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SOURDOUGH STARTER

What a fulfilling experience making your own sourdough!

Years ago a friend of mine got me a very special book, which has become my bread bible. I am talking about ‘Crust’ by Richard Bertinet.

The book represents the beginning of my baking journey, so I recommend it to anyone who is new to bread making.

Please note I am not re-inventing the wheel here! As we are learning from the masters, for this Sourdough Starter recipe, I have strictly followed Richard Bertinet instructions.


Sourdough Starter

Method


Step 1


  • Spelt flour, 50g

  • Strong white flour, 150g, preferably organic)

  • Organic honey, 20g

  • Warm water, 150g


Mix all the ingredients into a large bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place (around 30ºC) for around 36-48 hours.


After this time bubbles will begin to appear and the dough will have darkened a bit, meaning the fermentation process has started.


Step 2 (After 36-48 hours from Step 1)


  • The mixture from Step 1

  • Spelt flour, 30g

  • Strong white flour, 280g

  • Warm water, 150g


Mix all the ingredients together. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place (no less than 24ºC) for 24 hours.


After this time the mixture will have expanded a bit, smelling sweet and lightly fermented.


Step 3 (After 24 hours from Step 2)


  • 200g of the mixture from Step 2

  • Strong white flour, 400g

  • Warm water, 200g


Mix all the ingredients together until you have a thick dough. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place (no less than 24ºC) for 12 hours.


After this time the mixture will have started to rise.


Step 4 (After 12 hours from Step 3)


As the dough is now starting to rise, you need to slow the fermentation down. Transfer the dough in the bottom of your fridge for 2 days. The ferment is ready when pulling back the skin, it will be buttery coloured and full of bubbles underneath. The dough should also smell slightly acidic.


You should now have 800g of ferment. Take out 400g to make your bread and leave 400g in the bowl.


Put the bowl back in the fridge and remember to refresh it every 2-3 days in order to keep it going.


Refreshing the ferment


Sourdough needs to be nourished in order to keep alive. If you don’t, it will start feeding off itself and will turn rotten.


To refresh the ferment you will need to weight it and mix it with an equal quantity of water and double the quantity of strong flour.


Cover with cling film and leave the ferment in the fridge for 2-3 days. Keep on refreshing your ferment every 2-3 days.

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