Want to bake delicious, gut-friendly sourdough bread that would make your grandma proud? You can! Our goal is to give you the tools that you need to become a rockstar chef. Baking sourdough bread is fun, and although it can be challenging at first, the reward of a freshly baked, nutritious and delicious loaf of bread is well worth it.
Start with simple recipes and follow our guidelines for taking care of your white and whole wheat sourdough starter. Remember that baking with sourdough is an art form; all flour, baking environments, and ferments are unique. Use your chef’s intuition and best judgement to ultimately decide what your starter needs, and have fun with it!
To refresh your white sourdough starter:
- Take your starter out of the fridge. Take 25 grams (about 1 big tbsp) of sourdough starter and put it into a new jar. Put the ‘discarded’ sourdough starter back in the fridge with a loose lid (to let it breathe) and use it for recipes that do not require a significant natural rise, like waffles, pancakes, and green onion cakes.
- Add 100 g (about 1/2 cup) of water to the new jar and whisk together until no clumps remain.
- Add 100 g (about ¾ cup) of white flour to the jar and mix until no clumps remain.
- Cover the jar with a clean cloth, new coffee filter, or beeswax wrap. Place the jar somewhere that stays consistently around 21 c. Your starter will be ready for baking when it has risen significantly, is bubbly, and smells sweet (this will take about 6- 8 hours). If you are not baking, put the starter back in the fridge when the fermentation is at its peak and the starter has risen and is bubbly.
- Remember never to use all of the refreshed sourdough starter up, because you will need to keep some to build a new starter back up.
- Because this is a white starter, it is best to feed it white flour. The starter was made with white all-purpose flour. You can feed it a different type of flour, but it will change the flavour and texture. If you choose to feed it a different flour do it slowly.
- The starter can live in the fridge while you are not using it, but it should be refreshed once a week, even if you aren’t baking. It will be ready for a feeding when it looks overly deflated and/ or develops a hooch (liquid on top). The hooch is harmless, just pour it off before feeding it
- You can save your discarded starter to make waffles, pancakes, green onion cakes or other items that do not require a significant natural rise. Simply keep the discarded starter refrigerated and use it within the week or feed it equal parts by weight of flour/water (around 60 g flour/60 g water) to keep it going until you use it up. Aim for feeding the starter about ⅓ of its volume.
- If you want to speed up fermentation when you feed the starter (for instance if you want to use it to bake sooner), take the starter out of the fridge a few hours before you feed it to let it warm up. You can also use warm water (between 21-30c) to feed your starter.
- To check if the starter is ready to bake bread, do the float test: drop a small spoonful of active starter into a glass full of room temperature water. If it floats, it is ready! If it doesn’t float, either wait until fermentation has developed further or feed the starter again and wait until it is active.
- All flour, baking environments, and sourdough are unique; use your best judgement and intuition to ultimately decide what your starter needs.
For those of you who want to master the art of sourdough, I recommend the book The Sourdough School by Vanessa Kimbell.
Happy Baking Chef!