20 Sep 2014

Homemade Sourdough Starter Recipe (Step-By-Step Instuctions)

Few time back, i didn't even know making basic breads. And when i tried first time it was a total disaster. But few Math, tips and experiments helped knowing me of making bread basics. I started with a basic white loaf bread and i cant believe myself being now through with sourdough starter bread too. Process of making sour dough breads are simply amazing and the taste is unbelievably superrrbbb.
And to be very honest, this is not my first attempt. I tried 3 times before this. But all the three times my starter failed :( Either the temperature or a weather was the problem and it showed some light pink stains on it. Well, some says light pink stains you see on starter is okay, but to me i don't believe it and so i discarded the whole and started all over again. Throughout the whole procedure, one the most important thing i learned was about the weather and temperature that is required for, to keep starter alive.
According to the math i did, temperature between 20-30 max degree Celsius is good for starter to remain alive (Its end of monsoon here and temp was between 20-30 C and good for building starter). As too much hot and warm temperature kills the yeast and some bad microorganisms takes place in.
So lets start with a sourdough starter.
Before starting it a note to share, while i was searching for the starter's recipe, i saw few recipes with a liquid sourdough starter (i.e. equal measurements of flour and water, or it can be half of the water to the flour measurement) and some with a stiff dough like consistency. Well, i opted for liquid starter and to me i guess there is no much difference between two, though you can still search and work on your opinion.
Lets begin with the procedure..!!

All you need is the good quality FLOUR and WATER (i.e. Non-Chlorinated water. You can also use filtered or bottled water too). I started with a small quantity to avoid large qty wastage if any.
Note: Starting the sourdough starter with "Whole wheat flour" or "Whole Rye flour" works great. As the Microorganisms present in this whole flours are quiet a favorable for yeast in the air. And later for feeding, you can use APF (All purpose flour) or Maida. This yields you a good quality starter. I used Whole wheat four.


Day 1

  • In a glass vessel bowl (for making starter, glass vessels are best as they are non reactive, so i prefer using the same and used a glass bowl) mix 1/4 cup of a whole wheat flour with 2 tbsp water. Mix well both and lump free. Scrap down the sides of the bowl with no dry flour around.
  • Cover the bowl with a plastic cling film. With the help of toothpick, make 3-4 holes on covered film, this will help yeast in air to reach the starter. And cover the wrapped bowl with a light muslin cloth, so that fruit flies don't disturb the process and air can also pass by.
  • Keep it at the place where the temp is not too hot and warm. I kept in my leaving room, where the temperature is little cool and good for yeast to find its home. (Temp Range 20-30 degree Celsius)
  • Allow the starter mixture stand for 16-18 hours without any disturbance. (I allowed the starter to stay for 17 hours to keep it alive. If kept for long, until 24 hours it may have died as the weather too differs, so with short time span i use to feed it and it was happily rising)

Day 2: 

  • You may see no activity or may see a little small bubbles and a rise. Discard half of the starter and add (feed) 1/4 cup APF or sifted maida and 2 tbsp water to it. Give  it a stir, cover it with a holed cling film and muslin cloth again and allow it to stand for 10-12 hours. 

 Day 3:  Note:- You' ll be feeding starter twice a day from day 3 to day 7
  • This day you should surely see a bubbles in the starter with nice and fresh fruity smell..
  • Again discard half the starter and feed it with 2 tbsp water and 1/4 cup of APF or sifted maida flour. Cover the same way as written above. 
  • Allow the mixture to stand nearly for 6-8 hours.
  • After 6-8 hours, you will notice a good rise and bubbles in the starter. Discard half and feed it again with 1/4 cup flour and 2 tbsp water. Mix & Cover it.

Day 4, 5, 6 and 7

  • On fourth day am sure you' ll be surprised and happy seeing the rise in the starter with lots of bubbles and stickiness. And the aroma is little soury, fruity and acidic to smell.
  • Look at my starter below, it rised happily and so well with lots of bubbles and air holes..
  • Feed it twice a day by discarding half and again feeding it with 1/4 cup flour and 2 tbsp water.

Day 5:

Day 6:

Day 7: After a week of regular feeding, starter is now ready with full of sour, tangy, and acidic aroma with lots of bubbles and air pockets. And now its time to bake some sour dough goodies..!!
But Before baking Bread, make sure to feed it last time by discarding half and feeding it with 1/4 cup flour and 2 tbsp water and allow it to stand and rise for 6-7 hours by covering it, and it will rise more than double.

 And now its time to bake some sourdough goodies..!! (After 6 hours you can see the final rise in below pic, and here you are ready to bake with your "Sourdough Starter")

Even if after 7 Days, if the starter is not frothy than it probably needs 2-3 days more with twice a feeding each day.
Sometimes too cold weather, slows down the process. In such cases extend 2-3 days more as i said earlier and later can begin with the process.
This measurement of flour and water, will yield you about 3/4th cup of Fed starter. So if you want more, choose your measurements accordingly...!!
Note: From day 3 onward, If your starter is rising and bubbling quickly in short time span, feel free to feed it thrice after every 7-8 hours..it will be super active that way too.

Recipe SourceKing Arthur's Flour-Creating Sourdough Starter 

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