What is a Sourdough Starter?
A sourdough culture or starter is used to grow wild yeast in a way that can be used for baking. In Italy it is called "mother yeast".
It is a simply a combination of flour and water which is left to sit for at least 6 days until you have created a bubbly starter which is ready to use.
All you need is a jar, flour and some tap water!
The type of flour is totally up to you depending on what you have available BUT if you can buy a particular type of flour we would suggest buying wholegrain flour. Wholegrain typically refers to an intact cereal grain that has all its key parts: bran, endosperm and germ. This type of flour has a higher content of wild yeast which makes it easier to grow a sourdough culture (and gives a very nice aroma and fruity flavour to all your final baking goods!)
Nevertheless, if you don't have wholegrain flour you can still use any type of bread flour that you like, a simple strong white flour will do the job as well!
Oh, and for those looking to make a gluten-free sourdough starter?
Simply use gluten-free wholegrain options: Amaranth, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet and Quinoa.
The journey of your sourdough starter. Day 1,2,3... and forever.
HOW TO GET STARTED
In a clean jar, start mixing 50g of flour and 50g of water together until there is no more dry flour in your jar. Lightly cover the jar with the lid and leave it at room temperature for 24 hours.
Reapeat the same process again for the next 6 days but only adding 30g of flour and 30g of water.
By day 7 you should have a nice bubbly sourdough culture with a slightly alcholic aroma. It's ready to use so all that's left is to give it a name! :)
A STAR IS BORN: HOW TO USE YOUR STARTER AND HOW TO KEEP IT
When it comes to baking with sourdough you need a strong, bubbly starter (it should be active with plenty of bubbles).
Then there are few ways to keep your starter, it all depends on how often you bake. See below for answers to all your sourdough questions!