I’ve been maintaining a sourdough culture since early 2020. It’s lived in three different homes, and has been driven across the entire country. I’m always trying to convince anyone to get into baking bread, and frequently give away part of my culture, so someone else can begin enjoying sourdough bread. This post is being written so I can share how to take care of one’s sourdough with friends and family. Everything I’m about to write can be more formally learned by following the wonderful King Arthur sour dough recipe, which all of this is based on.
A sourdough starter is a living creature, essentially a small colony of bacteria, and must be cared for. To achieve this, you must regularly add more flour and water into your mixture. In order to ensure that one does not continue to amass more and more sourdough, one effectively bakes with or discards 2/3rds of the existing starter, replacing that with an even mixture of new flour and warm water.
For example, every time I feed my starter, I weight out 113 grams of the starter and keep that around. Then I add in 113 grams of flour and 113 grams of warm water. This “next generation” of starter is now an even 33% of the previous generation starter, fresh warm water, and fresh flour. The left over starter that you removed should be baked with, composted, or discarded.
I tend to leave my starter in the fridge, and feed it once a week or so, depending on how cold the inside of the fridge stays. If you begin to see a greyish liquid pooling at the top of your starter, than you should stir that liquid back into the starter, and feed it. If you keep your starter on the counter, you may need to feed it as often as daily.
Feeding your starter based on weight, IE weighing out grams, is much easier and precise then trying to measure by volume, IE using measuring cups.
- My favorite sourdough pizza crust recipe
- My favorite pancake and waffle recipes
- The simplest sourdough bread recipe I’ve found
- The best sourdough bread recipe I’ve found, which takes more time and energy