The Ultimate Sourdough Starter Guide



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How to Make a Sourdough Starter Without Yeast

Make a sourdough starter that can last for decades with two simple, cheap ingredients. Capture, breed and nurture wild yeast.

Steps

  1. Choose the container in which your starter will live.This container should be able to hold 4 cups, be made of plastic, ceramic or glass, and have a loose-fitting lid. Sourdough starter can/will etch metal, which will foul the starter.
  2. Sterilize your container.For glass and ceramic containers, you can soak them in boiling water for 15 minutes. This method is not recommend for plastic, as some plastics can leach chemicals when heated. For all container types, you can soak in a solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach and 1 gallon (3.8 litres) of water for 30 minutes. Be sure to soak the lid as well, and rinse the containers to remove all of the bleach.
  3. Add 30 grams each of flour and warm water to your container and mix vigorously.If you don't have a scale, use approximately 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup warm water. Any type of wheat flour (except for self-rising) is fine. The water should be around 100 °F (38 °C). Either measure the temperature with a thermometer or check it on your wrist. It should be bath-water warm, but not uncomfortably so.
  4. Cover the container and let it sit in a warm place for 24 hours.
  5. After 24 hours has passed, add another 30 grams each of flour and warm water (about 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup, respectively) to the container and mix vigorously.The vigorous mixing should incorporate air into the mixture, which will help the yeast take hold.
  6. Replace the cover and let it sit in a warm place for 24 hours.
  7. Add 60 grams of flour and 60 grams of warm water, or 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of warm water, to the container, and mix as before.By this time you should see some change. The batter should smell sour and have small bubbles. If not, your yeast culture might be a slow breeder, just give it more time.
  8. Replace the cover and let it sit in a warm place for 24 hours.
  9. At this point, you should have 2 cups of starter.You need to feed your starter every day or two if left at room temperature and once a week if stored in the fridge. To feed the starter, remove 1 cup of starter from the container (either use it in a recipe or pour it down the drain) and add 60 grams of flour and 60 grams of warm water, or 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of warm water.

Community Q&A

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  • Question
    On the last step, do I feed and then refrigerate? Or do I let it sit first? If so, for how long?
    Cheri111
    Community Answer
    If your starter hasn't been fed for 12 hours or more, you should probably feed it. Then, if possible, let it sit out for just an hour or two to let it start eating the fresh flour.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    What do I need to do with the starter right before I want to use it?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    If your starter has been in the fridge for awhile, take it out and pour it into a bowl and add enough flour and water to double the amount. Thoroughly mix the fed starter and put half of it back in the fridge for next time. Place the half that is left out in a warm place to bubble up. After a few hours your starter should be ready for use for any wonderful sourdough recipe.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    I made a sourdough starter, which doesn't seem to want to bubble. It's been on my counter for over a week and it doesn't smell bad, but it's not growing bigger with bubbles. what can I try?
    Horatio Bunce
    Community Answer
    Keep feeding it. Try a couple feedings with stone ground whole wheat flour. The husks of these have good wild yeast.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Can I use any whole meal flour?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, you can.
    Thanks!
Unanswered Questions
  • When you are ready to make bread , how much starter do you use? . I grind my own organic wheat, could I use this for the sourdough or am I better to use white high grade flour?
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  • Once a month or so, move the starter to a new, sterilized container. This gives you the opportunity to wash the original and prevent bad microbes from taking root.
  • Your starter is ready to be used in bread recipes when it becomes foamy on top and smells sour and "beery" 8-12 hours after feeding.
  • The starter will continue to mature and develop in flavor for years.

Warnings

  • Sourdough starter is a colony of living creatures. Once it has been established, it is hard to kill, but neglecting to feed it for long periods of time, and heat above 120 degrees F will kill it. Mold can also be a problem, so keep your containers clean.
  • If your starter turns pink or orange, discard it. It should be a very light grey or beige color.
  • If your starter smells bad, it probably is. As an explanatory analogy think of cheese: varieties of cheese may be pungent but (with possible except of Limburger, etc.) they do not stink. A pungent starter is OK, but it should not be foul. Also, if the starter has a slimy appearance then it is bad - perhaps because you fermented it at too high a temperature in which case the bacteria overcame the yeast.





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Date: 07.12.2018, 18:49 / Views: 32261