For the last two years, I have been a sourdough obsessed baker, and it all started because of my friend Kayleigh simplifying sourdough for me!! Especially since having kids, I find that simple in the kitchen is the key to success, and in continuing with whatever homemade magic you are trying to create. Sourdough has so many incredible health benefits, plus it’s insanely delicious, and once you get on the sourdough train, you’ll likely never buy a loaf of grocery store bread again.
18 , what is this magical sourdough recipe, you ask? Here you go!
But, now, how to make the starter, which is a must in the whole sourdough process. I don’t want to get overzealous in saying this, but I kind of think making the starter is easier than it’s cracked up to be. As long as you can give it a little love every day for a week, you’re going to make a thriving starter. And then after that, it’s also a lot less maintenance than people will have you believe… So, let’s do this!
Unbleached white flour (ideally, 100% Canadian wheat)
Room temperature water (purified/distilled)
Making a Starter
Are you ready to make a simple, thriving starter? Let’s do it! Think of it like this – you’re going to mix equal parts flour with equal parts water each day, for up to a week. I’m tossing out measurements to you, but your numbers do not need to match mine exactly, as long as you keep to equal parts. The mason jar that you do this in will stay uncovered on the counter for the week, and you want it to stay warm, so if your house is cold, it may need a little makeshift kitchen towel blanket, to stay warm and cozy!! I’m into making white sourdough, so in my sourdough recipe, you’ll see I only ever feed by starter with white unbleached flour, but to get the starter going it needs the higher yeast content from whole wheat flour. Also, the water must be purified or distilled, so that it doesn’t contain chlorine, which kills yeast – you can also use boiled water, if needed.
Day 1 – Combine 20g whole wheat flour, 20g unbleached white flour, and 40g water (purified/distilled) in the mason jar, and stir using a non-metal spatula. Let it sit uncovered for around 24 hours.
Day 2 – “Discard” (remove) some of the starter from the mason jar (there may be a thin layer on top, and that will be plenty enough to discard). Then add to the starter by combining 20g whole wheat flour, 20g unbleached white flour, and 40g water (purified/distilled), and stir using a non-metal spatula. Let it sit uncovered for around 24 hours.
Day 3 – Discard some of the starter from the mason jar. Then add to the starter by combining 20g whole wheat flour, 20g unbleached white flour, and 40g water (purified/distilled), and stir using a non-metal spatula. Let it sit uncovered for around 24 hours.
Day 4,5,6,7 – By day 4 you will likely start to see some signs of life as the starter starts to bubble. If this is the case, I like to switch to all white flour. If not, feel free to continue with the half and half whole wheat and white combo. For the next few days you can start each day discarding some, and then mixing in 40g unbleached white flour with 40g water (purified/distilled), and stir using a non-metal spatula. Once it really starts rising, it’s ready to use!! You can always test it to see if it’s good to go by putting a glob of it into a bowl of water – if it floats, it’s ready!
Are you ready to make your first loaf?! I got you!
Storing and Feeding
When you aren’t using your starter, it can stay covered in the fridge – this will keep it from molding, and keep you from having to feed it everyday – remember, simplify!! When you are going to bake with it, pull it out of the fridge, “feed it” (giving it equal parts flour and water and letting it rise), and use it. Since you are not feeding it everyday, if you want extra discard for recipes, feed it more, or feed it more often, and pull out the extra “discard” (inactive starter). Otherwise, you could simply carry on without discard. Your starter will happily live in the fridge un-used for 2 weeks or more. My friend would say up to 4 weeks. If I am going to be gone or not use it for 2 weeks, I’ll usually give it a feed before I leave and once I get back. The mason jar will eventually get messy and you may want to move it over to a fresh mason jar – this is a-okay! Remember to share some starter with friends – pass the sourdough love around!