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Farmer's Wife - Simple Sourdough Starter

Homegrown – Farmer’s Wife: Navigating life as a farmer’s wife, homeschooling mom, small business owner, author, manager, and conservationist

Homegrown - Farmer's Wife
Freshly baked sourdough bread.

Simple Sourdough Starter

Making a Sourdough Starter:

Ingredients:

Whole grain flour (whole wheat or rye works best for starting)

Water (filtered or distilled) 

Equipment:

A large glass jar or container

A spoon or spatula

A kitchen scale (optional but recommended for accuracy)

 Instructions:

Day 1:
In a clean jar, mix 60 grams (1/2 cup) of whole grain flour with 60 ml (1/4 cup) of water.
Stir until no dry flour remains.
Cover the jar loosely with a lid or cloth (to allow air to circulate).

Let it sit at room temperature (around 21°C) for 24 hours.

Day 2:
You may start to see some bubbles, indicating that fermentation is beginning.
Discard half of the starter (about 60 grams).
Add 60 ml of water and 60 grams of all-purpose flour to the remaining starter.
Stir well, cover loosely, and let sit for another 24 hours.

Day 3 to 5:
Repeat the process of discarding half of the starter and feeding with 60 grams each of water and all-purpose flour every 24 hours.

By Day 5, the starter should be bubbly, doubled in size, and have a pleasant sour smell. This means it’s ready to use. 

 

Using the Sourdough Starter for Bread:

Ingredients:

500 grams (4 cups) of bread flour

350 ml (1 1/2 cups) of water

100 grams (1/2 cup) of active sourdough starter

10 grams (2 teaspoons) of salt

 Equipment:

Large mixing bowl

Bench scraper or spatula

Dutch oven or heavy pot with lid

Parchment paper

 Instructions:

Mixing:
In a large mixing bowl, combine 500 grams of bread flour and 350 ml of water.
Mix until no dry flour remains.
Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

Adding the Starter:
Add 100 grams of your active sourdough starter to the dough.
Mix well until the starter is fully incorporated.

Adding Salt:
Sprinkle 10 grams of salt over the dough.
Mix by hand, pinching and folding the dough until the salt is evenly distributed.

Bulk Fermentation:
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap.
Let the dough rise at room temperature for about 4 hours, performing a series of stretch and folds every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours.
To stretch and fold, wet your hand, grab the dough from one side, stretch it up, and fold it over itself. Rotate the bowl and repeat 4 times.

Shaping:
After the bulk fermentation, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Shape the dough into a tight ball by folding the edges into the center and then flipping it over and using your hands to pull it towards you, creating surface tension.

Final Proof:
Place the shaped dough, seam side up, into a bowl lined with a floured cloth.
Cover and let it proof for about 2 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator for a more complex flavor.

Baking:
Preheat your oven to 230°C with the Dutch oven inside.
Carefully transfer the dough onto a piece of parchment paper.
Score the top of the dough with a sharp knife or razor blade.
Using the parchment paper, lift the dough into the preheated Dutch oven.
Cover with the lid and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is deep golden brown.

Cooling: Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Enjoy your homemade sourdough bread!

Kayleigh