We are creating natural bread leaven here. It is super simple to do but does require a little patience and about a week of care. After that, you will find it will be simple and easy to look after. You don't really need to worry about it too often, only on the days you plan on using it. This recipe is part of the Lazy Sourdough Bakery Course we offer on this site. Go and join us HERE and get this recipe plus loads more.
NOTES on flour to use;
Rye flour has more sugar in it and so feeds the starter well. You can use any unbleached flour. Any flour off the shelf that has been over processed will make the growth of natural yeast difficult. So that is why unbleached flour is suggested. I think a mixture of white rye and unbleached bakers flour is always a good mix. But it is entirely up to you. All rye flour will require more water as it is just thicker.
NOTES on filtered water;
The same applies to using filtered water as to using unbleached flour. Any chlorine or other anti bacterial additives in your water will slow down or potentially kill the growth of natural yeast in your new starter. For bread making perhaps it is not so important, but for the sourdough starter I suggest using a filtered water until it is nice and healthy.
NOTES on yeast;
Back in the day, my mum would create a sourdough starter using a pinch of dried yeast in the method below. This is not the worst thing to do, especially if you are time poor. It does work, much faster and over a period of time you will find that the original yeast has totally been taken over by the wild yeast. No guilt here, if that works for you, go ahead.
NOTES on discard;
Keeping your starter hungry will always result in a better loaf in the end. So discard is a common thing in sourdough baking. I don't discard as I used to when I started out, but that will be explained in our course videos. I do keep my starter lean and hungry before creating a loaf though. Remember this is the lazy method...simplicity in the extreme.
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Days One through Five
- 50 Grams unbleached flour of any kind
- 50 Grams filtered water
Day five or six and beyond
- 60 Grams unbleached flour or your choice
- 90 Grams filtered water
Place flour and water into a straight sided jar and beat together using a spatula until well combined. Cover loosely and leave on your kitchen bench for 24 hours.
On day 2, add the same amount of flour and water to the starter and stir again to combine. Leave on the bench again overnight and every night. A warm draft free environment is not a bad idea, though not essential.
Repeat this process daily until day 5. Remove half of the mixture in your jar and keep. This is your sourdough 'discard'. You can add any additional discard to this jar as required throughout your sourdough career. Your starter should hopefully be starting to smell a little sour as it should.
Feed your starter with the new ratios in this recipe and stir vigorously. Cover loosely and allow to bubble. By this stage you should be ready to create a levain or a lazy loaf.
Once you are confident in the bubbly texture and the sourness of the smell, you can make a levain and then a loaf. YAY! Keep the rest, covered, in your fridge between uses. Take out whenever you plan on making a discard recipe, lazy loaf or a levain, use, then feed using the day 6 ratios and either return to the fridge or keep on the bench for a few hours to get a bit of a party happening.
Watch the feeding your starter video to keep this new pet alive!
This recipe can be seen if you sign up for the related course. Join the course to get access!