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Sourdough Secrets & Facts

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Sourdough cultures like it warm when you want them to divide. Yeasts and bacterias also like a slightly acidic environment. Adding a little apple cider vinegar now and then will help. Refrigerate and try to use once a month. If you have a collection of different types of sourdoughs, you can spread them out to dry and keep them in a powdered form indefinitely. The yeasts provide the leavening while the acid-loving bacteria protect the culture from “bad” bacteria and provide its unique flavor.

I. From Powder to Starter: Directions are available on any starter you buy. If you mix up your dry culture with warm water and flour in a ceramic or plastic bowl, you want your culture to have the consistency of pancake batter.

Cover with plastic and keep at 85° or so – your starter will come to life. The plastic excludes wild yeasts and bacteria from setting up shop in your sourdough. It may take 1-3 days to see much activity initially, but be patient – you wouldn’t expect fine wine in a day. Depending on how much of the starter or culture you want you can add more flour and warm water.

Hints: Let the water stand overnight or use distilled water. Some starters are sensitive to chlorine.

II. Using and Caring for Your Starter: Once your starter is activated keep it in a glass jar or crock. If kept out of the refrigerator, you’ll need to use it more often (a couple times per week). When not is use, it’s common to see a dark liquid layer at the top. This is normal. Stir it in before reviving for use.
1. Pour out 1/2 cup to 1 cup starter into a ceramic or stainless steel bowl.
2. Add warm (preferably non-chlorinated water) and flour until it is a pancake
consistency.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in warm place until foamy.
4. It is now ready to use, this process is called “proofing”.
5. Replace whatever volume of starter you took out so you don’t run out. Sourdough is eternal.

Hints: If you want lots of the culture, simply add more flour and water. It’ll just take longer for the yeasts to multiply before you can use it. The longer it stands before you use, usually the more sour the flavor, but don’t let it go inactive (no foamy).
Sourdough Secrets & Facts

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Products Used in this Recipe

Baking Aids
Sourdough Starter

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