Buying Sourdough Starter
Buying sourdough starter may seem like a great way to begin your sourdough bread baking journey, but with some water, flour, and a little bit of patience, you can make your own sourdough starter from scratch.
Sourdough starter adjusts to your environment over time so buying sourdough starter when you can make your own seems like a no-brainer to me.
I’m no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but this is what I do and have done to make some very tasty sourdough bread.
I do admit I purchased a sourdough starter from King Arthur Flour and I still use it to this day. But I also made my own from scratch that was started a week before I purchased one. They are both thriving and producing great tasting sourdough bread.
The KAF gets fed with bread flour while my homemade starter is fed with whole wheat flour. Most of my bread I bake I use both bread flour and whole wheat, so i just grab either starter when mixing and it always turns out great.
Equipment for Making Sourdough Starter
To make accurate measurements I STRONGLY suggest purchasing a kitchen scale. It will pay for itself in accuracy and consistent bread every time.
Besides a scale, the only other thing you’ll need is a container to hold your starter. It needs to be large enough to handle the doubling of starter. Similar to when your dough rises, your starter will do the same when fully active. Keep this in mind when choosing your starter jar.
I got about 30, quart size, Mason jars for free a while back so I just use them for my starter.
Flour and Water
You can use pretty much any flour you have on hand, but I would recommend using whole wheat flour to get started if you have it.
Whole wheat flour seems to do a better job at getting it started in my experience. I’m sure it has to do with the protein levels in the flours or something, again, I’m not an expert. 😉
We have well water that goes through 2 filters when it hits the faucet. I keep about 3 cups in a lidded container on my counter at all times. This keeps my water at room temperature so my bread baking is consistent. I’d suggest you do something similar so your results are the same.
Making Your Starter – A Journey
These are the steps I used and still follow for my starter. I feed daily so it’s a very active starter. I typically make 1 loaf every 1 to 2 days so I need it fed and active!
Day 1: Weigh and mix thoroughly, 100 grams of water and 100 grams of flour. You won’t see much action for a few days so don’t get discouraged.