Many bakeries, such as Knead Bakehouse, sell their sourdough starters, but it’s also easy to make your own – all you need is water, flour and time. This recipe is a five-day process, but each day features a repeat of the same simple steps. After each feeding, you’ll be left with a discard, but don’t throw it away – add it to other baking projects, such as cakes, cookies, pancakes and waffles, to add flavor and complexity.
Ancient Grain Sourdough Starter
Recipe courtesy of AJ Brown, Knead Bakehouse and Provisions
- 500 gm water, divided
- 500 gm ancient-grain wheat flour (such as einkorn, spelt, emmer or freekeh), divided
| Preparation | In a one-quart Mason jar, combine 100 grams water and 100 grams flour. Loosely secure lid; let sit at room temperature, 24 hours.
The following morning, measure out 100 grams of the flour/water mixture and discard or reserve for future baking projects. Add 100 grams fresh water and 100 grams flour to jar; gently stir to combine. Let sit at room temperature, 24 hours.
Repeat feeding process, discarding 100 grams of flour/water mixture each time, three more times. By the third day, the mixture should start to show signs of life, including visible bubbles and a smell of alcohol. By the fifth day, the sourdough starter will reach production strength, meaning it’s healthy and consistent enough to use in baking. Feed the starter at least once per week; before baking, make sure to feed it at least 3 days in a row.