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How to make your own sourdough starter


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Sourdough has a moment – during the coronavirus pandemic, while practicing social distancing at home, many begin new projects, including baking homemade bread. Using store-bought yeast is an option if you find it, but it is more exciting to make a sourdough starter. It uses wild yeasts in its environment (ie your kitchen) and fermentation as magic. But in fact, it's really just science – and it can be fun to try out with your kids while they're at school. Your starter becomes a living thing with a completely unique identity, almost like a pet, or at least a pot plant: You care about it, and somehow it takes care of you. These sourdough starter tips will help you take care of it.

Creating a sourdough starter is not a complicated process – you just mix flour and water together and wait – but what is it then? It's time to start the feeding and maintenance process. There are some tips and tricks that will help you maintain a long and healthy relationship with your starter.

Feeding sourdough starter

There are many thought courses on how and what to feed your starter motor. The truth is that there is no "wrong" answer, and it is purely a matter of preference. Starters are fed with a ratio of the original yeast to water and flour.

I hold what is considered a thick starter. It is a forgiving and robust fermentation (her name is Rose) that has a medium to strong acidity. The ratio for the mine is 1: 2: 3, which means one part starter, two parts water and three parts flour, in volume. I use the room temperature starter, just some warm filtered water (tap water) and unbleached, flour for all purposes.

For a typical feeding, I mix 100 grams of starter, 200 grams of water and 300 grams of flour. I let the fermentation sit at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours (or until it has tripled in volume) before I start working. If I'm not going to bake until the next day or after, I'll let her sit out for 3 to 4 hours and then cool. When I'm ready to swing, I take her out and let her come to room temperature again (about an hour) before I bake.

Another popular ratio is 1: 1: 1, which means that if you start with 100 grams of starter, you add 100 grams of water and 100 grams of flour. This creates a thinner fermentation (more like pancake bark), but it is also quite versatile and easy to convert to other flour types if you like.

If your starter is healthy, you should notice that it is bubbly and fragrant and should double / triple in volume after a few hours.

Read more: The best meal delivery services 2020: Home Chef, Blue Apron, HelloFresh and more

Can you feed sourdough starter with other flour types?

As I mentioned, I use unbleached flour for all purposes, but you can use whatever you prefer. Hell, barley, barley, spelling, rye, even rice flour all work well and create distinct flavor profiles that will be transferred to your bread or other baked goods.

Avoid buckwheat because it is not actually a grain, but rather a seed it is related to rhubarb. There are ways to make a gluten-free buckwheat starter that involves a more complicated fermentation process, but adding the raw will not work for your starter.

Having trouble finding flour in stores (online and online) right now? It may be worth reaching out to a local bakery.

A special note about rye

Rye flour is a (not so) secret weapon for sourdough bakers! If your starter takes a long time to double, you may be missing some of the microbial strength it needs to do its job in your baking. I regularly replace about 10% of my AP flour when I feed rye flour. I think it overlaps my appetizer and gives a sweet and nutty flavor.

What if you forget to feed your starter?

The general rule is to not allow your start to go beyond two weeks without being fed, but we all know that it happens.

If you come across a starter that you have ignored a little too long, you might not be lucky. Check the starter carefully: If there is any mold or fuzz growing on it, throw it out. If it has been sitting shut for a while, you will probably see some grayish liquid on top. This is called "hooch," a naturally occurring alcohol that is part of the sourdough fermentation process. Pour off and discard the liquid. Feed the desired amount of remaining starter and feed it more often than usual the next few days (every 6 to 12 hours) to revive your old friend. Keep in mind that the volume is tripled each time, so you don't have to start with a large amount of fermentation.

For example, if you use a 1: 1: 1 ratio for your feed and you feed 20 grams of starter, you have 60 grams after the first feed, 180 after the second, 360 after the third, and so on. So don't despair if you start with a small amount. With a few feeds, your starter will be back in action: bubbling, excited and ready for your next baking adventure.

How to use sourdough starter

There are almost endless variations on sourdough bread, but your sourdough starter is also good for many other baking projects! Here are just a handful to get you started:

Extra tangy sourdough bread

This classic loaf has a soft tang for those who want to taste a little sour in their sourdough bread. Get the extra tangy sourdough bread recipe.

Sour pancakes

Sour starter makes these pancakes fluffy and light – they will be a family favorite! Get the sourdough pancake recipe.

Sourdough skillet pizza

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This thick and crispy pizza crust requires the use of sourdough starter in a fermentation, giving volume and distinct flavor to this light, delicious pizza baked in a frying pan. Get sourdough bread pizza recipe.

Pumpkin sourdough focaccia

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<p>  Rich and fragrant pumpkin sourdough focaccia is the perfect comfort food that accompanies all your soups and stews. Get the recipe for pumpkin sourdough focaccia. </p>
<h3>  Sourdough cookies </h3>
<blockquote class=

Put the sour dough to decadent use in these flaky, yeasty biscuits, baked in a traditional cast iron skillet. Get the recipe with sourdough cookies.

Soft pretzels with sourdough

These chewy pretzels take some time (mostly by hands) but they are worth the effort! Get the soft pretzels recipe for sourdough.

Sourdough carrot cake

This delicious, modern approach to carrot cake uses discarded starter and chai spice – it's even better when baked in advance, so it's perfect for a feast. Get the recipe for sourdough carrot cake.

See Chowhound's community tips for further guidance on your leaven journey, and stay tuned for more.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider about any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objective.

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