Bread is flour and water.
I’m always impressed how it is simple and genious at the same time. So I invite you to share this delight with me. But first some words about ingredient quality and equipment.
Sourdough starter can be both wheat and rye.
I use a whole grain flour in most cases and this gives a good result.
My choice is whole grain flour Luomu Grahamjauho by Pirkka. Such type of flour is rich in useful elements and very tasty.
I live in Finland and we have high quality tap water.
But in my opinion this water is too soft for baking bread. So I use mineral carbonated water for both sourdough starter and baking needs.
I strongly recommend to use two types of scale: culinary and jewelry.
Why two? First reason is that scale guarantees accuracy in measurement. Second reason also lies in the plane of accuracy: an ordinary error of culinary scales is just 1 g. It means that it’s impossible to weigh 1 g with the help of scale correctly.
My recipes need to weigh low sourdough weight. For everyday feeding I take just 1 g of it. Why just 1 g? I have been baking sourdough bread since 2018 and during this time have tried several approaches in working with sourdough starter.
One time there was a three-liter jar of sourdough starter in my refrigerator. I fed it every few days and sometimes didn’t know what to do with it. Additionally the starter by itself was not as good as I would have liked. The reason of this fact you will see below.
A little bit later, there was a smaller jar in my kitchen cabinet. I fed this starter once a day and its quality also left much to be desired. By this time I’ve found out that strong and delicious sourdough starter needs ~1-1.5% of old culture for every feeding. Thereunto the part of starter is just 3-4% of the whole bread weight. In practice it means ~10 g of fresh strong sourdough starter for an ordinary loaf.
That’s why now my starter lives in a small yogurt jar: it consists of 80 g fresh and strong starter. I bake with it about 2-3 times a week, so it works best for me. And by the way as I experiment a lot with sourdough starter and in order not to get confused, I give them names.
2 small jars (yogurt jar is well)
jewelry scale, error 0.01 g or less (use it to weigh 1 g of sourdough starter)
culinary scale, error 1 g or less (use it to weigh water and flour)
Ingredients for one sourhdough starter feeding
40 g water
40 g whole grain flour
- Mix well water and flour in a first jar. Leave it in a warm place (kitchen cabinet is good) for 12 hours. At the end of this period the mixture, let’s call it sourdough starter now, will smell like a winery. Have you ever visited a winery?
- Take 1 (yes! one gram) g from the first jar (use jewelry scale strongly)
and put it in a second jar.
Discard the leftover sourdough starter boldly and wash the first jar. Add 40 g water and 40 g of whole grain flour
to the second jar. Mix starter well, close and leave it in a warm place for 12 hours.
- Repeat second point two times. So it means that your soughdough starter is 3 days old now. Check that your starter has many small bubbles and smell like light wine or fruites.
- Since that moment feed your sourdough starter every 24 hours by 40 g water and 40 g flour.
If there is too hot in your kitchen feed the sourdough starter every 18 or even 12 hours.
Be guided by the state of the starter: it should be viscous. After 6-8 days your starter is ready for your first loaf.
- Store the sourdough starter in your kitchen cabinet and feed it daily if you plan to bake frequently. Otherwise, keep the starter in the refrigerator and feed it once a week. For example it works well during a vacancy.