Yall, I fed a starter for FOUR years before making bread!
I was so intimated to jump right in because the process sounded so meticulous! The foundations are truly simple and at the end of the day you really just have to go for it! Prior to making an actual loaf of bread, I made waffles, pizza dough, cookies, crackers, and pancakes! Sourdough bread is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional store-bought bread. One of the key ingredients in making sourdough bread is a sourdough starter. But, what exactly is a sourdough starter and how do you make it? In this blog post, we'll discuss the basics of a sourdough starter and provide tips for making bread with it.
A sourdough starter is a mixture of flour and water that has been fermented with wild yeast and bacteria. The wild yeast and bacteria are naturally present in the flour and air, and they feed on the sugars in the flour, creating a bubbly, active mixture. This mixture is then used to make bread dough, giving it its unique tangy flavor and texture.
To make a sourdough starter, you will need flour, water, and a jar or container with a lid. Mix 1 cup of flour (wheat, rye, or a mixture of both) and 1/2 cup of water in a jar. Stir it until it becomes a smooth mixture, then cover it with a lid (that can breathe) or a kitchen towel and let it sit in a warm place for 24 hours. Repeat this process every day for 7 days, feeding your starter with flour and water, until it becomes active and bubbly.
Once you have your active starter, you're ready to make bread dough. Here are some tips for making bread with your sourdough starter:
- Be patient - Sourdough bread takes longer to rise and bake than traditional bread, so be prepared to wait.
- Use the right flour - Sourdough bread is best made with flour that has a high protein content, such as bread flour or all-purpose flour.
- Keep it warm - Sourdough bread dough needs to be kept in a warm place to rise properly. A warm kitchen or a proofing box can help to keep the dough warm.
- Be creative with your scoring - Scoring the top of your bread dough before baking it is not only practical, but it also adds visual interest to your bread.
- Experiment with different flours and water - Sourdough bread can be made with different types of flour and different ratios of water to flour. Experiment with different combinations to find the flavor and texture that you like best.
- Have fun - Sourdough bread is a fun and rewarding project to undertake, so enjoy the process and the delicious results!
Making sourdough bread may take a little bit more time and practice than regular bread, but the delicious and unique flavor is definitely worth it. With a little patience and experimentation, you can make delicious sourdough bread in your own kitchen.
A few handy tools I use that make life so much easier are listed below:
--- This sucker (click here) is a full kit with proofing baskets and blades that help you create those cute designs.
--- Cast Iron is for sure the way to go, I mean I've never used anything else but this has proven to get the job done! My personal go-to is from Lodge (Click the see the dutch oven!)
--- Fermented anything will need to have space to release the gas at some point. These jars are perfect! (Weck Tulip Jars)
I don't make the most incredible loaf but it feeds our family and my momma's heart is happy knowing they are fed and it's good for them!