How to Use Your Sourdough Starter
A sourdough starter must be fed and cared for, just like a pet! You're going to hear me repeat again and again how important it is to feed your starter a 1-1-1 ratio of flour, water, and starter. If you have too much starter it gets too active and eats all the food and won't be as bubbly. If you have too much starter and don't want to throw it out, check out these recipes. Leftover Sourdough Starter Recipes We also have a faq's page that can answer a lot of questions.
Servings: 1 cups
- 1 pint or quart canning jar - Use a clear jar so you can check to see how many bubbles are on the sides of your starter.
- 1/2 cup Sourdough Starter - If you have less than 1/2 cup this is ok. You just need a little starter to make more.
- 1/2 cup White Whole Wheat Flour - (do not use sprouted flour) See note below*
- 1/2 cup Water
- Take your sourdough starter from the refrigerator. I usually feed my starter the night before I am going to use it. You don't have to feed it at night, you can do it anytime, just give it at least 6-12 hours to ferment (until it looks bubbly, especially on the sides of the jar) before you use it to make your bread.
- The starter that is left in the jar needs to be fed equal portions of flour and water. Stir it together in the jar thoroughly and then place in the fridge until you need to feed it or make another loaf. Even if you only have a tablespoon of starter left or just some on the sides of the jar, you can make more starter from this. Give it equal portions of flour and water and it will make it into more starter. So say you only have a few spoonfuls of starter left, feed it 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup water and let it ferment on the counter. (DON'T use more starter than the other ingredients!)
- Refrigerating - Once your sourdough starter is safely in the refrigerator, it will need a little attention, although once it's cold and relatively dormant, it can survive between "feedings." It is certainly not hard to care for, but it won't just sit for months on end like a packet of commercially dried yeast either. Feed it at least once a week on the counter or in the fridge. It just needs more flour and water equal amounts of starter, flour, and water as this is its food and once it is out of food it will eventually die. (DON'T use more starter than the other ingredients!)
I feed my starter Prairie Gold Montana White Wheat Flour. Most whole wheat flours contain more minerals than white flours and this allows the bread to rise well. You can also use a good quality unbleached white flour or bread flour. You’ll need to use a flour that does not add chemicals or one that is bleached, otherwise, your starter might not get bubbly. Bread flour is what is most commonly used by bread makers because of the high protein count in the flour. A high protein count makes the bread rise higher. I have always used white wheat flour since my sourdough starter would always be twice as bubbly then it would be otherwise with other flours. If you want to make Einkorn bread then you’ll need to convert your starter too and Einkorn flour starter and I have a recipe to help you do this. Einkorn Sourdough Starter Don’t use sprouted flours to make sourdough bread. The process of sprouting breaks down the grain and then it doesn’t work as well for the sourdough culture.