Getting Started with Sourdough

Getting Started with Sourdough

Starting Your Own Sourdough Starter

I used The Perfect Loaf’s Guide here to start my own sourdough starter back in 2020!

My Maintenance Routine

Regular Routine

If I’m not trying to make a special quantity or combination for a recipe, this is my typical maintenance routine, to feed the sourdough twice a day.

I typically feed it at a 1:5:5 ratio of starter:water:flour

  • 5g starter
  • 25g room temp water
  • 25g All-purpose flour

Fridge Routine

Once you have a healthy sourdough starter, you can start storing it in the fridge. I often store mine in the fridge because I don’t bake that often and I don’t want to feed it every day. I usually feed it every 2-3 weeks; the longest I’ve ever gone without feeding it is one month.

To prepare for the fridge, I go for a 1:4:5 ratio of starter:water:flour

  • 5g starter
  • 20g room temp water
  • 25g All-purpose flour

and I usually let it kickstart the fermentation process by sitting at room temp for 1 hour before I put it in the fridge. But also….sometimes I just put it straight in the fridge.

When I want to bake with it, I take it out of the fridge the day before, and give it one feeding before I make my recipe levain.

For example, I might take it out of the fridge on Friday at 5pm, and feed it 1:5:5 at 8pm. The next morning Saturday, I will make the levain for the recipe and make my dough that day.

The First Sourdough Recipes I Tried

The very first recipe I tried was The Perfect Loaf’s All-Purpose flour recipe, which is nice because you only need one type of flour.

For a little more complexity, my go-to recipe is his Simple Weekday Sourdough. Easy to fit into your schedule, relatively simple, and great results!

Important Sourdough Tips

  • Use a scale to measure amounts – not measuring cups or measuring spoons. Volume measurements have SOOOOO much variance; measuring by weight is the way to achieve consistency.
  • Use your intuition! Along the process, look at the dough, smell the dough, poke it, stretch it. These observations plus seeing how the results turn out will help build your intuition for bread baking!
  • Until you have good intuition for bread-baking, managing the dough temperature is really important – see this guide by The Perfect Loaf. Besides measuring by weight, this is the other critical element for achieving consistent results. When you build intuition, you might use this less, or you might now – managing dough temperature allows you to manage your schedule (slowing down fermentation on a hot day OR speeding up fermentation on a cold day if you don’t have all day to wait).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *