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How to make a Sourdough starter


How to make a sourdough starter


Dear fellow bread friends,


We are so happy to welcome you to the first post of our new blog!

We thought we would begin with something that is super important to us- our sourdough starter. At The Cambridge Oven, every morning begins with mixing the starter into our doughs and every shift ends with feeding it, with fresh flour and water, so that it is ready to use the next day. Our starter makes the bread rise in the oven and creates that distinctive sour flavour we know you all love so much!


But we are going to let you in on a secret… a sourdough starter is actually very simple to make. So, if you have ever wished to make your own sourdough loaf at home, follow our recipe below and in a week, you will have your very own bubbling starter. All you have to do then is give it a name…. how about Bread Pitt or The Yeasty Boys!


But what actually is a sourdough starter?


A sourdough starter is a fermented mixture of two ingredients: flour and water. Flour contains wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria that during fermentation grow in number and produce carbon dioxide. You can use this mixture, instead of commercial yeast, to make your bread rise. Bakers keep their starters alive by feeding it with flour and water. Some bakeries have kept their starters bubbling for centuries, passing it down through the generations. 


How to make a sourdough starter


It will take a few days to get the whole process going, but by the end of the first week, or into the second week, you will have a starter that is active enough to be able to make bread. After that you will need to develop a routine to feed it regularly and keep it alive.


Recipe and Method

You will need flour, warm water and a sterilised jar with a lid. The best flour to use is stoneground, organic flour. At The Cambridge Oven we use Shipton Mill organic flour to make all our sourdough bread.


Day 1: Mix together 150g flour and 150g water in a jar. The consistency will be like a thick porridge. Close the lid and leave your mixture in a warm room for 24 hours.


Day 2: Remove half the mixture from the jar and discard. Mix in 150g flour and 150g water. Close the lid and leave your mixture in a warm room for 24 hours.


Day 3: Repeat the process from 'Day 2' every day until your sourdough starter is really bubbly and doubles in size between 3-4 hours. At this stage your starter is active enough to make bread with.


We wish you all good luck with making your starters and please look out for future blog posts that will teach you exactly how to transform your starter into a delicious loaf of sourdough bread.


See you soon,

From The Cambridge Oven