If you are a fan of sourdough and have finally decided to begin sourdough baking on your own, you have to start with a sourdough starter. A starter for sourdough is a homemade fermented yeast that you can then use for bread. Unlike active or dry packet yeast, sourdough yeast is wild active yeast that you can find in your kitchen. If you haven’t tried making sourdough on your own before, or simply want to try a new and better recipe, the following will be just the right place to begin. All you need is yeast, active water, and flour, and you can make some wonderfully delicious bread loaves on your own! After your starter has bubbled and multiplied the yeast, you can use it to make sourdough bread.
- 2 cups of warm water
- 2 1-quarter teaspoons or dry or active yeast. You can also take 1 packet of 7 grams yeast.
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
Steps to Make a Sourdough Starter Using Yeast
Step 1: Collect all your required ingredients in one place
Step 2: Mix the warm water with yeast in a ceramic bowl and using a wooden spoon, mix the solution until all the yeast dissolves.
Step 3: Add the flour gradually and stir the mixture while pouring. Keep stirring until all the flour dissolves and the mixture is smooth.
Step 4: Pour this starter mixture into any plastic container. The container should be at least 4 times in size to the liquid starter mixture. You could use a ½ gallon ice cream container. Doing so gives the starter mixture room to expand.
Step 5: Cover the container carrying the starter mixture with a cloth napkin and seal it in place using a rubber band.
Step 6: Place the starter mixture in a warm place for at least 5 days and keep stirring the mixture once a day.
Step 7: Your starter mixture is ready! Refrigerate it and use it where needed. You can also freeze it to use later.
How to Keep the Sourdough Starter Alive
How you store your sourdough starter is very important. You can leave it on the counter or refrigerate it. Most bakers prefer refrigerating because doing so encourages culture growth. If you refrigerate it, you will only have to feed the mixture once a week. If stored at room temperature instead, it needs to be fed once a day. Also, avoid placing it in areas of extreme heat or humidity.
To feed the starter mixture, remove a cup of the mixture in a new bowl. You will feed this portion of the mixture. The remaining can be used for making bread immediately or discarded. You remove half the starter so that yeast grows under controlled conditions and the remaining yeast stays healthy. Feed the mixture you removed with 1 cup of flour and half a cup of water. Keep the mixture under room temperature for an hour before you place it back in the refrigerator.
You can use the stored sourdough starter mixture in a number of different sourdough recipes and have fun! A sourdough starter can stay alive for quite a long if you remember to feed it regularly and maintain a good environment.