Homemade sourdough bread, muffins, pancakes, and even cinnamon rolls all have to start with a sourdough starter. With these simple day by day tips, learn how to make a homemade sourdough starter.
What is a Homemade Sourdough Starter?
Sourdough is created by mixing flour and water together and then allowing the mixture to sit on the counter for a period of days to capture wild yeast. With many recipes that call for yeast, you go to the store and buy pre-packaged yeast. Sourdough gets its yeast from wild yeast that is naturally found in your home.
The sourdough starter is started with just two ingredients, flour, and water. The combination of yeast and bacteria growing inside the paste of flour and water produces lactic acid which ferments the dough. Once you have a sourdough starter, is it something that you can keep alive for years with proper care and feeding.
Sourdough is more nutritious. It contains higher levels of folate and antioxidants than other conventional loaves of bread that are filled with preservatives. Sourdough also has a lower phytic acid content that lets you actually absorb the vitamins and minerals, into your body.
Homemade Sourdough Starter From Scratch Ingredients and Tools
Flour – I used organic, unenriched, unbrominated, and unbleached
Water – unfiltered water is best
Sourdough Starter Recipe
Day one: Grab your scale and in a measuring cup add 2.5 ounces of flour. Add the flour to your jar and then measure out 2.5 ounces of water and add it to the jar. Then, stir very well. You want to be sure that all the flour is incorporated into the water. Be sure to scrape down the sides. Place the lid back on the jar and set it in a warm location for 24 hours.
Day two: You will discard half of the sourdough mixture that you made on day 1. Then, add back in 2.5 ounces of flour and 2.5 ounces of water. Stir well, make sure that all flour is well incorporated. Place lid on the jar and keep in a warm location for another 24 hours.
Day three-five: Repeat what you did on day two for days three through five.
Day six-seven: Do the same process that you did on the previous days, except you will now feed your starter every 12 hours, instead of the 24 hours like you have done previously.
By day seven you should see a good amount of bubbles indicating that your sourdough starter is alive and growing as it should be. You will now have a good enough amount of yeast to start baking with.
Why Do You Discard Half of the Sourdough Starter?
The main reason that you discard half of the sourdough starter is so that you don’t have an abundance of sourdough that overflows your jar and that you are unable to use.
How to Maintain a Sourdough Starter
Once you have your homemade sourdough starter going, you will need to continue to care for is so that it stays alive and usable for many years.
If you want to just use your sourdough for occasional use, then storing it in the fridge is your best option. Keeping the starter in the fridge slows down the fermentation process. Feeding it once a week would be sufficient. When you are ready to use the sourdough, remove it from the fridge, add in flour and water and allow it to sit on the counter overnight. It will be bubbly and ready to use the next day.
If you plan to do a lot of baking and cooking with your sourdough, you can leave it on the counter. However, you will need to be feeding it every day in order to keep it active, and you will also have to be baking every day in order to not have an overabundance of starter.
I will be storing mine in the fridge as I don’t plan to bake with it every day.
Sourdough has so many health benefits and I hope that you start incorporating it into your way of eating.