Sourdough bread has been around for thousands of years, and for good reason: its unique flavor, texture, and health benefits make it a beloved staple in many cultures around the world. But making sourdough bread from scratch requires a little bit of magic, in the form of a sourdough culture. This living mixture of flour and water contains wild yeast and bacteria that work together to leaven bread, giving it that signature sour flavor and chewy texture.
Starting your own sourdough culture can seem daunting, but with the right guidance and a little patience, it’s a rewarding and delicious journey. In this post, we’ll take you through the steps of creating and maintaining your own sourdough culture, along with tips and tricks for baking the perfect loaf. Let’s get started!
STEP 1: Combine Flour and Water
Mix equal parts flour and water: In a clean jar or container, mix together equal parts of flour and water by weight. For example, if you use 50 grams of flour, use 50 grams of water.
STEP 2: Set Aside
Let the mixture sit: Cover the jar with a clean cloth or towel and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
STEP 3: Discard and feed
After 24 hours, you should start to see some bubbles forming on the surface of the mixture. This means that the wild yeast and bacteria are starting to grow. Discard about half of the mixture and feed it with equal parts flour and water again. For example, if you used 50 grams of flour and water in step 2, discard 25 grams and add 25 grams of flour and water.
STEP 4: Repeat daily for 7-10 days
Continue to discard and feed the mixture once a day for the next few days. You should start to see more bubbles and a sour smell developing.
STEP 4: Begin Regular Feedings
Once the culture is active and bubbly, you can start feeding it on a regular schedule. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, you may need to feed it once or twice a day. Feed it equal parts flour and water by weight, discarding some of the mixture before each feeding.
Is there a faster way?
While making your own sourdough starter can be a fun and rewarding process, it does require some patience and effort. If you’re short on time or simply prefer a more convenient option, you may want to consider buying an established starter.
Have a friend give you a piece of their starter, or purchase a dehydrated starter here. Our dehydrated starter, rehydrates easily in water and is ready to bake in 5 days! Some might say using a dehydrated starter doesn’t offer the same sense of satisfaction as creating your own, it can be a great way to jump-start your sourdough baking journey and produce delicious bread faster.
Let’s get cultured!
Congratulations, you have now successfully started your own sourdough culture! It may take a few days or even a week for your culture to become fully active and ready to use, but with regular feedings and a little patience, you’ll be baking delicious sourdough bread in no time.
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