In honour of Real Bread Campaign’s ‘Sourdough September’ this month, we will make, nurture, and bake with, our very own starter. Follow our starter’s progress this month as she grows, and why not make your own?
A sourdough starter is the living heart of traditional baking. Making your own can be challenging, but once you get the hang of it, your sourdough will become your faithful kitchen companion. If you look after your starter – feeding it, watering it – it will reward you in turn. You can use this starter for endless sourdough recipes.
For the starter:
120g strong wholemeal flour
20g strong white flour
120ml water, at room temperature
For feeding over 10 days
10 x 70g strong wholemeal flour
10 x 20g strong white bread
10 x 75ml water, at room temperature
Mix the first day’s ingredients in a very clean small bowl with a scrupulously clean fork until you have a solid, stodgy batter.
Pour the starter into a clean plastic container at least four times its volume and cover it loosely with a lid so it lets in a little air. There are yeast cells all around and, hopefully, some of them will latch on to this mix.
Put the starter in a cool room – but not in a fridge, cupboard, or any other enclosed space.
After one day, feed the starter for the first time. Weigh out 150g of the starter and discard the rest. Feed the remainder with the 70g of wholemeal flour, 20g of strong white flour and 75ml of water.
Put it back in its container and cover it loosely. Leave it to rest for another day.
Repeat each day, for 10 days or ad infinitum! Your sourdough could live forever, unless you forget to feed it – in which case it will die.
After 10 days, if you and your starter are happy, together you’re ready to make the loaf of your life.