Today I’m making my sourdough starter, ready to bake the bread tomorrow. I blogged about this before, and linked the recipe, but today I thought I’d go through step by step. Tomorrow I’ll cover actually baking the bread.
It only takes five minutes to make the starter, so all you have to do is remember to do it the day before you want your bread. It needs at least 12 hours to really get going, and 24 hours is even better.
I like to make the starter when I get up on a Saturday, then bake the bread when I get up on a Sunday. It’s then the basis for sardines on toast for breakfasts for the rest of the week, which is a really hearty and healthful breakfast, that’s also protein heavy, which is what I need after my morning resistance workout.
It all starts with the sourdough mixture that lives in my fridge. As I mentioned in my previous post, there’s no daily feeding and throwing mixture away like there is with some sourdoughs. This little plastic box lives in my fridge and I only touch it when I want to make bread. I’ve left it for three weeks before without any noticeable difference. Apparently if you’re planning on not using it for over a month it’s best to put it in the freezer.
After taking out of the fridge I give it a little stir, and it’s always reassuring to see some bubbles forming to tell you it’s still alive and well.
The starter starts with 50g of the fridge mixture.
Then it’s 150g of rye flour. I always use rye flour at this stage, as some of the starter goes back in the fridge mix tomorrow, and I don’t want to contaminate the fridge mix. If I want to play around with different flours I do that tomorrow.
The water wants to be around 40c. I’m sure it’s fine if you just estimate body temperature, but I like my gadgets so I get the digital termometer out :)
300g (which is 300ml, as 1ml of water weights 1g) into the mix.
Then it all gets a good mix, trying to minimize any lumps. I just use a fork for this and it only takes a couple of minutes.
Then the bowl goes inside a plastic bag, then the mixture sits somewhere warm, in my case the special radiator ledges that my step-dad built us.
The ledge was specifically designed for proving breads… but our cats have other plans for it!
And that’s it for today. I don’t need to do anything until tomorrow morning, and even then I won’t have to do any kneading!