Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sour Dough starter.

Hi to everyone who is new to my blog and thanks for taking an interest in my weekly ( or thereabouts) ramblings!
A couple of days ago I started my first sour dough starter; sadly the weather was just a bit too hot and it died! So being a determined lass i made up a new lot and have put it in the laundry cupboard to grow. This lot did absolutely nothing.

I got the recipe out and have remade it. I suspect my mistake may have been that I used a cup of flour and a cup of COLD water , when warm water is what is needed to get the growing process started.

So I've started it again . I've mixed 1 cup of wholemeal plain flour and 1 cup of warmish water together and have left them in a jug in the laundry cupboard. The recipe I am using for the starter is as simple as one cup of flour added to one cup of warm water and mixed. Then you place it in an open container made of glass or plastic in a warm clean area. Like a cupboard or pantry. Then every 24 hours you tip half out and add another 1/2 a cup of flour and 1/2 cup of warm  water.  This gooey concoction should start to gather natural yeast from the air which then begins to grow, you will know if its working if their are bubbles on the surface. My first lot exploded but since then have been having trouble getting the brew happening, bit now it seems to be doing what is required as there are bubbles forming on the top!!!

This is how our grandmothers and their mothers made bread before you could buy yeast in a packet.Very simple and natural. I will take photos of it as it progresses and when I finally am able to use it will of course show a pic of the final baked result!

 Any feedback from anyone who has made this before would be much appreciated!! In fact any feedback at all is always appreciated and inspires me to write more.


  1. Put us down as "beta testers" for the bread!

  2. This is a great idea!! I've just started making all my bread by hand (my new years resolution was to never buy another loaf). I will definitely be following your blog to see how your starter progresses.

  3. I have made EXCELLENT Sour Dough in the past when we lived in a smaller house; since moving to a larger more open house I have had no luck just stinky flour goo. We are planning to down-size tremendously and I will once more have a tiny kitchen to try sour dough making once more.

  4. There's nothing better than homemade bread, especially when its cold!

    Thanks for the feedback ladies! I have persevered with the starter and am hoping it will be ready soon, am not sure how long i need to keep changing it before its ready, but it seems to be doing what its meant to!

  5. Hi Serena,

    I made sour dough bread for my mother, who came to visit us last week. I translated the recipe for an American friend of hers. I'm Dutch, so the spelling might be a bit wobbly. My mother thought it was the best bread she had ever tasted (and she makes it herself too).

    The recipe comes from this site:
    You might want to look at it, or try to run babelfish over it, if something I write is unclear.

    Day1: 8 table spoons of whole-wheat flour and some lukewarm water (like on the picture on the website). Put it away for 24 hours in a warm room.

    Day2: stir the dough three times this day

    Day3: stir the dough three times this day and add 3 table spoons flour and 3 table spoons water with the third stir

    Day4: stir the dough three times this day and add 3 table spoons flour and 3 table spoons water with the third stir

    Day5: stir the dough three times this day and add 3 table spoons flour and 3 table spoons water with the third stir

    Day6: the dough should be ready now, you can also keep it there for another day

    To prepare the bread:
    -500 grams of whole-wheat (of rye) flour
    -125 grams of the dough
    - 2,5 or 3 decilitres cold water
    -10 grams salt

    Put the dough in a bowl, add the water, stir, add the salt, add the flour, stir and use your hands to knead.

    Put the bowl in a (very) warm place for 1 or 2 hours (cover it with a towel). Knead again and put it in the thing you want to bake the bread in.

    Put that thing in the very warm place again for 10 hours with a wet towel on it..

    After that, put it in the oven (225 degrees Celsius) for appr. 40 minutes.

    --Of course, you can add more flour and water to the remaining dough if you want, to be sure you have enough for the next bread!--

  6. Hi Serena

    I was given a sourdough starter by a friend recently and had great success with my bread from the very first loaf! It had a wonderful crust and a great aroma.

    When I first got her starter (which was in a glass jar containing about 200g of it), I first "fed" it by adding 100g of unbleached flour and about 100ml of lukewarm water, then stirring well until it became a paste. I then covered the jar with a damp tea towel and left it in a warm place for 6hrs. (After 6hrs it will look bubbly and have a milky smell - it shouldn't smell sour or bad.)

    To make the dough for the bread, I weighed out 200g of this starter into a separate bowl and mixed it with 240ml of lukewarm water until it was runny (consistency of milk).

    In a large bowl I mixed 450g of unbleached flour,50g wholemeal flour with a pinch of salt. Into this went the milky-looking starter mixture and this was made into a dough and kneaded well for 10 mins on a floured board, then placed in an oiled bowl covered with a damp tea towel and left to rise in a warm place for 8hrs. Then I knocked down the dough with my knuckles, shaped it into a round and placed it into a colander lined with a "floured" teatowel. This was then covered with a damp teatowel and left for 6 hrs in a warm spot to rise again. Then it was turned onto an oiled baking sheet, the top slashed with a sharp knife and baked for 35mins. Hope this is helpful.

    I "fed" the original starter "mother" again by adding 100g of unbleached flour and 100ml of lukewarm water to the jar, blended to a paste and left,covered with a damp teatowel for 6 hrs after which I put the lid back on the jar and placed it in the fridge until next time.]

    My husband bakes wonderful bread (using yeast, organic flour, olive oil etc) without a breadmaking machine and enjoys making it. We also have a wood stove in the kitchen and sometimes bake in that rather than using the electric oven. Rgds, Suzy

  7. Hey thanks for the comments Suzy and once again thanks for reading. I have actually inherited a break maker and would really like to make some sourdough. Sounds like you're quite experienced. I will give your recipe a try tomorrow.



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