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How and Why to Make Yeast or Sourdough Starter from Scratch at Home? 3 Easy Steps

WHY AND HOW TO MAKE EVERLASTING WILD YEAST (SOURDOUGH STARTER) FROM SCRATCH AT HOME?

One of the reasons is the bread made out of a started tastes delicious, preserves for a few weeks on a counter, and it’s super easy to make at home with just ONE ingredient (not counting water)!

Wild Yeast or Sourdough Starter – little organisms that fly around; and when they find something they can eat, they go and they start eating. They’re just like people. They let out gas, burp, and fart.       

Joanne Chang, Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science (chemistry) course, Harvard Edx.org

PHASE 1: STARTING SOURDOUGH YEAST

Combine together 3-5 tbsp of lukewarm water (or canned pineapple juice) with 3 tbsp of whole rye flour to a “yogurt” texture.

Cover with a paper towel or slightly open the lead or cover with a paper towel and leave on a counter to the next day.

PHASE 2: RECOGNIZING AND MAINTAINING THE STARTER

Feed and mix daily with 1 tbsp water and 1 tbsp of rye flour till it smells pleasant and makes bubbles. From 3 to 6 days. Keep refrigerated, if not used. 

PHASE 3: BEFORE BAKING

Store in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, take it out a few hours before making a feed with 1 cup of fresh  lukewarm water and 1 cup of rye flour. Leave in a glass bowl overnight covered or 8 hours before mixing with other bread ingredients. Make sure to put aside a cup of the starter for the next baking time before you add any other ingredients. Store the starter in a cup with a slightly opened lead or cover with a paper tower.

Benefits of a Starter with Wild Yeast

A leavening agent for sourdough bread that enables the bread dough to rise. The primary difference between making bread with a sourdough starter and making bread with the direct or straight yeast method (the method familiar to most home cooks) is that starter breads require much more time to prepare, but the flavor and texture of the bread is almost impossible to achieve with other leavening methods. Sourdough breads feature a chewy crust, open crumb, a moderately dense texture, and a slightly sour flavor and aroma that are very pleasing. The initial fermentation of the starter and the subsequent rising time of the dough contribute to the lengthier process.

Challenges you may face with a yeast starter:

  • If you have liquid on top of the starter, mix it well to let the air inside and next time you feed the starter add less water
  • not every flour will work, if that happens and you see it is not raising with bubbles, feed with dark rye flour only
  • before you make your bread, feed the started with a cup of rye flour and water to a Yogurt Consistency and leave overnight on a counter covered with paper towel or plastic wrap or a lead slightly open
  • it will double or triple in size, make sure your bowl is a good size
  • mix with a wood or plastic spoon – do not use metal spoon
  • if you are not going to use it for more that a week, take it out, let it stand for a few minutes and feed with a spoon of rye flour, let it stand and you can put it back into the refrigerator
  • if the starter covers with a hard layer, just take it out before feeding

To read more: 

RELATED POSTS:

THE SCIENCE BEHIND SOURDOUGH STARTER OR NATURAL YEAST (COMING SOON…)

Written by Anna A. Block

Anna A Block is an educator, entrepreneur, and a mother of three little girls ages 7 and under. She believes in a beauty and power of ordinary, daily mundane. It is where the magic happens and memories created for a lifetime. And, it takes only 20 minutes of "pure" time to tell a story, play, read, talk, make or learn something together. Anna is fluent in English, Ukrainian, Russian, and is learning Hebrew. To know more about Anna, visit her website: AnnaABlock.com or read about her on About Us page.

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