Sourdough bread has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to its delicious flavor and amazing health benefits. However, it can be intimidating to start making sourdough bread, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a sourdough starter. This sourdough starter FAQs will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about sourdough starters to help you get started on your sourdough journey.
Q: Why use a sourdough starter instead of commercial yeast?
A: Sourdough bread has a unique flavor profile and texture that cannot be replicated with commercial yeast. Additionally, sourdough bread is easier to digest, has a lower glycemic index, and is often more nutritious than bread made with commercial yeast.
Q: How do I create a sourdough starter?
A: My recommendation is to buy a sourdough starter. I find a local gal that sells her sourdough starter. I got some and started baking that same day. You can also purchase dried starter online ( I haven’t tried that personally so I can’t recommend that ) or ask your friends.
Q: What kind of flour should I use to create a sourdough starter?
A: You can use any type of flour to create a sourdough starter, but many people prefer to use whole wheat or rye flour because they contain more wild yeast and bacteria than white flour. I love to feed my starter and bake my bread with King Arthur. If you have a mother sourdough starter that’s made with white flour, but you want to make a rye bread, you can make a levain from that mother starter with rye flour. ( this will be a later post available )
Q: How often do I need to feed my sourdough starter?
A: If you keep your sourdough starter in the fridge, then you take out the starter, make the bread dough, FEED your starter, let it rise and then place it back into the fridge. For me I use the same starter to make 2 loaves and then I will feed it again.
Q: How much flour and water should I use to feed my sourdough starter?
A: Everyone says to feed equal parts water, and flour. I say use 1 cup flour and 1/2-3/4 cup water, plus 1/2 cup of starter. I make the consistency thicker like sour cream.
Q: How do I know when my sourdough starter is ready to use?
A: Your sourdough starter is ready to use when it has doubled or tripled in size and is bubbly and active. You can test this by dropping a spoonful of the starter into a glass of water – if it floats, it is ready to use. If you notice it doubled or tripled and then starts to drop, it is also ripe and ready to use
Q: How do I store my sourdough starter?
A: I store my sourdough starter in a glass jar with plastic wrap on top. You can store your sourdough starter in the refrigerator for several weeks without feeding it. If you need to store it for a longer period of time, you can freeze it. You can also dehydrate it and store in a ziplock bag.
Q: How do I revive a dormant sourdough starter?
A: If your sourdough starter has been neglected and has become dormant, you can revive it by feeding it with fresh flour and water and allowing it to ferment at room temperature for several days. If it has a brown water on top of the starter, it is not bad. Drain the brown liquid and feed it. All it means is that it’s hungry!
Q: Can I use my sourdough starter for other baked goods besides bread?
A: Yes, you can use your sourdough starter to make pancakes, waffles, muffins, and other baked goods.
Q: Can I share my sourdough starter with others?
A: Yes, you can share your sourdough starter with others by giving them a portion of your starter to use in their own baking. This is a great way to spread the love of sourdough bread!
Feeding your sourdough starter, taking care of it, and using it to bake bread, takes patients, time, lots of trial and error, and of course LOVE. The more you use it, the more you will get adjusted and learn your own routine and ways to maintain a healthy and happy sourdough starter. I hope this sourdough starter FAQs will help you to ease up your sourdough journey.