If you want to make sourdough but don’t know where to start, then look no further! We have enlisted Sourdough Sensei, Chef Kelly Syms, to guide you through this pungent process.
Welcome to our Essential Sourdough Series and let the baking begin!
Making a Sourdough Starter
As you’re looking down the barrel of another month at home, you begin to wonder to yourself, “Is it too late to try making a sourdough starter?” Our answer would be an emphatic “No way!”
There’s no better time than now as flour is beginning to reappear on shelves around Australia. You’ve got the time – why not go on your own personal bread adventure… or br-adventure?
Although sourdough is the oldest form of leavened bread, it doesn’t need to be overly complex or laborious. Just a few minutes a day can give you a stepping stone to nutritious and flavoursome loaves.
Below is our guide to making a stiff sourdough starter – one that makes it easy to achieve great, predictable results with.
Before you begin, you will need the following equipment:
- A probe thermometer
- A glass jar* or clear plastic container
- A small mixing bowl
- Wholemeal flour
- White flour (Baker’s or Plain)
- Water (preferably filtered)
*If you choose to use a glass jar, ensure that it does not seal completely. Gas must be allowed to escape the jar for safety. If you are using a preserving jar, remove the rubber seal. If you are using a mason-style jar, simply place the lid on but do not use the metal sealing ring.
Once you have gathered your equipment, follow these day-by-day steps to creating a starter:
Day 1: Combine 100g Wholemeal flour with 100g water that measures 35 degrees celsius. Mix and let sit, covered at room temperature, for 24 hours.
Days 2, 3 and 4: Take 100g of the previous day’s starter and mix with 100g water that measures 35 degrees celsius. Mix in 100g white flour, cover and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
Day 5: Take 20g of the previous day’s mature starter and mix with 55g water that measures 35 degrees celsius. Mix in 100g white flour, cover and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
Now your starter is ready to go into maintenance mode!
Maintaining your sourdough starter
On ‘Day 6‘, take 10-20g of mature starter (less in Summer, more in Winter) and mix with 55g water that measures 35 degrees celsius. Mix in 100g white flour, cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 hours, then repeat the process.
Continue to feed twice a day for one more week, then your starter will be ready to bake with.
Once the initial 12 day cultivation period ends, you can continue to feed it once a day and store it in the fridge. You can also freeze your mature starter then simply defrost and refresh it with another feed at least 24 hours before you use it.
If you are a true sourdough nerd then you knead to read on and discover more about just what types of sourdough starter there are! Click here for the next article in our Essential Sourdough Series.