Sourdough Starter FAQ's
Own some of our liquid sourdough starter...
Love for it - Care for it - Bake with it!
What is a sourdough starter?
A sourdough starter is a simple mixture of flour and water which, with regular feeding and constant care, ferments to produce its own natural yeast. This naturally occurring yeast can then be used as part of your breadmaking, although the process is much slower!
Making a sourdough starter is a simple process of combining flour and water, which is then ‘fed’ with more flour and water to encourage the yeast to ferment and the bacteria to develop. This type of bacteria is what gives the characteristic ‘sour’ flavour.
What’s so special about Simmons’ sourdough starter?
Sourdough starters are traditionally passed from generation to generation, never being finished or left to die. Ours is no exception, dating back to a time gone by! With a huge amount of loving care, we use the very same starter every day to produce over 5000 loaves a week!
As well as fantastic flavour and baking properties, our mature, well established sourdough will be stronger and more resilient than a brand new one, so even the amateur home baker stands a good chance of keeping it!
How do I store my sourdough starter?
Your starter will go through a cycle of feeding → bubbling → rising → falling. This needs to happen even if you’re not using it. The way you store your sourdough should always be the same to ensure this process happens as consistently as possible.
If you’re planning to use (or feed) your starter every day, it’s best kept at room temperature. For most people, it will only be required every few days or weeks, in which case should be refrigerated.
A sourdough starter stored at room temperature and fed everyday will have a milder flavour than one kept in the fridge and fed once a week.
How do I feed my sourdough?
Now comes the nitty-gritty!
- Pour 120g of your starter into a clean mixing bowl. Throw away the rest but don’t wash the jar out!
- Mix in 120g feeding flour and 120g water until thoroughly combined
- Pour back in to your jar. Seal the lid. Stand at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
- Transfer the jar to the fridge.
Feed your sour every time you use some, or once a week, whichever is sooner.
If you forget a feed, don’t panic! Just get back on track as soon as possible.
There is liquid on top of my starter – Is it ok?
A grey-ish liquid forms on top of your starter if it is ‘hungry’. It may have been left for too long without feeding, requires more frequent feeding or is being stored too warm.
If there is only a thin layer, you can stir this liquid back into the sourdough starter before feeding it again as normal.
If there is a thick layer, it is best to discard it before feeding.