Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sourdough - Starting a Starter

A friend of mine, Leigh (check out her gorgeous blog!), posted on FB how expensive yogurt is and how she is going to start making her own. It got me thinking about so many everyday food items that we buy from supermarkets at a premium and often full of additives, we can make ourselves. I have recently been organizing a group of people to get organic Raw Milk delivered from Hawkes Bay (about 3 hours south of Gisborne) as I have been reading about the benefits of raw milk opposed to the milk you buy in supermarkets. I am also excited about the prospect of making my own unpasteurized cheeses, yogurt and butter! I will post again once this is are up and running.
Anyway, I am really into this whole topic of going back to basics and making my own food, not only for benefit of my families health but also to save money!
I made sourdough for the first time over a year ago when we lived in Wellington, I made the starter and kept it going for months, making bread about once a week then once we shifted I kinda forgot about it.... Basically the only ingredients are flour, water and salt. You can add a bit of oil/butter too but this is not necessary for good sourdough. Basically you create your "bug", once you have made your bug you can keep it going without much effort, storing it in the fridge and "feeding it" once every week (this just means adding more flour and water) and you have the basis of your soughdough ready to make whenever you want.

Here is how you do it.

You will need about a cup of highgrade/strong flour (you can use wholemeal, rye, white or a combo - I have used white but will feed it with wholemeal as I have run out for now) and enough warm water to make the consistency of thick paint.

Mix thoroughly - incorporating some air. 

Store in a large jar (ideally you only want to fill it up 1/3 - 1/2 way) Don't seal it completely as you want it to be able to breath, but not open so that insects can get in. Leave in a warm place - I don't have a hot water cupboard, so mine will just sit on the kitchen bench. 

You will need to feed it once a day for a week. To do this I add just less than a cup of fresh flour and again enough water to maintain the same consistency, the second and consecutive times you feed the starter you will need to discard half the mix before adding new flour and water.  You will know when its on its way as it will start to bubble and smell yeasty. After about a week of feeding it daily you should be good to go. I will follow this up in a week for the next phase.

Yay it's Friday tomorrow!


  1. Yum! Great idea, can't wait to try some! ;)

  2. Yum yum yum! I will have to try it! Leigh I tried to comment on your blog but for some reason I couldn't!! Your photos are amazing!