A sourdough starter is very simple to make, all you need is flour, water a container with a lid, and a little bit of patience.
As mentioned before here is the recipe for making your own sourdough starter.
This is a slight adaptation of Richard Bertinet’s Sourdough Ferment. I didn’t add the spelt because I didn’t have any so I used whole wheat to just create a depth of flavor. I also didn’t add the honey because It wasn’t nice enough to use. You can actually buy some of Richard Bertinet’s starter on his website from the link above!
150g. white bread flour
50g. whole wheat flour
150g. warm water
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until combined., then put into your plastic container and cover with a lid, leave in a warm place for 1 ½ -2 days or until the dough smells very alcoholic. You should be able to see the bubbles beginning to form and even pop!
This is where we begin to feed the starter so that the yeasts can develop and expand.
All of the mixture from stage 1
280g. white bread flour
30g. whole wheat flour
150g. warm water
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, until thoroughly combined. Put back into the original plastic container and cover with a lid. Let it be for 1 day in the same warm place. Once ready the mixture should have risen and have a smell that is slightly fermented and sweet.
(This is the part where people feel it is wasteful. You can take the opportunity to ask anyone if they would like to make some bread, and they may just take it off your hands.)
200g. of the mixture from stage 2, discard or give away the rest.
400g. white bread flour
200g. warm water
Mix all ingredients, the final product should be a thick dough. Cover with a lid and leave in a warm place for 12 hours. After this time the dough should have risen.
Your starter is just about ready to use, but, put the mixture into the refrigerator for 2 days to slow down the ferment. After two days will result in a sweeter, lightly acidic bread. leaving it longer will make for a more pungent sour dough bread.
It is ready to use when you gently pull the ferment to the side and see tons of little air pockets that look almost like a honeycomb. It should smell somewhat sweet, lightly acidic, and have a smell of alcohol.
You can begin to use your starter.
Refreshing your starter
From this point forward you need to refresh your starter every 2-3days. Weigh your starter, add equal parts water, and twice the amount of flour.
This is the, make it or break it moment for most people. If you aren’t making bread as frequently, you will begin to notice you are throwing away more starter than you’d like.
So make sure you will be making bread enough to justify keeping a starter. If not use at your own discretion.