Sourdough Starter Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

Sourdough Starter

()
Welcome » Sourdough Starter

Sourdough starter is easy, but it takes a week of daily feedings to develop a healthy and robust culture. Luckily, those feeding only takes a few minutes each day. I like to attend to mine while brewing my morning coffee.

Sourdough Starter Recipe

  • Makes: 4 ounces
  • Active Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
WHAT YOU NEED WHAT TO DO WHY
  • 2 ounces water (chlorine and chloramine free)
  • 2 ounces bread flour
Day 1: Place a 1-pint jar and lid (a canning jar works well) on a scales; zero out the weight. Add water and then flour; stir together until there is no dry flour. Cap loosely and set aside at room temperature (72-78°F). You now have 4 ounces of starter. Every 24 hours, the strategy is to discard 2 ounces of starter and then feed/refresh with 1 ounce each water and flour to maintain a total of 4 ounces of starter. Adding the water first expedites hydrating the flour. Chlorine and chloramine inhibit microbial activity, which is counterproductive to creating a healthy culture of natural bread-friendly yeast and bacteria.
  • 1 ounce water (chlorine and chloramine free)
  • 1 ounce bread flour
Day 2: The starter may start to bubble. Most of that activity is from bacteria rather than yeast. It is not yet a viable starter. Stir and then discard 2 ounces. Feed/refresh with the water/flour to replace. Weighing the flour and water, as opposed to measuring, is essential for maintaining a consistent mixture over time.
  • 1 ounce water (chlorine and chloramine free)
  • 1 ounce bread flour
Days 3: There may now be a magnitude of bacterial activity. The environment is still not acidic enough for natural yeast to thrive and multiply. Stir and then discard 2 ounces. Feed/refresh with the water/flour to replace. As leuconostoc bacteria takes over the environment, acidity begins to rise, making way for bread-friendly yeast and bacteria.
  • 1 ounce water (chlorine and chloramine free)
  • 1 ounce bread flour
Day 4: The starter may get hootchie (a yellowish liquid) with the acrid (acidic) smell of stinky socks. Do not be alarmed. Stir in the hootch and then discard 2 ounces of the starter. Feed/refresh with the water/flour to replace. After the leuconostoc bacteria takes over the environment, it generates a level of acidity that kills it off, making way for acid-loving, bread-friendly yeast, and bacteria.
  • 1 ounce water (chlorine and chloramine free)
  • 1 ounce bread flour
Day 5: The starter may still be hootchie. Do not give up unless the hootch becomes orange or moldy. Stir in the hootch; discard 2 ounces of the starter. Feed/refresh with the water/flour to replace. The environment is now acidic. Feeding introduces new bread-friendly yeast and bacteria that live in the flour.
  • 1 ounce water (chlorine and chloramine free)
  • 1 ounce bread flour
Day 6: The starter may still be hootchie, but should be close to blooming with bread-friendly yeast and bacteria. Stir in the hootch; discard 2 ounces of the starter. Feed/refresh with the water/flour to replace. Each feeding brings fresh cultures of acid-loving, bread-friendly yeast and bacteria while maintaining an acidic environment.
  • 1 ounce water (chlorine and chloramine free)
  • 1 ounce bread flour
Day 7: The starter may start to look less hootchie and smell better. Stir the starter; discard 2 ounces. Feed/refresh with the water/flour to replace. The timing of this stage is not an exact science. It depends on room temperature and consistency of care. If it takes a couple of extra days, do not give up.
  • 1 ounce water (chlorine and chloramine free)
  • 1 ounce bread flour

Day 8: When the smells pleasantly yeasty, stir and pour out 2 ounces into a 3-quart mixing bowl to make bread (see individual recipes). 

Return to the starter to feed/refresh as usual. At this point, the starter may be safely refrigerated and fed once a week. If extended hibernation is required, gradually stretch the time between feeding, eventually up to 2 months.

Yeast consumes flour sugars and gives off carbon dioxide (for leavening) and ethyl alcohol. Beneficial bacteria (lactobacillus) consume alcohol and give off lactic and acetic acid for flavor.

ANALYZE ANY RECIPE’S NUTRITIONAL DATA ON HAPPY FORKS>

SUBSCRIBE TO FREE RECIPE NOTIFICATIONS>

CHECK OUT MY FAVORITE GEAR>

CHECK OUT MY RECIPES >

Please rate my post!

Rating: / 5. Votes:

Please be the first to rate this post!

Share your thoughts!