Sourdough bread, buns, rolls and pizza are all things that I love loads, so today I thought I would start a project to share how you can make a starter culture of your own to bake with.
Surprisingly you actually need very little sourdough culture every time you bake, which means that you don’t have to have a lot in stock to make something amazing. Your starter just needs a little love and attention and it will pay you back ten-fold with naturally leavened and beautifully flavoured loaves.
A lot of fancy terminology gets bounded around, which I initially found incredibly confusing when learning about sourdough, but it’s actually a really simple process. The sciency bit to understand is that in most environments there are tiny spores in the air of naturally occurring yeasts. These little microorganisms are commonly found in flour (especially if you invest in the good stoneground stuff), and if left to their own devices, with the addition of a little water, will start to ferment and create a culture that can be used to bake with instead of commercial yeast. Here’s how to get started:
To make your starter, you will need:
- A handful of stoneground flour (for me, with my tiny paws, this constitutes about 25g)
- Enough water to make a paste
Stir the water into the flour until you have a smooth paste.
Cover with a tea towel and leave on your counter top for about 3 days.