How to make sourdough

Our massa mãe - Sourdough manual
(constantly under fermentation...)

What to do when one day someone gives you a batch of sourdough? How to take care of this microorganism so you can bake tasty sourdough bread? Here a short manual.

Sourdough starter is made with a small amount of old dough saved from a prior batch, and is sometimes called mother dough or chef. As long as this starter culture is fed flour and water weekly, it can stay at room temperature indefinitely. If you are not planning to activate her or to make bread for some weeks put her in the freezer! If you see black water on top of her you can pour this water out (this is a sign that she can go bad in future. If you pour it out or activate her at this time, there is no problem at all).

Activating and preparing the sourdough to make bread
To activate her you need to mix her with water and flower.
We use water from the tap (it could be better to have filtered water with less chlorine and metal ions or mineral or distilled water) and flour (we use organic whole wheat flour). The proportions: 1:1:1

  1. Mix 1 unit of sourdough with the same amount (1 unit) of warm water and mix this very well! To get the ideal temperature of water use 2/3 of cold water and mix it with 1/3 boiled water. BE CAREFUL: if the water is to hot, the sourdough will die!
  2. Then mix in 1 unit of flower, bit by bit, until all is mixed well.
  3. After the first time triplicating give her at least 8 hours to ferment. If you triplicate her a second time you can give her 4 hours to ferment (a third time would mean 2 hours etc..). In winter the fermentation process might go slower due to lower temperatures. Before making bread with our collective we tend to do this process twice. You get a bit less sleep at night, but you will be happy with the result the next day eating a yummy fresh loaf of bread!

Don't forget to save some sourdough for the next baking day!

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