Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sourdough Starter

I checked out wonderful book "Wild Fermentation" and "The Art of Fermentation" by Sandor Katz and this has generated an immense interest in fermented foods. Not only have humans been successfully preserving foods by fermenting for hundreds of years, it's healthier for us. Fermentation breaks down the foods, which allows our body to digest it easier.

Sourdough is fermented dough resulting in a natural yeast that helps bread rise, pancakes get fluffy, and taste so good. Another wonderful sourdough book that explains sourdough in simple terms and provides some awesome pictures and recipes is "The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast" by Caleb Warnock and Melissa Richardson.

After researching how to make a sourdough starter, I decided to use the simplest method that I could find.....water and flour.

Day 1: Mix equal parts by weight (slight less water than flour) of flour and water. The texture should be like a thick pancake batter. I decided to start our right and use whole wheat. Mix very well with a non-metal spoon.
Day 2: The starter will separate. Mix very well.
Day 3: I started to see bubbles! This is when you start feeding it equal parts water and flour to keep the consistency like a thick pancake batter
Day 4 and beyond: I feed my starter everyday and leave it on the counter to stay bubbly and active because I use it every couple days. If you aren't going to use it, just place it in the fridge. Feed it flour and water at least once a week to keep it active. Having it in the fridge slows down the fermentation process so it doesn't go "flat" as quickly as it would unfed in room temperature.

I hope this was straight forward enough. Let me know if you have any questions. Keep posted for sourdough recipes galore! I just can't stop myself from wanting to adding sourdough to every bread related food.


  1. I have always wanted to try "real" sourdough. This looks much easier than I thought it would be.

    Question: Does it matter what the actual room temperature is to keep it good at "room temp?" much of the year my climate is very warm.

    1. That's a good question. My house in the winter is 67 degrees (plus or minus depending on what I'm cooking in the kitchen). The sourdough stays active in this temperature. If I want to increase the sourdough bubbles and make it really active I set it in the oven with the pilot light on. If your climate is warm I would think you have a wonderfully active starter. Most ferments work faster in warmer temperatures