Bubbles = fermentation, which is what we need! But don't worry if you don’t, it's possible that the bubbles have appeared and already dissolved overnight. Sometimes, a layer of liquid called “hooch” forms on the top of your starter, just stir it back into it, it's a good sign. Whether bubbles are visible or not, it is now time to start the "feeding" process. Discard approximately half of your starter from the jar with a spoon, put the rest into a new clean jar and add 25g of all-purpose flour, 25g of rye flour and 60 g of water. Mix well. The texture should be less thick than before. Cover loosely with a lid and let it rest for another 24 hours.
- DAYS 3 - 4 - 5 : FEEDING SCHEDULE
Repeat the same feeding process every day except now you can use only all purpose flour. Remove and discard half of your starter, and feed it with 50g of all-purpose flour and 50g water (as you now use only all purpose flour, you can put the same amount of water). As the fermentation starts to develop, your starter will rise, and bubble, sometimes even doubled in size. When the starter falls, it shows you that it's time to feed it again.
- DAY 6 : YOUR STARTER IS NOW ALIVE
By now, your sourdough starter should have doubled in size, very bubbly and have a sour but nice smell. The very last step is to transfer your sourdough starter to a nice, clean jar. If you are ready to make your first sourdough bread, you can feed your starter without discarding it 2 or 3 times at about 8 to 12 hours intervals until you have a little bit more than 200g of starter.
VERY IMPORTANT: Don't forget to always keep about 1 tablespoon of starter when you are ready to bake, otherwise you will have to start the process all over again. You can then jump over my "No Knead Sourdough Bread" recipe and the big adventure of sourdough begins for you ! I really hope you'll like it as much as I do !!!
TIPS AND STORING ADVICE :
> If you miss a feeding, don’t worry, your starter is not going to die. It might look ugly and have a weird smell, but it usually just needs a few feedings to be back in tracks.
> If you want to be sure your starter is ready to use, you can do the "floating test": Drop half a teaspoon of starter into a glass of water. If it floats to the top, that means it's ready to use.
> If you store your starter at room temperature, you will need to feed it everyday. This option is if you bake bread a few times a week.
> If you keep it in the fridge, feed it only once every 2 weeks and pop it back in the fridge right afterwards. (That's what I do). And if you want to make bread, take it out of the fridge and start feeding it at least 48h before baking day.
All purpose flour
Whole grain rye flour