Sourdough starter is an essential part of traditional breadmaking. A natural phenomenon also known as leaven, mother or ferment, it will take your baking to the next level.
This time-honoured method requires care and attention, but your efforts will be rewarded with loaves that last longer, have better texture, more flavour and are easier to digest.
This starter is from our own Bakery at Daylesford and is full of friendly bacteria and wild yeasts that naturally exist in the environment. As such, this starter is unique, with a distinctive flavour and aroma that captures the very essence of the Cotswolds.
As you keep and tend to your sourdough starter (detailed instructions below), it may collect ambient bacteria and yeast from your home, developing its characteristics and becoming even more special.
Sourdough starter is ideal for creating your own artisan loaves at home, such as our favourite seven seed sourdough bread. Watch this video from the Daylesford Cookery School for top tips on using your starter in breadmaking.
You can also use sourdough starter to boost flavour and rise in many other baking recipes, from pancake batter to sponge cakes and chocolate brownies.
minimum shelf life 3 days (until fed)
How to use
This jar can yield an endless number of excellent loaves – if you keep your starter thriving.
To maintain a vigorous starter that is actively bubbling and rising, you must feed it with flour (preferably organic wholemeal rye flour for more flavour) and lukewarm water to keep refreshing and re-activating its properties.
We recommend 100% flour and 60% liquid – in other words, for the 150g starter provided in this jar, you would need to add 150g flour and 90g water. Stir well at each feed, and feel free to give the mixture a stir from time to time to make sure it’s happily bubbling away.
Feeding your starter will of course make it grow, so keep baking! If you are not able to use up your starter with daily baking, it’s a good idea to keep quantities small. For example, you could measure out 100g of starter into a clean jar or bowl, add 100g flour and 60g water and stir well. Whatever quantity of starter you measure out, be sure to follow the 100% flour and 60% liquid guidelines (i.e. you’d feed 50g starter with 50g flour and 30g water).
Depending on how often you bake, your starter can be kept at room temperature and fed every 1-2 days, or it will happily rest in the fridge as long as you take it out and feed it every few days.
Discarded sourdough starter can be used in cooking, kept in the fridge for later, added to compost or given away to friends who might like to try their hand at traditional baking.
glass clip-top jar