Sourdough Bread Part 1

Copyright of Pretty Organic 2015

As I have been baking bread at home successfully without sugar for a while, I have been looking to develop my skills and bake in a more traditional way.  I recently bought some bread baking books and all of them pointed me in the direction of making a sourdough starter.  As a sourdough starter doesn’t require any yeast or sugar, it has attracted me to discover this long established method. 

I am following a 4 day sourdough starter method.  This involves adding fresh flour and water into the mixture over 4 days.  In theory I will be able to make bread from this sourdough on day 4 (which is today).  Instead of bread baking, I am sitting at my desk writing this blog to share my experience.   

As you can see, it doesn’t look anything like bread dough.  It looks more like porridge.  There are some bubbles appearing each day, which is normal according to the book.  This is the sign of fermentation.  To be honest, you don’t need to see the bubbles to know there is some sort of fermentation as each day I open the jar, the fermentation is evident by the smell.   

I love the method.  The workload is minimal, but it is not the quickest way of home baking.  Timing is essential and one must be patient and stay put even though the mixture looks a bit yucky (I’ve also been warned about a risk of light mould, which I have not encountered so far). 

The crucial factor for successfully developing a working sourdough is a constant temperature of about 25°C.  The airing cupboard and underfloor heating are my heroes this week. 

One of the books also recommends hand mixing the mixture as one of the important bacteria – Lactobacillus Sanfranciscensis – is not naturally in the flour, but the bakers hand. 


Day 1 

30g flour (I used wholemeal flour)
1oz of lukewarm water 

Day 2 

Day 1 mixture
30g flour
1oz of lukewarm water 

Day 3 

Day 2 mixture
30g flour
0.5oz lukewarm water

Day 4 

Day 3 mixture
90g flour
1.5oz lukewarm water

Stay tuned for my first ever sourdough bread in the next few days. 

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