Hi friends! Go grab a clean glass jar, flour and water! We are going to make some sourdough starter and then wait for it.. venture into baking a sourdough loaf.
First things first.
To make sourdough bread, you first have to make sourdough starter. This is what you will use in your leaven, you'll feed it, talk nice to it, share it with friends!
The first thing you will need to get this process started is patience.
Okay, lets get right to it. Lets make sourdough starter. This process *typically requires about 5 days for it to be active enough to bake with, but as we sit here I have some I started two days ago that is pretty dang active. The timeline will vary depending on your kitchen temperatures, so don't give up on it! A great place to keep your starter while getting it going is the top of your fridge. To address a question we get often- our home temperature as I type is set at 67 degrees.
Starter from Scratch:
This is going to make you 4 cups of starter in the end, so call your friends.
I use: A 2 quart glass Ball jar, All-purpose flour (I use King Arthur), and Water (filtered is better, but if you don't have filtered water you can use tap water just fine. Tip: get your water ready first and let it sit on the counter for an hour or so if you are using tap water)
Most folks will use a digital kitchen scale for baking sourdough, it honestly is better this way, more precise. BUT you don't need one!
Day One: 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (4 ounces) and 1/2 cup of water (4 ounces).Combine the two in your glass jar, stir well with a non-reactive spoon, and cover the jar loosely with a clean kitchen towel or something of the like. Place your jar somewhere where the temp will hover around 70 degrees F. I put ours just on the counter away from windows, and remember I told you all the house is set at 67 degrees.
Day Two: Check out your starter! You *might* see some bubbles, you might not! Don't panic. The bubbles are good, that the wild yeast showing you its happy in there.
Weigh or measure out the SAME amount of flour and water as day ONE and ADD it to your starter. Stir. Put back in its happy warm place.
Day Three: Different day, same routine. You should start to see tiny surface bubbles by now, the starter will feel thick like a batter, and less water like by now. You also should be able to smell the sour-ness on day three. But again, don't panic yet if this is not you. Don't give up.
Add the SAME amount of flour and water as day one and two to the starter. Put back in its happy place.
Day Four: Feed your starter, same instructions. Remember, you are adding to the previous days ingredients each day. Put in your 4 ounces all-purpose starter and 4 ounces water, stir and leave alone for another 24 hours. *Your starter might be ready to use at this time, mine was*
Day Five: Most folks will have a starter that is ready to use now.
Maintaining the starter: In order to maintain what you have created, because at this time there is no reason to continue to feed the "same" starter and bulk it up, I discard half of what we have made and then feed it with new flour and water! Simple!
Tips: Always use a clean jar when discarding and feeding. Warm water over ice cold. Remember to practice patience.
As always, you can find us at wildoakfarms on Instagram and we are happy to help in anyway we can!