CarolCooks2…Week 10…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Sourdough Starter…

 

Welcome to my kitchen where I cook almost everything from scratch…Last week I revealed all and one of the reasons why I cook from scratch…

Sourdough bread is a lovely thing and seeing that starter bubbling and rising is a sight to behold…I read copious books and blogs and all very successful…Don’t that fool you…You may be lucky and Take 1 may be the one which is perfect and you then have a friend for life and of course, they will have a name as everyone names their sourdough starter…

sour dough starter

sourdough culture

I started using expensive unbleached bread flour…that bombed…eventually after much handwringing and cursing it worked…maybe it was the humidity here or the water…I read up about water and followed the guidelines,  changed my flour…Trial and error…and then miraculously…It worked!

My point is do not start a sourdough starter if you are not prepared to fail…BUT when at last you succeed that first loaf is a wonderful thing…

Before we begin:

Water:

Water that is high in chlorine or chloramine which is a disinfectant for cleaning the water can impede fermentation…Our water here is not drinkable straight from the tap it has to be boiled or filtered.

The best thing to do before starting this process is to fill a large jug with tap water and let it sit out uncovered overnight to allow any chlorine to dissipate. If your city uses chloramine instead of chlorine, letting a jar sit out overnight will not work. In this case, you’ll have to use bottled water or look into other methods for filtering your water…which is the case here.

Alternatively, you could use bottled or distilled water until you get your starter fermenting reliably, then try switching back to tap water with a portion to see if it’s able to handle the tap water…I skipped this as our drinking water is treated but many people use tap water and it is fine… Give it a try… when I lived in the UK I would have used tap water just not here.

You will need at least 2 sterilised jars…and kitchen scales…another mistake I made was to use cups I now have digital scales and you wouldn’t believe how much easier and accurate it is or maybe you would I was just late to that party…lol

Flour:

Rye flour is often recommended because of the nutrients it contains it gets your starter up and bubbling quite quickly although a good quality organic whole wheat flour will also work well.

Unbleached all-purpose white flour mixed with 50% wholemeal or rye flour is great for feedings and my preference…or you can feed 100% of your preferred flour…which is great if sometimes you want a wholemeal loaf and other times a white loaf you can ring the changes …

It takes about 7-9 days to get a reliable, stable starter...Now comes decision time …Once you have the culture stable, it will last indefinitely as long as you refresh it regularly. If you don’t plan to bake frequently, you can toss the starter in the fridge and feed it only once a week.

It is quite fascinating to watch as the starter rises and falls and your schedule will fall in line with that…

As soon as you feed it, the yeast and bacteria in your culture will begin to work their magic on the sugars in the flour, creating gasses. These gasses cause the starter to rise throughout the day as seen above.

This is the recipe for a sourdough starter which was successful for me...it actually took me 4 attempts before I got a stable starter and a few starter recipes which didn’t work for me…I brought a book on sourdough and that didn’t work, I brought the wrong flour…but ultimately once I changed my flour then came across this man it worked…

Once I watched this a couple of times the feeding is so easy that you get used to it and it only takes 5 mins a day ..no great shakes…

I also discovered that rather than throw the excess sourdough when you feed your starter you can bake wonderful things and the flavour is so much more delicious…

  •  Buttery Sourdough Sandwich Biscuits. …
  •  Classic Sourdough Pancakes or Waffles. …
  • Sourdough English Muffins. …
  •  Sourdough Crackers. …
  • Pizza Crust…
  • Pretzels. …
  • Crumpets. …
  • Maple Walnut Bread

The list is endless and less waste…

You can also store the discarded sourdough starter in the freezer to use for future recipes…you can also freeze your sourdough starter for up to 1 year…handy of you are going on a long holiday …

Perseverance and getting that starter up and running and the possibilities are endless…xxx

I do hope these hints and tips help stop you from making the same mistakes I made at the beginning…I am so pleased that I persevered and now Rosie(my) starters name is part of the family…xxx

Enjoy and have fun …xxx

I hope you have enjoyed this week in my kitchen if you have any recipe requests please let me know and I will be happy to find them and test them out for you…x

Thank you for joining me in my kitchen today…my dearest wish is that more people would count chemicals instead of calories and cost…Carol xx

31 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…Week 10…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Sourdough Starter…

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  3. amreade

    I’m going to try this, Carol. I don’t like failures in the kitchen (bur for that matter, who does??), but I’ll give it a go. Maybe not right now, as I’ve got tons of things going on right now, but when (if?) things get a little slower over the summer. It’s very humid here, especially in the summertime, so I would imagine that will effect the success of the starter. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Hi Amy…yes you are correct the humidity is one of the things which does have an effect on a starter but it is so satisfying once you succeed and many people get it right the first time… I just didn’t but it was a learning curve…Have fun when you start your sourdough it is exciting watching the changes 🙂 x

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  4. petespringerauthor

    It looks like a lot of work to get it right, but I’m sure the payoff is wonderful. Sourdough is my favorite type of bread.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      It was for me Pete but our water isn’t great , I started with the wrong flour and our humidity played a factor… Once I got my head round all that.. Feeding takes little time(5)mins a day and the bread is delicious.. In all honesty I rushed the first steps… so partly my fault.. 😀 x

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  5. Jim Borden

    to be honest, I’ve never really understood the whole thing about sourdough starter, and how it can last for years (I think I read that somewhere). Your description and that video are quite helpful. I may have to give this a try, but maybe not until I retire… 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        Yes, I understand that but natural fermentation does that.. like the ginger beer plant if you keep feeding it then that too lasts as long as you want ginger beer.. There is something in this fermentation.. Could it be applied to the human body… Thats a thought… but measured amounts are applied to ferments we just keep stuffing it in… so if it was in measured amounts and quite specific that could work with us.. I’m sure its not that easy.. Just my thoughts taking a wander…. x

        Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      How lovely , Norah can she not give you some starter to save making your own? You can then just start feeding it and make your own own bread and you can make sourdough in a bread maker 🙂 x

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