Homemade Whole Whet Sourdough Starter
VEGAN
Preparation Time: 6 to 14 days
Inactive Time: 23:45 hours each day during the starting period. One week between feedingsthereafter.

Homemade Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter
Homemade Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter

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    To Start
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup cool water

  • To Feed The Starter
  • Scant 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup cool water (lukewarm if your home is cool)
    Day 1
  1. Combine whole wheat flour with water in a non-porous container (glass, stainless steel, food-grade plastic.)
  2. Stir vigorously making sure all the flour is wet and there is no dry flour left.
  3. Cover container loosely and let the mixture sit at warm room temperature (about 70°F. / 21°C.) for 24 hours.
    The cooler the room temperature, the longer it takes for starter to begin developing. Check out the "Comments" section below for more tips.

  4. Day 2
  5. The mixture may have grown a bit and show some bubbling at this point, however it is not uncommon for nothing to happen during the first 24 hours.
    In any case, discard half the starter (about half cup), add a scant 1 (4 oz.) cup whole wheat flour, and ½ cup cool water, or lukewarm water if your home is cool.
    (Check out the "Comments" section below for tips about how to use the discarded dough.)
  6. Mix well, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for 24 hours.

  7. Day 3
  8. Some bubbling, a fresh, fruity aroma and some expansion in the dough mass should be noticeable by now.
    Keep a generous ½ cup of the starter and discard the rest.
    (Check out the "Comments" section below for tips about how to use the discarded dough.)
    Add a scant 1 (4 oz.) cup whole wheat flour, and 1/2 cup cool water, or lukewarm water if your home is cool.
  9. Mix well, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for 24 hours.

  10. Day 4 and 5
  11. Repeat steps 6 and 7 above.

  12. Day 6
  13. At this point the starter should be very bubbly and have doubled in volume, with little "rivulets" filled with finer bubbles on the surface.
    The aroma should be tangy and pleasantly acidic.
    If the starter has not risen very much and and does not show a lot of bubbly activity, repeat steps 6 and 7 again and repeat again on day 7, if necessary. Continue as long as it takes to give life to a strong, well risen, vigorously bubbly starter
    (Check out the "Comments" section below for more tips)
  14. Once the starter has at least doubled in size, shows strong bubble activity and has a pleasantly acidic aroma, give it one last feeding, repeating steps 6 and 7.
  15. Let starter rest at room temperature for 8 hours.
    The starter should be very active now, with bubbles breaking the surface and, if in a glass continer, big bubbles should be visible in the dough below the surface.
  16. Store a generous ½ cup of the starter in the refrigerator and discard the rest.
  17. Feed starter one scant 1 cup flour and ½ cup water regularly, once a week.
  • The above is but method for making a strong bread starter. There are different ways to do it, as exemplified in various other web sites, cookbooks, and by different cultures around the world. The method above worked well for me in northern California.
  • Remember that the cooler the environment, the slower the starter will grow and develop. Should normal temperature in the kitchen be below 68°F. (20°C.), find a warmer spot to develop the starter. Placing the starter over a water heater, refrigerator, or other appliance that might generate some heat could help.
  • Discarding part of the starter for as long as a week seems awfully wasteful, however it is helpful for the three reasons listed below. In any case, the discarded starter is a good dough on it own and it can be used to make pizza crust, pretzels, bread sticks, flat breads, focaccia and other baked goods. Just use your baking savvy and creativity.
    1. Without discarding, the starter would grow enough sourdough to feed a village.
    2. Keeping the starter volume at a constant range helps balancing its pH.
    3. Keeping the volume at a minimum offers the yeast more food at each feeding.
  • It could take as long as 12 to 14 days to reach a fully mature starter, so do not get demoralized if it takes longer than mentioned above. As in many other natural activities, patience and time are as essential as the quality of the ingredients used and the environment where food is prepared.
  • After day 5 in the above schedule, it is advisable to keep an eye on the starter for increased, faster paced acivity, such as doubling in size between 1 and 4 hours after feeding. This sudden activity can happen easily for starters which take longer to develop.
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