April 11, 2024

Feeding your sour dough starter (my sour dough journey)

As you know we are on this journey of using and keeping our sour dough starter.  We were given our starter when we attended a sour dough bread course at Apron strings in Hedon.

We don’t want to make bread every day and so we taught to keep the sour dough starter in the fridge and feed it by discarding all of it except 25g, and then feeding it with 100g of flour and 100g of water.  We should then take it out of the fridge the day before we want to use it and let it double in size. before we bake.  We use half spelt or rye flour and half organic unbleached white flour to feed it.  The cheap bread flour in the shops is not good for sour dough as it is bleached.

With our discard we make crumpets, and last week we made a carrot cake.  After watching some YouTubes, I noticed that not every one discards some of their starter, and they just add the flour and water to build up a larger starter so that they have more discard.  I also noticed that some people do not do exact measurements, but just add flour and water until it is the right consistency (not too runny and like a medium pancake mix).  I did that last week which gave me enough discard to make the carrot cake.  I just added 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of water.

People in my Facebook group have told me that it is hard to kill a starter.  I thought I had when we came back from holiday.  It had some dark coloured liquid on top.  I was just told to stir it in or drain it off which I did.  Apparently this is a sign that the starter needs feeding.

Another time when I had the jar out of the fridge it formed a thin skin on top.  This just means it is drying out a bit and so I just took the skin off and it was fine, and worked.

Sour dough feels complicated as so many people look after it in different ways.  However, I am becoming more confident, have deviated from what I was taught, but my starter stills seems to be doing well.  I hope that I am not getting too cocky and kill it next week!

When I want to use the starter for sour dough I put an elastic band around the jar at the level that the starter is.  I can then easily see if it has doubled in size.  My house is usually too cold for it to do this but I have found that on sunny days it rises well in my conservatory.  Do you have any tips for feeding sour dough?

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  1. Kathryn Naden April 11, 2024 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Sorry I don’t have any experience of making sourdough bread but would love to have a go sometime . Can you buy a starter & where would your normally be able to buy un bleached flour ? X

    • ToniG April 12, 2024 at 7:50 am - Reply

      On the course they told us that Allinson’s bread flour was ok. I tend to buy Waitrose organic bread flour but it is expensive. Making sour dough saves me the cost of the yeast, though. Luckily we are eating less bread for health reasons and sour dough is good for our gut health. I am not sure where you would buy a starter. I have seen them dehydrated on Amazon but I am not sure that I would trust them as they are quite expensive.

  2. lal farrell April 12, 2024 at 6:39 am - Reply

    Love following your Sourdough experimenting, I think you are giving me the confidence to try something which seemed so complicated!

    • ToniG April 12, 2024 at 7:46 am - Reply

      I think that if you can get a good starter from somewhere it is hard to kill it. Apparently starting one yourself is the hard part. It has taken me a long time to get the confidence too. Thanks for your kind comment

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