Maintaining Your Sourdough Starter

I always maintain my sourdough starter at 100% hydration. That simply means that for every gram of flour I add, I also add a gram of water. This means that my starter is always a consistent level of hydration. If you want happy starter, easy math, and consistent recipes, this approach keeps everything nice and simple. In general, it is a good idea to keep an eye on your starter jar regularly. I check mine daily, but don’t always do anything with it based on what I see. There are a couple things to look out for that indicate doing …

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What Sourdough Is

Sorry germophobes, but naturally occurring yeast and bacteria are all around you all the time. Just try not to think about it. Thousands of years ago, in the ages way before what I refer to as “industrialized yeast” this was all there was for making bread. Sourdough starter has yeast and other things living in it just waiting to make delicious bread. That means sourdough is effectively just the stuff that makes bread rise. Today, going to the grocery store is all it takes to get a packet or jar of single strain instant yeast. This yeast works amazingly well …

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Where Sourdough Lives

Like a doghouse for your dog, your sourdough needs a place to live too. Since practically anything can serve as a vessel for your starter, there are lots of choices. My experience has helped me to narrow down what makes a “good” home for your starter. An obvious feature is that it must be able to hold liquid. A less obvious feature is that it must not be able to hold air. This may sound a little screwy at first, but let me explain. You are adding flour and water to your container, which ends up being basically a thick …

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Baker’s Percentages

This is the part where I try to scare you with math. I hope that none of this is actually scary and that it might even help you to understand things that were perhaps scary before you got here. Bakers like to use percentages when talking about recipes, but it’s not just them trying to be confusing. The real reason appears to be as simple as being able to make essentially any size recipe without having to reinvent it. For example, if you have a recipe for a loaf of bread, it’s just as easy to make a version of …

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Sourdough Index

Dave’s Bread Corner has added a whole new category for sourdough baked goods and to go with that he is explaining how sourdough works, but just once. This will be the only place these tips are covered because, as you will see below, the rest of the internet annoyed him. So without further ado, I leave you in his capable hands. I made this post because I was frustrated with the fact that finding a sourdough recipe on the internet is near impossible. Almost every recipe out there includes a ton of information about making your own sourdough starter, maintaining …

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