Sourdough Starter

From the Wild Yeast Blog , the home of all things nerdy-sourdough. We love it.

Ingredients

  • Bottled water
  • A bag of strong white bread/all purpose flour
  • A bag of rye/wholemeal flour 
Bubbles in culture after 12 hours
Day 1:

Weigh an empty, clean and rinsed 500g jar/container (you’ll need one with a lid). Make a note of the weight for use in a few days. Weigh 100g of water which feels neutral to the touch (c.30C) with 50g each of the flours into the jar. Mix well, cover and set aside for 24 hours in a warmish spot around 26C.

Day 2:
Sourdough culture at 36 hours

Signs of life! Maybe?

A bubble or 2 on the surface is a sign of life. Maybe you’ve a bit of a rise, but more likely just bubbles. If nothing at all, leave another 12 hours.

Discard all but 75g starter and add feed with 75g water (same temperature as before), 25g wholemeal/rye, 50g white flour. Mix well, and cover again for another 12 hours in a warm spot. Repeat the process twice more with the same quantities of starter, water and flour, at 12 hour intervals.

Sourdough culture at 4 days
Day 3 and thereafter:

The culture should be getting a bit more lively. Don’t panic if it’s taking a bit longer than suggested, sourdough is a slow process – that’s part of the beauty of it. Perfect for a lockdown!

Every 12 hours repeat the previous feed process until the starter at least doubles in size between feeds. At this point, change the ratio to 1:1:1 at 75g starter, 75g water, 75g white flour.

After about 5 – 7 days

Hopefully you will observe that the culture can double itself in 8 hours or less, smells pleasantly sour, and is full of bubbles. Congratulations, you have raised a 100% hydration starter that’s ready to bake with! If you’re looking for a recipe, how about this Norwich Sourdough. I’ll also have some non-WYB sourdough recipes to follow in the coming weeks 🙂

If you don’t want to use it right away (which you surely would??) it can be put into the fridge where it will go dormant within 12 hours. To wake it up again, repeat your 1:1:1 feed 3 times. Don’t worry if it collects liquid on top, totally normal. Some discard, some stir in – its ‘hooch’, the byproduct of the bacteria’s anaerobic process – all good!