Simple Sourdough Starter

When living in the country of bread lovers, do as the bread lovers do. Bake bread! When I first heard of sourdough, I was sceptical. But I mostly try new things so I gave sourdough a go. I must say that it takes some getting used to, but after a while you should get the hang of it. It’s not comparable with a pure yeast bread, that’s for sure. It does live up to it’s name. It is a little sour, but in a smooth and deep way. Not light and spritzy like a lemon or a pickle. You should give it a try. It really is interesting and very healthy.

Let’s get bakin’…

Time: 5 days / 30 min

Ingredients for 1 sourdough starter for 1 loaf of bread:

  • Rye Flour, Type 1150: 325g
  • Water: 325 g

If you have too much time on your hands, you can spend most of it researching the many theories of yeast, how to upkeep the dough, the variety of flour etc. Especially when it comes to sourdough you can be overwhelmed by the large amount of opinions. Still, I personally came to the conclusion that simple solutions can go a long way.

Basically sourdough is prepared in five steps during which it will grow little by little. In the end of the five steps or five days you will have enough sourdough to bake a yummy Rye-Wheat-Spelt-Wohle-Grain-Bread. And some of the sourdough will remain as starter for future baking adventures.

On the first day mix 125 gr of rye flour and 125 gr of lukewarm water together. Make sure the water does not exceed 30°C, otherwise the yeast could be damaged. The mixture is rather firm at this point. In the following days add further 50g of flour and water to the dough every 24 hours, during which the dough will gain yeast and sourness. Mix it all up well. In the the sourdough’s feeding times (as I like to call them) the dough should be kept covered in a relatively warm place, i.e., at 20°C – 25°C. If the dough is covered with a simple cloth it should be humidified or else it’ll dry out on the surface.

After a full five days you now have 650g of sour dough on rye basis. Now take 50g of the dough and store it in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator. You now have yourself a good old fashioned starter, which is the right kickstart you need for your next bread. The sour will stay fresh in the fridge for about two weeks. If you intend to keep it longer than that you should feed your starter with 10 gr of flour and 10 gr of water. And since the yeast produces gas during digestion you should briefly open the jar from time to time to let out the excess pressure. And yes, it does seem to remind us all of our beloved tamagotchis we so tenderly loved and took care of in our childhood.

The remaining 600g of sour dough can now directly be used to bake a nice fluffy loaf of bread.

By the way if you should come across a recipe that demands a wheat sour instead of a rye sour, you can reeducate your rye sour by simple mixing water and wheat flour to your rye sour. Bit by bit, your rye sour will turn into a wheat sour this way. I’d advise you to split the original rye sour in two, one part stays rye the other will be reeducated to become wheat.


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