Natural sourdough and me is a story. If there is something that characterizes me, it is that I love to take on challenges. So when a friend told me she had made one, I asked her to give me a little.
I named him Alfred. It seems that when we talk to him, he is happy and he makes more bubbles. So with a first name it’s easier.
For several months, I was harnessed to try to make sourdough bread and pizza dough with it. It must be said that we make pizza dough every Sunday evening. In short, I had a new pet that I kept in the fridge and took out every week for my Sunday pizza.
But everything was taking longer. For those who do not know it yet, I work 200% between my job and my extra-professional activities, plus a wonderful little girl of 3 years old. Anyway, I gave up and Alfred ended up in the sink.
We still continued to make our pizza every Sunday evening but with fresh baking yeast or baking powder.
Then happened what happened, the announcement of general confinement had fallen and the combs of flour and baker’s yeast simply robbed. How were we going to keep our traditions to bring a little stability in such a turbulent period.
The bakeries less than 5 minutes walk from us are not really to my taste anyway for baguettes and croissants. And this, already in normal times, then you imagine today. Quite a few are industrial, made with excellent butter buns but it is closed and there is a sensational one above but for bread it is not that much.
It was decided, I was going to start making liquid sourdough. I who never dared to start mold, fermentation or fermented milks because I was afraid of getting sick …
There I promise, I’m really going to put myself in there and try to stick to it. I just fed my fermented dough just before I sat on the couch to finalize the writing of this article.
I hope you will have as much fun as I do making your own homemade breads for yourself or feeding your whole little tribe. In any case this recipe will surely serve you as long as we are confined. This will avoid many contacts with civilization.
How to start a leaven?
You’ll find the recipe below, but it’s just a mixture of flour and water. Some take spring water, I take tap water and it works as you can see. For flour, I prefer to use grain flour and all the funds of flour … But you can take all the flour which comes to hand. However, the flours that work best are:
- whole flours, buckwheat, etc.
- non-industrial flour
Simply because your new pet will have more to eat. However, be careful because your sourdough will taste like the bread flour or purpose flour with which you feed it.
Many refer to the eric kayser method but to be honest, I have never read it :). However, I have covered a lot of articles on the subject which put it in reference after making my recipe. It was important to me to see what the others are doing, then in the end I feel like we are all doing more or less the same thing.
Below is the recipe, and if you want to know more about storing your sourdough, some tips and tricks and how to use it afterwards, read the full blog post.
How to make sourdough starter from scratch?
- 160 gr whole or whole grain flour
- 160 gr water
- 5 gr honey
- In a small bowl, mix 20 gr. flour and 20 gr. of water using a wooden spoon. Pour into a glass jar large enough for the leaven to double in volume. Install the cover without closing.
- Every day, you have to feed your sourdough, that is, feed it with its amount by weight of flour and water. As our leaven is now 40 gr., We must therefore add 40 gr. In a small bowl, mix 20 gr. flour and 20 gr. of water using a wooden spoon and just that day add 5 gr. honey (of quality).
- Add your sourdough. Mix again and pour into a clean glass jar with enough space for the leaven to double in volume. Install the cover without closing it. Put a rubber band around the pot at the height of the leaven an unstoppable tip to know if your leaven has doubled 🙂
- Pour 40 gr. flour and 40 gr. of water in a small bowl. Mix. Add the leaven. Mix and pour into a clean glass jar.
- Put a rubber band and put the cover on. Reserve. Small bubbles should start to appear.
- Pour 80 gr. flour and 80 gr. of water in a small bowl. Mix. Add the leaven. Mix and pour into a clean glass jar large enough for the leaven to double in volume.
- Put an elastic band around the leaven and place the cover.
Keep your sourdough alive
For the conservation of the liquid leaven, I advise you to take a large jar of jam. We just put the lid on it but we don’t close it so that the good bacteria or leavening agents can breathe.
I store it in the spice cupboard just above oven at room temperature. He likes it when it’s warm.
On the other hand, it will have to be fed regularly, preferably every day. But the leaven stays active for about three days on average, so let’s say you have between two and three days to feed it. Without eating, after three days my sourdough is very bad.
