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Like so many things in life, making sourdough bread at home is an art that is easy to learn but difficult to master.
Essential to any sourdough is its starter, a colony of bacteria feeding on flour and water and, in return, aerating the bread.
Professional bakers spend years perfecting their recipes and techniques, trying to corral the effects of those magical, invisible bacteria that give the naturally leavened bread its signature, lighter-than-air lift, as well as that distinctive sour tang.
Starters are precious to bakers, professional and amateur alike. When cared for judiciously with regular 'feedings', they can last decades, gaining resilience and flavour with age.
While it is possible to create your own starter at home, capturing the wild yeasts in the air using a mix of flour and water held at the right temperature, the process can take weeks and the resulting mother will take months to fully develop its flavour.
Necessity Kitchen's dehydrated sourdough starter makes it easy to kick off your own starter. Simply rehydrate the crystals, feed them with rye flour and let it sit for 12 hours. Repeat a few times and within days (rather than weeks), you'll be baking your first loaf.
Produced in small batches in Canberra, your packet of starter comes with comprehensive and easy-to-follow instructions that will guide you through not only caring for your starter (including essential tips on how to name it, as bakers are known to do), but also how to bake the perfect loaf.