Now we feeded our new sourdough for for four or five days and it is happy bubbeling. But how to proceed now? Here is an overview on how to care for a sourdough:
It is important to keep the Sourdough starter seperated from bread dough as a bread dough contains salt, fat, yeast and other things that can contaminate your starter. So feeding the starter seperatly will help to keep it healthy and active. There are to possible ways to do so.
If you are baking each day or every second day, it makes sense to feed the sourdough constantly, two times a day (morning and evening) with 1 part sourdough, 1 part flour and 0.7 – 1 part Water.
As many of us do not bake so often, the sourdough can be kept in the fridge during the non-baking intervalls. It has to be fed every 14 days. This is enough to keep its active enough to rise a bread (maybe with a little bit help from added bakers yeast.
- 40g “old” Sourdough from the fridge
- 40g Water (30°C)
- 40g flour (Wheat or rye, depends on your sourdough)
Mix water with sourdough and flour, fill the mixture into a fresh glass and let it rise at a warm place (25°C-28°C) for about 6 –12 hours. When the sourdough has doubled its volume (depends on temperature and the sourdough activity) place it back to the fridge.
To bake a bread only with sourdough, it is important to make sure that the sourdough is very active. This means, the sourdough should contains a lot of sourdough yeast. Their growth can be stimulated by keeping the sourdough between 28-30°C.
- 20g Sourdough
- 20g flour (Wheat or rye, depends on your sourdough)
- 20g Water (35°C)
Mix water with sourdough and flour, fill the mixture into a fresh glass and let it rise at a warm place (28°C-285C) for about 4 hours. If the sourdough has not dobled its volume in this time frame, repeat the procedure until it does.
How to backup sourdough
Even with the best possible care a sourdough can die, for example when it gets mouldy. To back up a part is easy because it just mean to dry some. The micro-organism survive this treatment and will spring back to life as soon as some water is mixed with the dried sourdough.
- 40g active sourdough, best after 6-12 hours after feeding
Spread the sourdough as thin as possible and let it get dry at roomtemperature. Brake it into pieces and keep it in a glass. After one year you should replace it with a new backup.
Reviving dried sourdough
- 20g dried sourdough
- 40g Water
- 20g floru (wheat or rye, depends on your sourdough)
Mix the dried sourdough with water and let it soak for 1-2 hours. Now stir in the flour and let it rise for about 12 hours. If everything works the best, your sourdough will double in this time, at least you should see some bubbles. If only some bubbles apear, keep feeding until the sourdough shows its old activity. Before the first baking, make one or two feedings at warm temperature to promote the yeasts.
Problems, reasons and solutions
- Mouldy sourdough: There are colourful or furry spots on the sourdough. There is no rescue. Throw the sourdough away and revive your sourdough backup.
- There is a grey or brown liquid on to of the sourdough: This happens in the fridge and is normal. Just stir the sourdough before feeding.
- The sourdough turns very liquid (watery) while rising: The reason for this are the lactobacteria who release a lot of “digesting” enzymes (proteases and amylases) into the sourdough. Change the feeding to 1 part Sourdough, 2 Parts Flour and 1.5-2 parts Water.
- The sourdough is not rising, but turns acidic: This can happen when the sourdogh was neglected for a longer period. The lactobacteria are dominating the sourdough, while only few yeasts (hopefully) are alive. Try some warm feedings to rise more yeast. If after three feedings the sourdough is still not rising at all, then all yeasts are dead. Throw the sourdough away and revive your sourdough backup.
- The sourdough is rising, but doesn’t turn acidic: This happens (especially with wheat sourdough) which is feed at 30°C all the time. The yeasts are dominating the Lactobacteria. While this is desired for a sweet starter, a sourdogh should be sour. But after some cold feedings it will be back to normal. Feed the sourdough with 1 part Sourdough, 1 Part Flour and 0.5- 0. 7 part cold water and let it rise at a temperature of 18°C-20°C).
- The sourdough smells like aceton/ nail polish: This happens with an very active sourdough and means that is already “hungry” again. Due to the high activity it consumed most of the nutrients in the sourdough. Feed the sourdough and before putting it back to the fridge, stir in another 15g of flour. This makes the dough firmer and adds more nutrients. But be aware that the sourdough will rise in the fridge once again. Choose a glas which has at least a volume three times as big as the sourdough.
Did I forgot something about sourdough behaviour? Then leave a comment and I will add it!