Sourdough Diaries Episode 4-5

Sourdough starter

Day 4:

Hi friends. Sarah here with Sourdough Diaries day number 4, and I’m still pretty pleased with how my starter is looking so far. I didn’t stir it yet today so that you could maybe see that little separation which is totally normal – totally good, because that means that the yeast have been eating, and burping, and giving off a little bit of alcohol. Because that’s what yeast do. That’s why yeast is made for brewing beers as well as making bread. So, we’ll maybe talk more about that later. So there’s not a whole lot of difference between today and yesterday in terms of how it looks, because the yeast is still not as strong as we need it to be to make bread yet. And this is very normal. So we’re just going to gradually keep feeding it everyday for maybe a week, and then by that point we’ll have some really strong yeast, so that we can start making those loaves of bread.

So I’m just going to do the same thing that I did yesterday, and I might not film tomorrow because it is going to be the same thing. We will just mix up our starter. Also you might notice a smell, maybe a little bit of a fruity smell, or maybe a little bit of a Cheesy smell. Again totally normal, and you might notice the texture kind of like gloopy and glue like when you stir it up. That’s great, that means that there’s you’ve got the yeast and there’s also gluten in there and that’s what makes our bread nice and chewy and fluffy.

So, I’m going to discard half of this. I’ve kept my discard just in case, because most of the time once we have a good starter we can just throw it away. And that’s just a part of making sourdough starter, is to feed it you have to get rid of a lot of it, so that you can make a stronger starter each time. So, just be okay with discarding a couple of spoonfuls here and there. And when I’m positive that my sourdough starter here is healthy I’m just going to just toss this or put in the compost. So I got a good spoonful maybe a little bit more in my jaw right now. And I forgot to grab a new jar – it’s not a big deal if you don’t clean the jar every time. But I just like to keep things a little bit clean.

So then again, we’re going to feed it with that nice hunk of flower, and put some water in. Now the ratio typically to when you’re feeding your starter no matter what size it is, is one part starter one part flour one part water. And that gives you the perfect consistency and also ratio of food for the yeast to consume. Because if you don’t get enough food it’s going to overpopulate, and it’s just going to die quicker because it doesn’t have enough food, ok? But again, it’s a very resilient thing, it’s not something that we should be too concerned about. So, it’s very thick, I’m just going to add a tish more water.

Now I’ve read a lot of places they don’t do this stirring three times a day. But then I read from an artisan baker, Peter Reinhart is his name, he’s got a really great book, got many really great books. But anyway, he said that this aeration is very good for the yeast and it helps them to multiply faster because like us, yeast really appreciate fresh air so this stirring three times today is only going to do us good. But if you forget for a day it’s not going to be a big deal. If you forget for a few days it’s probably going to get gross, just so you know. So, again we’ve got this nice…that’s a little thick, but it’s okay…pancake batter, and we’ll put it to bed with our little blanket, wrap it up tightly, and let it sit on the counter again stirring 3 times a day. Now we’re going to do this for another three more days, and then we’ll start to build so that we can make some things with it. So, I hope you’re enjoying this process. I like to visit with you everyday, so I hope to see you again in a few days. Take care.

Day 5:

Sarah here again with Sourdough Diaries day number 5. Now, I said I probably wasn’t going to join you for a few days because we’re just doing the same feeding over and again for three more days. But I just noticed a little bit of stagnation in my starter, so really not a whole lot of change from yesterday. So, I thought that you might need this tip as well. I forget that we have chlorinated water in the city. So, if you’re making this, and you have well water and you’ve been using it, or if you’ve been using bottled water, or distilled water, then your starter is probably doing fine. But I forgot, and I have made starters before in the past using the chlorinated water out of the tap with no issue, but for some reason it’s a little slow to progress. So I’m just trying to nip that and try to give it a better water source this so round.

So maybe you’re experiencing that too, or maybe yours is just slow to start to begin with but now we can fix that with maybe some distilled water or spring water. Or a good way to get rid of the chlorine in your water if you have no other source of water, just fill up any old glass or whatever with Water straight out the tap, and let it sit out overnight or maybe even over 24 hours. And that chlorine or whatever they use to purify the water will be gone. So that’s what I do a lot of times with some of my seedlings that I sprout in the spring too. So we’ve got our clean vessel, we’ll just run through this really quickly. We might even do a speed-up of this action.

There we go. So, that’s all it takes, just a little feeding every day just like that, discarding the other half. Now if you wanted to make you starters for some reason, you could feed the other half of it and build that up as well. But most of us just need one. So there you are, I’m going to put this to bed, and hopefully we’ll see a little bit more activity now that we’re using a better water source. So, have a great day, see you soon!