Our fresh sourdough starter is fed on organic white wheat flour and water, and is delivered in a storage pot for convenient storage of starter in your fridge between bakes. Looking after your starter is very easy - do not be taken in by all the myths and "dark-art" style discussions about it. There are some things to bear in mind but it is really nothing complicated.
Refresh frequency: the starter should be refreshed when received from us and then kept in the fridge between use. For a healthy starter, we would advise refreshing at least once every three weeks. The more often it is refreshed, the quicker the time between refreshing and baking.
Refresh method: tip the starter into a mixing bowl (you only need about 50g). Stir in 40g water to 50g flour (we like Mulino Marino 00 Soffiata for this as it makes avery lively starter) and cover the bowl with a dinner plate at room temperature. Repeat 24 and 48 hours later. The starter will resemble a thick batter and after three days should be very bubbly. A simple test to see if your starter is ready is to take a teaspoon of it and drop into water. If it floats then it is ready, otherwise leave a little longer.
If you need more starter then simply increase the quantity of flour and water on the second and third days. Don’t forget to return some starter - fill your pot to about half way - to the pot and put it back into the fridge ready for your next bake.
Tap water contains chlorine to a variable extent. Chlorine acts to kill the very organisms that you want to keep in your starter. So, for best results, use cool, boiled water or water that has been allowed to stand in a jug overnight so that there will be no chlorine present. Sometimes water that sits for a while can lose some oxygen so I recommend that you give it a good shake in a bottle or whisk it well and get some of the oxygen back in as this really helps the yeasts along.
Allergy advice: sourdough starter contains wheat.
Caution: the starter should be cream-coloured perhaps with some dark liquid on the top. If the starter develops any other colours then it should be discarded.
Shipping: Please be advised, to ensure the sourdough arrives with you in the best possible condition your order may, on occasion take up to 7 days to be dispatched, to ensure that only sourdough that is at the correct level of activity is delivered to you.
Ingredients: organic wheat flour and water
Storage: store your starter in the container provided in the fridge.
Sourdough starter under the microscope
Take a look at the additional photos above to see what is living in our sourdough starter! A description is below.
Lactobacilli – under microscope
Almost all the bacteria you can see here are lactobacilli. These are cousins of the bacteria that turn milk into yogurt and cheese. These lactobacilli outnumber yeasts in sourdough by as many as 100 to one and the acids they make gives sourdough its flavour.
Yeast - under microscope
The most commonly used yeast species in the production of sourdough are kazachstania exigua, saccharomyces cerevisiae, and candida humbles – this one is saccharomyces cerevisiae, otherwise known as bakers yeast.