Bread making has long been a symbol of the perfect housewife. Although it can seem arduous, time-consuming, and challenging, it’s not always as hard as it looks, and the end result is delicious! If you want to learn how to make your own sourdough bread starter, keep reading!
There are only a few ingredients you need for a starter: water, yeast, and flour. Understanding your ingredients will help you become more independent as a baker, and able to adapt to problems or changes in the bread making process.
Yeast is probably the most mysterious out of our three core ingredients. Commonly known as baker’s yeast or budding yeast, saccharomyces cerevisiae is one of the oldest foods used by human civilization. Yeast is a critical part of the bread making process because of the role it plays in fermenting the dough. Yeast cells produce CO2, which influences the bread’s texture, volume, and taste.
Mixing the Ingredients
After you understand what your ingredients are, you should learn how to mix them for the best results. If you want to use your starter to make your own homemade sourdough bread, should start about five days ahead of the day you plan to actually bake the bread. Each day, you will feed your starter with equal portions of fresh flour and water. Your starter will gradually become more bubbly, frothy and sour-smelling as it ferments. After you’ve consistently fed your starter for about five days, it should be ready to use! It should smell quite sour, and be full of bubbles.
Maintaining Your Starter
The great thing about making your own starter is that you can use it to bake bread many more times than just once. If you want to maintain your starter, either use or discard half of the starter, then continue feeding it like you did before. You can also share this starter with your friends and family! If you ever want to take a break from baking bread consistently, you can save your starter by drying it out on a cookie sheet, breaking it into pieces, and storing it in an airtight container. You can later rehydrate the dried pieces by dissolving them in water and adding equal parts fresh flour.
Making your own sourdough bread starter is relatively simple, but it will take daily diligence. Don’t forget to check on your starter each day. Your efforts will pay off!
Looking for the perfect pair with your homemade bread? Try this Oil and Fat Free Basil Pesto Recipe.