Sourdough Starter Recipe

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Phase 1 (days 1-10):

Developing the culture 

Day 1 

  • 75g (2 1/2 oz) whole rye flour
  • 75g (2 1/2 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) water 

Days 2-10

  • 250g (8 oz) culture
  • 250g (8 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour 
  • 150g (5 1/3 oz) water

Phase 2:

Making the sourdough starter

Day 11 

  • 295g (10 1/3 oz) culture
  • 490g strong whole wheat (wholemeal) or white bread flour
  • 320g (17 1/4 oz) water
  • 10g (1/3oz) salt 
 

Building a starter takes time. To develop the culture for our sourdough starter, we use a mixture of two flours: whole rye, which has a high percentage of fermentable sugars, and all-purpose (plain), which is low in protein, but high in starch. The result? More nutrients feed the yeast, making for a sourdough well worth the effort.

Curious what a sourdough starter, or "levain," is? Read all about it here!

Instructions:

Day 1

Start by developing the culture. Mix the flours and water until thoroughly combined, then cover and let stand for a full 24 hours at room temperature. You should see the mixture rise and small bubbles will appear. It is now a culture.

Levain

Days 2 – 10

Combine the ingredients, then cover and let stand for 12 hours at room temperature. Repeat every morning and evening, using 250g (8 oz) of the previous feeding’s culture and discarding the rest. You want to see an increase in the number of small bubbles on the surface. After each feeding, the starter will continue to rise.

Day 11

Now begin to make the sourdough starter. Knead all the ingredients together for approximately 5 minutes. Transfer the starter to a bowl and let rest, covered, for 5-24 hours – it needs to ripen before it is usable, just like a camembert cheese that starts off chalky and becomes smoother, more yellow and slightly runny as it matures.

Once you get to the 24-hour mark, however, you must repeat the previous step for the starter to continue to be a viable culture: discard all but 250g (8 oz) of the starter and mix it with 250g (8 oz) flour and 150g (5 1/3 oz) water. Feedings can be stretched up to 48 hours if the starter is kept in the refrigerator.

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Sourdough Starter Recipe

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