So every day since the start of confinement, I weigh it and I feed it with its weight. For example if it weighs 100 g I would add 50 g of flour and 50 g of water and if it weighs 200 g I would add so? Reminds you of elementary math lessons? 100 g of flour and 100 g of water.
As long as your leaven bubbles … well, it’s alive. Do not worry.
Making your own leaven, the first time it can be scary. Even if it’s easy we’re afraid of getting sick or we’re afraid of letting him die and dealing with it badly. It’s sure it’s like your houseplants, you can’t drop it and every day we have to take care of it, feed it, bring it back to life.
What you need to know and some tips and tricks
Do you have a quick question? Or do you even have several? In this section, I will try to share with you everything you need to know about sourdough and bread baking as well as useful tips and tricks :). Anyway, everything I could tell you because I’m far from being a pro.
First of all, one important thing to know, Mr. sourdough doesn’t like metal at all, so put away your serving spoons and use a small wooden spoon, and if you don’t have one … Why not use a Chinese wand?
Today, I use a large but thin wooden spoon which I use to mix food when I cook it in a saucepan or frying pan.
As I told you above, it is also important to just put the lid on your container but not to close it. A little air must always be able to enter in order to let breathe the small bacteria which live in the jar.
Sugar. While he is usually our enemy, here he is becomes our friend. If you want to boost your leaven, that is to make it bubble faster, make it usable faster
So as I suggest in my recipe, you can put a little honey in it. Personally I have added fir honey (how tasty!). And it brought real flavor to my first bread!
We do not forget that the taste of your leaven, you will find it in your bread. If I want my leaven to bubble faster because, for example, I put a less good flour, industrial and which was lying in the bottom of my cupboard then I sprinkle with brown sugar.
Two pinches no more. But snub, it goes up and bubbles in an instant. Perfect to become a perfect little baker or a perfect little baker in no time. Then in the end, a slight sweet taste is always a pleasure.
Another tip that I found in a blog just great, that of Maryse Cocotte, is to put a rubber band around the pot at the height of your sourdough, once you have fed it. It will be much easier to see when it has doubled in size. I admit that it helps me a lot. I never thought about it and it’s really a great idea.
It also appears that you can rehydrate a dehydrated sourdough. History to keep it longer, when you go on vacation for example rather than starting from scratch. It’s that we get attached to these little beasts.
I never tried. I tell myself that finally it is quite easy to start again so why bother me. I could baptize him Alfred III.
How to use it ?
Your liquid sourdough, once made, will allow you to make any kind of preparation that normally requires baker’s yeast. However in the recipes, you cannot replace it as is, you must adapt the whole recipe with the right amounts of liquid so that your dough is not more sticky than it should be.
The dough will also take longer to rise. Then you will have to adapt. Depending on what I do, I place it the day before in the refrigerator and then I work it the next morning. Since we are confining everything is easier instead of the traditional coffee break, I’m going for a baguette break or a croissant break.
Depending on the recipes, I also add fresh baker’s yeast or wild yeast in general, for fear that the dough will not rise enough. As I go along, I will make sure to replace as much yeast as possible with the leaven.
I like it when it bubbles. Bubbles is my favorite. The bubbles in the chopsticks is all you can fill in addition to butter and jam. So yes, this is definitely what I prefer the cavities in good baguettes or delicious croissants because these too I fill them with butter and jam.
In general, I use about 20% liquid leaven compared to the amount of flour. After all, the best is to follow recipes that are made with liquid sourdough, especially at the start so as not to take too much risk.
Then during cooking, put the oven on very high heat, without fan heat.
I would also advise you to adopt one of these pizza stones. I have one and it really makes a difference.
Then finally cooking, always remember to fill a dripping pan with boiling water before putting your bread in the oven!
Some people use dutch oven or cast iron, but haven’t tried yet.
As the days go by, I hope to have time to share with you some sourdough recipes so that you can in turn make sensational baguettes, delicious croissants and amazing chocolate buns.
I always said to myself that the day when I could make croissants and delicious baguettes I could live anywhere in the world because I could easily find my little taste pleasures and panic my taste buds! This day has finally arrived.
Hoping that we can find some of our habits. That I no longer hear the ambulance sirens passing under my windows dozens of times a day and that life more or less resumes its normal course. See you soon.