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Sourdough Journey #5: A new day; a new recipe for sourdough starter


This is part 5 in a 31 part series: Sourdough Journey

Will this be my favourite sourdough starter? 

Let’s make some sourdough starter, together. 

There are many, many different sets of directions for sourdough starters. There are wet versions, dry versions, and in-between versions. 

I have even posted a version already here at Homesteadian

Recently, I watched, yet, another tutorial video, by someone who has been making sourdough bread for over 30 years. In this video, Maureen Diaz talked a lot about the wellness benefits of sourdough and the benefits of using natural yeasts that are in the air and in the components of grains. Interesting. 

Now, although you can use any flour to make sourdough, the best flour to use is: 
  • whole wheat (real whole wheat, not processed)
  • organic (so you aren’t undermining your wellness and the effects of the wild yeast) 
  • freshly ground is a bonus! (Again, getting the healthy components of the whole grain)

In my previous starters, I have always used unbleached flour because that’s what I had. Actually, I did have Einkorn flour handy but just didn’t use it. I didn’t realize the difference, yeast-wise. 

And, so, I start again. With this version of sourdough starter, I am using some Einkorn flour. Now, I do have wheat berries that I could grind up, but I really want to use up my old flour first. When that is gone, I may make another starter using freshly ground wheat. 

For now … I’m using my purchased, already milled Einkorn flour. 

What you need:

  • Flour (whatever you have)
  • Water (not water that has been processed and is adapted to kill off organisms, like active yeast. Spring water is a good choice.) 
  • Container with lid (not metal as it interacts with the activity of the yeast)
  • Spoon 
  • Calendar 

Use a calendar

Why a calendar? Just in case you get busy and forget if you fed the starter or when your Day 1 was. Hey … we think that we will remember but, sometimes, well, we don’t. 

Here is a handy chart to print off and use.(save image; print it; use it)

Record your “Day 1” and check off each day, after you feed your starter. You can also use it to record any observations.

Day 1
  • Measure 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 c water into your container; mix it up well; put on the lid; set it on the counter. (Or in a location that will kept it around 80 F.) 
  • Over the next day, the flour will go through a fermentation process: the wild yeast from the air in the jar and from the flour you used will feed on the carbohydrates of the flour, breaking it down, which is why sourdough bread is easier for us to digest. 

  • Day 2: Repeat
  • Day 3: Repeat
  • Day 4: Repeat
  • Day 5: Repeat
  • Day 6: Repeat
  • Day 7: Repeat 
… and, now, you are probably ready to make some bread. 

Does your starter look bubbly and happy? 

If your starter is not bubbly, you may have to repeat for another day or two. The temperature in your home may have slowed things down.

Bread Day

Morning of … 
  • Scoop out 1 c of your starter and put it in a bowl. This is your “discard”, which you can, now, use for “discard recipes” such as biscuits or crackers.
  • Feed the original starter, replacing what you took out. That means: add 1/2 c flour and 1/2 c water. Stir it and put it back on the counter. 

Several hours later …
  • Scoop out 1 c starter and put it into a bowl.
  • Add to this: 1 c flour and 1 c water. This is called the sourdough “levain” and is the basis of your bread.
  • Put your starter back on the counter or into the fridge if you don’t plan on using it for several days.
  • Let the levain sit on the counter for a couple of hours, to feast on the flour, and, then, you can make your bread!

Note: during the bread-making, there will be the long-rise, the fermentation, which allows the yeast to break down the flour. My goal is to let this happen overnight, so I will be starting the bread at night and finishing it the next morning - having fresh bread for lunch. 

But, for now,  I’m still at Day 1, so I’m not making bread, yet. I’ll continue this journey next week. 

Let me know how it goes for you
Post a blog, so I can follow your progress.
- Debbie 

a simpler life

fed; stirred; resting

a simpler life