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Sourdough Starter FAQ

Updated on July 5, 2011
Sourdough Bread photo: Sifu Renka
Sourdough Bread photo: Sifu Renka

Sourdough Starters FAQ Introduction

Sourdough is a type of bread which is made without added yeast. The starter is added instead. It is a mixture created by the baker which naturally produces yeast. Sourdough starters have been around for thousands of years as a way to leaven bread and add flavor. For more information, go to What are sourbread starters?

Are All Sourdough Starters Similar?

No. starters will vary, an excellent starter ought to be cherished. Try different sourdough starter recipes to see for yourself. The actions of the starters can be extremely different when comparing how long leavening takes, amounts of acidity created, etc.

Starters tend to be noticeably diverse as far as taste, too. Traditional San Francisco sourdough bread has a unique taste which no other sourdough resembles. It is said to be because the seaside location contains unique yeasts that aren't found in other areas.

How Do I Make a Sourdough Starter From Scratch?

It happens to be an incredibly basic process.

First of all, There are yeasts floating all around in the air, as well as in flour!  A cupful of flour probably contains millions No need to buy yeast. So, all the yeasts and bacteria you will need are found right in your bag of flour and in the air itself.

The microorganisms usually are reduced, but not completely destroyed, through bleaching. So luckily a starter can be made from regular store flour. Unfortunately, there are also molds along with other unwanted microorganisms present as well.  Luckily, provided the proper conditions the yeasts and lactobacilli bacteria will rapidly control the environment in the starter by making it too acidic for the other microorganisms to live.
Understand that sourdough starter microorganisms need water, food, and the proper temperature to flourish. You supply food from flour. A whole grain flour is the fastest way to begin a sourdough starter. Add water, and the only other thing needed is air and the right temperature!

See How a Sourdough Starter Bubbles and Looks If Done Properly

What Is the Most Common Mistake When Creating a Sourdough Starter?

The main issue to keep in mind is always to feed routinely. For any beginning sourdough starter, you should feed at least every twenty four hours.

On the initial feeding, you most likely won't observe a lot of action maybe none at all, other than maybe a slightly fermented smell (particularly if you are using rye flour). Don't worry. Feed it anyway.

This is how a lot of people fail. They figure that abandoning it several more days can get it going! The truth is, the actual yeasts are not receiving enough available food so they tend to be much less active. But the molds along with other unwanted microorganisms still grow, and you end up having a slimy, stinky, gooey mess as they start to take over.

By the third feeding, the starter should be bubbling properly. By the fifth feeding, you should be able to bake with it, but the starter can still develop for several more days.

Sourdough Starter FAQ

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    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      You don't give the recipe. How much water and flour? I don't understand this. i would love to make it!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a great lesson. I wondered how to make sourdough because I love that bread.

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

      terrific food hub thanks like it