Friday, 29 June 2012

Sourdough starter

I have started a science experiment in my very own kitchen. I have finally gotten around to the alchemy that is creating my own sourdough bread.

I do not know why it has taken me so long. All you need is flour and water, two things I always have!

Sourdough bread does not use packet yeast, instead it uses natural yeasts in the environment, this is why we have to be patient when making sourdough, it requires a little bit of time and love for these yeasts to get to work and grow, but we are promised that we will be rewarded in the end.

To make sourdough you first need to create your starter. You can use whatever bread flour you like but a proportion of some sort of wholemeal flour will help get your starter going as they contain more natural yeast.

You will need 100g of flour in total, I used 50g strong white bread flour, 25g of wholemeal bread flour and 25g spelt flour.

You then simply mix 100ml of warm water into the flour until it has the texture of thick paint. Cover the bowl and leave in a warmish, draught free place, the kitchen is fine. And then we wait!
My starter ready to go, grow little yeast, grow!
We are waiting for bubbles to appear on the surface, a sign the yeast is activated. This can take 2-24 hours. Mine took about 12 but did not get its initial 'feed' until after 24 ish because I was at work. I must confess I was so excited at the appearance of small bubbles on the surface that I forgot to take a photo!

The starter then needs feeding, add 100g more flour and enough warm water to take it back to the thick paint consistency. You can use all white bread flour at this point, I added 50g of white and 50g of wholemeal. Cover and leave for another 24 hours. 
Bubbles 12 hours after its feed
After the 24 hours are up, remove half the starter and add another 100g of flour and enough warm water to take it back to the thick paint consistency.

Every 24 hours repeat the removal of half the starter followed by the addition of another 100g of flour and warm water.

The starter must be kept on the go for at least a week or up to about 10 days. After this we are allowed to bake bread with it!

So check back in a week and I will let you know how the bread turns out and how to store your matured starter.


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