Welcome to the world of making a natural sourdough starter. Why do I say that? Well there are so many ways to make a natural sourdough starter. I have failed more times than not because I didn’t understand the basics of sourdough.
The process of fermentation relies on “wild yeast” and bacteria or myriad strains floating around and we want to capture the yeast and the good bacteria and mix that with flour and water and time to make a natural sourdough starter.
That’s all fine and dandy, but why does a natural sourdough starter fail more times than not? It all falls down to the bacteria – bad bacteria. These strains are just as prevalent in the air as the “wild yeast”.
So how do we increase our chances of success in creating a natural sourdough starter.
Make sure the bad yeast eating bacteria don’t outnumber the good yeast loving bacteria. The way to do that is create an environment that encourage the “wild yeast”.
We do that with pH. “wild yeast” needs an acidic environment to thrive. Many of the natural sourdough starter recipes out there get you to mix flour and water and wait. Stir the mixture a few times a day and continue for 3 -= 5 days. This is the hit and miss method because it all depends on what strains of bacteria were captured at the time.
I’ve even read on the Internet that said that “if you start a natural sourdough starter anywhere but San Francisco, then it is not a real natural sourdough starter”. It is all because of the strains of bacteria and not just the “wild yeast” that is in the air.
Starting A Natural Sourdough Starter The Easy Way
I start the culture with an acid base and not just plain water. This gives the “wild yeast” and yeast-loving bacteria a leg up and inhibits the bad bacteria.
Step One: Mix 2-3 Tbsp of flour with 1/4 cup of organic unsweetened pineapple juice. Whole Grain or Whole Wheat works better than White flour because there is more “wild yeast” and good strains of bacteria. Mix the flour and juice together in a small food grade plastic container. ( I used a take home container that had feta cheese in it, cleaned out of course.) cover and place in a warm place for 2 days – mixing 2-3 times a day.
Step Two: Even if you don’t have any activity present, if no gas bubbles are evident, add another 2-3 Tbsp of flour and another 1/4 cup of pineapple juice.
Again mix every two or three times a day.
Step Three: By now there should be action. If not then let it sit one more day before throwing it out and trying again from step one. If you have action then double up the flour to 5-6 Tbsp of flour and 1/2 cup water (purified water) and set aside again, stirring 2-3 times again.
Step Four: By now the action is wild. Big gas bubbles and the recognizable sweet sourdough starter smell. From here on in you add 1 1/2 cups of flour to 1 cup water the day before you want to use the natural sourdough starter to make 1 cup of natural sourdough starter for whatever recipe you are making that day. At this point you can store the natural sourdough starter in the fridge. This does two things slows down the reaction and enhances the sourdough flavor.
Next we learn:
To Your Success
PS: Your comments are appreciated. Tell me what you think and wish to see more of while you encourage a natural sourdough starter today.