A Sourdough Journey

I will be the first to admit this was scary for me. I have never made a sourdough anything before. So I have been asking a ton of questions and reading a lot of material before I even started. And you know what I learned: no two recipes are the same, and no two ways to start the sourdough starter are the same. It can get confusing.

I have taken what I have learned and hopefully made it simple to understand for the next generation of bakers who want to try their hand at making sourdough bread. I will tell you that you need to feed the starter everyday for 5 days! It is like having a kids, you have to feed them if you want them to grow.

Don’t worry if this seems confusing at first or even overwhelming. The more you do the better you will get. Like anything else practice is the key to success!

So if I haven’t scared you off yet, let’s begin your sourdough starter journey.

Sourdough Starter

Day 1 –

Using a small bowl or a 23oz Mason jar, combine 15g (2 tablespoons) of flour and 28g (2 tablespoons) of room temperature water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter. Make sure the room temperature is between 68˚-75˚F. Stir the starter later in the day.

Day 2 –

Stir the starter. For your first feeding, add in 15g (2 tablespoons) flour and 28g (2 tablespoons) room temperature water. Stir everything together to make a thin batter. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter Stir the starter later in the day.

Day 3 –

Stir the starter. This feeding we are going to be adding more flour than befo

re. Add in 30g (1/4 cup) flour and 40g (3 tablespoons) room temperaturewater. Stir everything together. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let it sit on the counter. Stir the starter later in the day. If it is bubbling nicely, go ahead and feed it again.

Day 4 –

Feed your starter morning and night now, as long as is it bubbling nicely. Add 60g (1/2 cup) flour and 56g (1/4 cup) room temperature water. Stir everything together. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter. Stir the starter later in the day. Remember to feed it again before bed if it is bubbling nicely. You may be getting that sour smell by now.

Day 5 –

Feed your starter morning and night now, as long as is it bubbling nicely. Add 60g (1/2 cup) flour and 56g (1/4 cup) room temperature water. Stir everything together. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter Stir the starter later in the day. Remember to feed it again before bed if it is bubbling nicely.

You should be getting it nice and bubbly by now. No worries if you are not, it may take an extra day, temperature in the house will have an effect.  This is dependent on room temperature and other factors. If by Day 6 it has started to grow fungus and is fuzzy STOP and throw it out!!! Try again!

Day 6 & forward –

If you have a nicely bubbly starter and it has a sour or boozy smell, congratulation you are doing well! Now you need to feed this twice a day! To do this you will weigh your starter and remove 140g. You can throw out the second starter, give it to a friend with instructions on how to use it or you can make sourdough baguettes, crumpets, pizza dough, or even waffles. Look for these great tasting recipes soon.

Now feed your starter 70g flour and 70g room temperature water (feed it 1 cup flour and ½ room temperature water). The starter should be think enough to mound on a spoon and fall off slowly. If it is dripping off the spoon, use less water.

Taking care of your starter:

Now that you have become friends with your starter and probably have had a few conversations with it, it is time to move forward. You have cared for it and fed it now for 5 days, it is time to start thinking about how to keep it alive until you are ready to use it. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to two months untouched and it can easily be reactivated. You may notice that it started to turn a grey-ish color and the flour has started to sink to the bottom, no worries just stir it up and feed it. It will turn back to its bubbly self once more within a few hours.

If your bowl of starter is getting low, you can feed the entire bowl and wait a few hours (2-6 hours) for it to return to its bubbly self. Weigh the sourdough starter, divide that number by half and feed it that same weight in half flour and half room temperature water (feed it 1 cup flour and ½ room temperature water).

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