Making Sourdough Starter from Scratch
✦ Learn the ancient and ancestral practice of making your own sourdough starter to make bread - from scratch. ✦
Nothing feels more empowering than growing and making your own food by hand. It's what our ancestors have done for generations and many of us have been called back to this rite of passage to once again be self and community reliant by living off the land.
If you have flour, water, and local honey or an apple - you can make your own sourdough starter which is a living colony of yeasts from your own environment that will make using store bought yeasts and rising agents a thing of the past in your kitchen.
✦ Making your own starter from scratch ✦
*You'll need a kitchen scale, a container to store your starter with a lid (I use a clean Mason jar), a wooden spoon, Bread or All Purpose Flour, Filtered Water, & 1 Organic Apple or some Local Honey*
✦ Weigh out 50 grams of Flour (you can either do half and half bread flour and all purpose, or a bit of both! I actually use Whole Wheat now that my starter is established, but this creates smaller air bubbles, so it depends how airy you like your bread!)
✦ Add a few tablespoons of local honey if that's not handy, you can substitute for a grated organic apple, leaving out the core (we are just looking for some natural sugars to feed the yeasts and begin the fermentation process!)
✦ Add 50 grams of room temperature or slightly warmer water
✦ Mix all of your ingredients in your container, I like to stir and bring the spoon with the starter into the air just above the rim of the container to ensure it's receiving some of the local yeasts from your home environment, when it's not super lumpy, cover with your lid
✦ Store at room temperature on the counter of your home for 3 days, ideally at 70-75° F, put by a wood stove if it's winter as you don't want an inactive starter- it could get moldy!
✦ On day 4, discard half of your starter by composting it or feeding it to animals (unfortunately when your starter isn't active, you don't get the benefits of the fully fermented sourdough, so even though discarding seems wasteful, it's regular practice and in time, you can use this discard in recipes with an established starter!) and add a cup of flour and a cup of water and mix it all up well
✦ For the next 2 days, you are going to repeat the previous step (called Feeding your Starter) every 12 hours until day 7, in which you should start seeing bubbles develop within the starter, which is a sign of activity! Around this time, it should double in size and reduce to just above where you started
✦ Congratulations! You now have a wild yeast pet, otherwise known as a Sourdough starter, which can be fed once a day when left at room temperature (or put into the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks without being fed until you're ready to bake with it!) Don't forget to name your starter and treat it nicely, as it can last for years and be handed down in your family!
Stay tuned for part two of this series where I share my favorite recipe to make your own loaf of Sourdough Bread from scratch!
*original recipe that inspired mine is a mix of some of my favorite bread accounts like Mary Grace & Farmhouse on Boone, I always play with recipes and tweak them to my own style but love to give credit where credeit is due!*