Updated: Dec 20, 2020
Want to try making bread but you have no yeast?
Wild yeast is naturally occurring and when you give it a medium, such as a flour and water mixture used in sourdough starter, the yeast start to multiply. The medium of flour and water has to be maintained and monitored so it requires more work than store bought yeast. Although this is a slower process, it will give you a better flavour and texture.
Day 1: In a glass container, combine 1 cup flour with ½ cup water. Stir until you have a sticky, thick dough. Scrape down the sides and cover/secure with a kitchen towel and elastic band. Store at room temperature for 24 hours.
Day 2: Look at your starter - you may start to see bubbles but it is okay if you do not see any. Add 1 cup flour and ½ cup water. Stir into a smooth batter. Cover and store for 24 hours.
Day 3 & Day 4: Repeat the same process both days (adding 1 cup flour and ½ cup water). By the third day you should start to see some bubbles. By the fourth day, your starter should have a lot of bubbles, feel frothy and smell sour.
Day 5: Your starter should now be doubling in size after feedings.
Day 6: After a few days of feeding your starter and having it double in size, it should be ready to use!
To use: Different sourdough recipes will use different flour to water ratios. You can use your starter in any recipe, you just need to adjust it. Next time you feed your starter, feed it the ratio of flour and water the recipe is calling for in their starter. You can scoop out ¼ cup of your starter and feed it with the ingredients called for in your recipe’s starter.
To maintain: every time you feed your starter, discard ½ of it and then feed it with the same amount of flour and water. Every time you feed it, it should double in size within eight hours. If it is not, feed it again in 12 hours until doubled in 8 hours or less.
To store: You can keep it at room temp and feed it every 24 hours or you can put it in the fridge. Before putting it in the fridge, feed it as normal and let it sit for 2-3 hours. Then put it in the fridge in a sealed jar and feed it once a week. To use it, feed it and let it stand at room temperature for 4-8 hours. Remove the amount that you need for the recipe and repeat the feeding process and either stand at room temperature to use again or transfer to the fridge and store again.