Bread making can be a rollercoaster so I want to share 4 things I’ve learned about Sourdough that may be helpful to you.
Since jumping on the sourdough bandwagon I’ve had many successes and a few epic failures. I’m hoping that by sharing 4 things I’ve learned about sourdough and sourdough starter you’ll feel more equipped in you own bread making journey. If your new to the sourdough game I recommend my youtube videos for getting your starter going.
If you don’t use good quality flour, your sourdough starter will not develop properly and you won’t have an active levain for baking. Initially, I began my sourdough starter with King Arthur organic all purpose flour. When our road trip last summer took us to the King Arther Bakery in Vermont I fell in love so that’s what I had on hand when I began.
Ideally your flour should be between 12.5-14% protein. You should be able to look on the side of your bag and see the protein content per 100g. I’ve had a few people reach out to me with sourdough starter issues and the problem has been cheap flour. I love Aldi as much as the next lady but their flour isn’t strong enough to really get your starter going.
Ugly Bread Tastes Good Too
Honestly, your bread is likely to be ugly in the beginning. Sourdough is a lot of trial and error. DO NOT toss out the ugly loaves! Ugly bread tastes good too. (See loaves below 😉 Even dough that’s over fermented/proofed can be used in the most delicious. Let it cool, slice it up, and freeze it for French toast or croutons. YUM!
Discard is Queen
At my house, we use more sourdough discard than active levain. I haven’t met a sourdough discard recipe that I didn’t love! I have several pins that exclusively use sourdough discard that are tried and true. Follow this board for inspiration or your next discard recipe. The discard recipe I make most often is biscuits!
Follow the Experts
There are so many sourdough experts out there. Follow them and practice what they do. My favorite sourdough guru is Ash from Turner Farm. She is lovely to follow and really gives practical tips. A few months ago she teamed up with Lizi, The Food Nanny to create a monthly subscription- For the Love of Sourdough. I joined right away and I’ve really learned so much. They provide videos, recipes, live classes, and even monthly Q&A’s. I highly suggest joining if you’re wanting to elevate your sourdough skills!
Other Helpful Tips for Sourdough
- When I feed into a clean jar I use 1/4 cup of water, 1/3 cup of flour, and 1 heaping tablespoon of starter
- Your starter should be nice and thick when you mix it
- Weck jars make life easier because of the simplicity of the lid and wide mouth
- Get a good bread knife
- You don’t actually need a wooden spoon. Any spoon will do!