I’ve been playing around with sourdough since I started my Breads & Rolls class in January. My mom wasn’t a bread baker so I didn’t start to understand how bread baking works until we studied it in school.
I’m hooked. In love. Amazed. Intrigued.
After a month of watching my starter grow and baking some incredible loaves of bread, I thought you’d like to see it too. There are so many different ways to make a starter and feed it, or keep it going. This is just what I’m doing right now – and it’s by no means the only way. It’s just one of many.
If you’ve never made a sourdough starter before, here are a few things you should know:
- Don’t worry if your gluten-free starter goes completely flat when you stir it – it’ll rise back up. There’s no gluten to hold the gas in.
- Baking with sourdough starters is less predictable than baking with manufactured yeast because you don’t know exactly how much yeast is in the starter.
- The wetter the starter, the more enzyme activity there is. It’s more active due to the larger amount of water.
- You can leave it on the counter and feed it once or twice a day if you bake often.
- If you don’t bake often, it can be refrigerated and feed a few times a week.
- Sourdough starters can also be frozen for up to a year. (But really, what fun is that?)
Think of your starter like a pet – it has to be fed regularly to keep the yeast alive and active.
This starter uses equal parts water and flour by weight. Don’t hate me. You’re going to need a scale.
Why? It’s more exact and, quite frankly, it’s easier. Your bread will be more consistent and the results will be much better. I promise.
A starter should be fed at least 3 – 5 times before the first use. The older it is the better the flavor. Don’t expect a great sourdough flavor after two weeks. Like all good things, it needs to be nurtured over time. Still, even if your starter is young it will add lightness and flavor, both of which most gluten-free bread desperately needs.
Here’s what I did to get started. Have fun. Bread recipes soon to come.
More Gluten-Free Bread Recipes
- Ryeless Rye Bread from Gluten-Free Goddess
- Perfect Gluten-Free Bread from A Year of Slow Cooking
- Gluten-Free Bread from Flour Arrangements
Find more recipes at Miz Helen’s Full Plate Thursday!
DiMuzio, Daniel T. Bread Baking: An Artisan’s Perspective. John Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, 2010. Print.