DIY: Sourdough Culture (revised)

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As many of you know, my purpose with beginning BREAD CULTURE was to get as many people as possible to start baking their very own bread in their home oven. Now that I am teaching more classes and seeing this purpose become a wonderful reality, I am realizing that I best be getting more material up and online, so I can reach even more people! I appreciate your patience so much! Having a 9 month old and running two businesses at once can be a challenge (of the best kind!).

So here is my newest, simplified sourdough culture recipe.  I recently read Andrew Whitley’s Do/Sourdough and was transformed by his simple and poetic recipes. I experimented with his sourdough culture recipe and added a few of my own tips and tricks.

So, without further adieu…

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HOW TO MAKE YOUR
OWN SOURDOUGH “STARTER”
aka “mother,” “wild yeast,” or “leaven”

DAY 1

Step 1: Get yourself a mason jar (pint, quart, whatever you have with a lid). Glass is preferred, but BPA free plastic will do too.

Step 2: Put the following ingredients into a jar: 30 grams (2 tablespoons) WHOLE GRAIN ORGANIC FLOUR, 30 grams (2 tablespoons) ROOM TEMP FILTERED WATER (or warmer, up to 95 degrees, if you can measure it).

Step 3: Stir gently with your hand or a wooden spoon (metal if you must). Place lid gently on top, not airtight.

Step 4: Place in a cupboard where it is free from drafts and will not get cold. Fermentation likes heat, but nothing hotter than 140 degrees (meaning, putting it by the oven or water heater — above that temperature will kill yeast cells).

DAY 2

Repeat Steps from Day 1, not discarding anything yet

DAY 3

Step 1: Add 30 grams (2 tablespoons) FLOUR, 15 grams (1 tablespoon) room temp or up to 95 degree WATER

DAY 4

Step 1: Add 90 grams (6 tablespoons) FLOUR, 45 grams (3 tablespoons) 95 degree water (to amplify and jumpstart fermentation and carbon dioxide bubbles).

DAY 5

If your starter is bubbling and active, you are ready to bake! If not, continue for a few more days, repeating day 3 and using 95 degree water and making sure the mason jar is in a warm enough space in your kitchen.

Notes/Tips:

*If you keep close to the recipe, and use warm enough water, and your kitchen isn’t cold, you should have bubbles from day 4 or definitely by a week’s end. But sometimes you have to add an acid to jumpstart things. You can add one teaspoon of freshly squeezed OJ or apple cider vinegar. But only once. That should do it.
*If your starter turns pink or has black mold on top of it or within its contents, toss it and start again.
*Once you start baking on a normal basis, you can feed your starter once a day or once a week. You can keep it in the fridge. It is resilient. When you want to bake, take it out of the fridge at least 4-6 hours before you bake (ideally – sometimes I mix dough with cold starter straight from the fridge on a hot day), discard 50% and feed it ONE CUP ORGANIC WHOLE GRAIN FLOUR, 1 CUP ROOM TEMP OR UP TO 95 DEGREES WATER.
* What to do with the yeast you discard? Make pancakes, compost it, make muffins, or something tasty.

More questions? Please feel free to reach out! I am happy to help and love to learn myself too! 

Love and Real Bread,

Mary

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