How to grow your first sourdough starter. FAST!!!
I decided to reveal my most successful way to make a starter from scratch, easy, fast and organically. I’m revealing my weapons, I’m revealing my techniques. And I think what is the best way to make the culture very quickly.
This is a nice picture of a crumb made from sourdough starter culture.
Not only will you learn how to do it, but I’m going to show you EXACTLY why it will work so easily and quickly too.
If you are a baker, a sourdough lover, a mum or a dad that has to bake bread every day to feed his or her family, or if you are a gran dad or a grand ma that loves to feed their grand children bread, this is your chance to learn to make a starter that will give you the chance to do and make all of the above. This post will hand you the most exciting competitive advantage I’ve seen in almost 20 years of work in the hospitality business.
What is a sourdough starter and what you can use it for?
The sourdough starter is a microbial symbiosis ecosystem made up of wild yeast, lactic acid bacteria that have colonized a different world, a world where nutrients are abundant.
To make it easier for you to understand a sourdough starter is a congregations of many different creatures and every single one of them egoistically but very helpfully works to create the best atmosphere and the best environment they need to survive.
So, during this personal growth the sourdough starter creates mainly two kinds of living elements, Lactic acid Bacteria (also found in some fermented dairy product such as yogurt) and yeast.
For years, we have been discussing what could be the best way of growing a starter from scratch and the easier way I’ve found is the one I’m gonna explain to you in this article.
Study fermentation and start understanding it.
A bubbly starter ready to be used for preparing a new dough.
First, fermentation is happening all around us, and we don’t even know it. For example we have beer, wine, meads, cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, tofu, and other many things.
Second, there is a only one way to go to help fermentation and it is to have patience and let things happen with a natural course of event.
Nature knows everything that is needed to start a new life and we shouldn’t be there to stop this event to occur naturally. actually we can provide support to the stage of fermentation. In case of sourdough starter you only need few things which you need to be very careful and pay attention to.
memorise these following rules:
wash your pot, vase or bowl very well before beginning this sourdough journey
Buy organic flour if possible
Stir your content often during the day
Keep the molds away
And give it love!
Make the starter!!!
The key to succeeding in this game of sourdough making is to keep the mixture moving, this helps the starter culture to be protected from mold ( which love to prolific-ate in a still environment) and help the little or starting living creature to nurture them selves and multiply in this new environment.
Make sure to repeat this mixing step as many times during the day as often as you can remember, if you are busy, set up alarms every 3 hours on your reminders.
At this point is all in the hands of Mother nature, we can only make sure to stir the mixture and wait until signs of more healthy fermentation start appearing.
As mentioned above, it’s matter of days now, lately in the week when we will be able to see some bubbles around the jar container, Will be the time to start feeding the starter culture.
The feeding time….
It is, very well know as “the feeding the starter” legend, we all want to do it, we all aspire to have little to non discard at all, but that is not possible at the beginning of this journey. An easy and smart way to reduce the discard amount to be thrown, is to make Pancakes or muffin daily. I have a recipe for pancakes made with sourdough, and you can definitely use your discard. Other wise after a while you can actually figure out how often do you bake and how much starter to keep in case you just want to have the necessary amount for the next time and here you have the best way to keep your starter. So do your home work and keep only what you need, the rest ( the enough) will be used to make your bread.
I’ve seen the results, of many people trying to make this culture , and many fail and give up, because they try so hard at the beginning for many times always failing, mainly because they have been guided on a route that is slower and not efficient. I’m not afraid to say that I have been on the same bad, not rewarding journey too. But after years of precise practice and studies about fermentation I’ve understood that feeding needs to be happening only when the starter culture is already active and fermenting.
How do you understand when your starter is ready to be fed?
One sentence answer is required for this question: wait until it shows bubbles, and it smells like yogurt.
Are there any exceptions??Is there any chance I can feed my starter culture before it actually fermented????
Yes, there are exceptions and the most common one is that, when your dough has started a consistent and strong fermentation, if you don’t feed it you will have a sludgy liquid mixture and that is because the gluten has been eaten by the environment. This happens when the rest of the nutrients have gone and the bacteria and yeast start feeding on the protein. which is the gluten. The gluten in this case is the binder that keeps flour and water together.
So if you find your self in that situation of having a liquid split mixture, just add a little flour, stir and the culture would have returned to the natural thick state.
The 2 main DIFFERENCES in your feeding method. What are the benefitd of each one?
There is close to none of this content and it is probably one of the most important things to understand: Sourdough starter change and evolve in accordance to many factors, as we mentioned above previously, it can change upon temperature oscillation, kind of grains and also upon the liquids that you use, but also upon the frequency of your feeding during the day and during the weeks ahead.
All the different techniques that im going to explain in this short chapter are considered to be put i place only when your starter is very active and yeasty, and when you have already achieved great baking, it wouldn’t have any reason to start evolving or modifying the character of the starter before it is even born.
But there is one exception, which is the feeding one, this is the method that you need to follow when you starting your own starter and you are trying to increase the amount of yeast that’s in there, to be able to lift your bread, and not having a solid brick.
Feeding one: Making your starter yeasty and milder in flavour.
The yeast contained in to a sourdough culture seen through a microscope.
Simply start by measuring your starter weight.
NOW, that you know what your starter weights, take out 100 gr and run this experiment. This method will exponentially increase the amount of yeast in rapport to lactic-acid bacteria, and that’s why is perfect if you want to have a milder flavor.
Let it double and use it.
(Note that this is the Quickest way to do it, but if you want to make a milder starter there are also other ways that do not require feeding that much or discarding. For example the soaking method that we are going to talk about in another post)
Stiff Starter, usually used for long-long fermentation such as Panettone and Pandoro
The sourdough World never ends.
Feeding Two: increase the sour flavour
In the picture you can see some real lactic acid bacteria.
Start by taking out of the fridge your starter the day before you decide to feed it. The time has past and you are ready to feed your starter, but how to increase the acidity? Well let me give you the data that you need. understand that now your starter is very slow, because it hasn’t been fed for the last 24 hours and it hasn’t grown too, at the moment it will also be flat or lower than the level where you took it out. Now simply add 50 gr of flour and 50 gr of water.
The main reason why your starter becomes acidic is because you always underfeed it. I’ll explain better; ti get more yeast into a starter you feed it more than what it weights, instead if you want to have an acidic starter you just need to feed it less than its weight. Simple right? it is.
Now go and have a play, start making your own starter so that you can actually enjoy a good loaf of sourdough bread.
Thank you so much for reading all the way.
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