How to use sourdough starter

Do you know how to use a sourdough starter?

Using a sourdough starter may not seem that easy for some people, especially for those who are use to bake with packaged yeast. Let’s learn how to make the most out of your sourdough and start baking! Sourdough is known for many properties, and studies have shown that actually is good for digestion in fact the sourdough microbes, in particular the lactic acid bacteria, offer many benefits to our body’s gastrointestinal system. Eating sourdough starter* baked goods improves our digestion and increases nutrient absorption into our body. In fact the consumption of sourdough bread promotes better nutritional uptake of minerals and vitamins and also improves gut health with the presence of lactic acid bacteria in the form of probiotic food.

Using a sourdough starter for bread and pizza

To make bread you will can use a quantity of sourdough that goes from 10 to 25%. The percentage is calculated on the weight of the flour, so if you are using 500gr of flour, you can use from 50gr to 125gr of sourdough starter.

In any case, adding more yeast will only make the dough rise sooner so, for example, if you have fed your sourdough, you can add the part discarded for the feeding to the recipe you are making, in addition to the freshly fed starter.

Before using the sourdough, it is always best to feed it at least once.

How to use sourdough starter

How to use sourdough starter  for brioche and rich doughs

If you want to make a soft and tasty brioche you can use your sourdough starter but I highly recommend to feed it twice or three times before using it, possibly with the same flour you’re gonna be using for the recipe. The amount you’re gonna need ranges from 20 to 40%, depending on the room temperature. In hotter climate 20% will suffice, whereas if you live in colder climate or in the winter you might want to use a bit more.

Using sourdough to make cakes

Did you know you can make a cake using sourdough instead of baking powder? Add your sourdough to the cake batter and leave it to rise a couple of hours before baking it. You can use up to 50% of the weigh of the flour.

Sourdough is a very versatile starter to make every recipe. In fact you could use the discarded part during the feeding process to make flat breads, crackers, snacks and many other healthy food, including cookies and pasta.

If you do not know how to care for sourdough read how to feed sourdough starter and learn tips and tricks to keep it for longer when you do not have time to feed it often.

 

*Reference:

Lau SW, Chong AQ, Chin NL, Talib RA, Basha RK. Sourdough Microbiome Comparison and Benefits. Microorganisms. 2021 Jun 23;9(7):1355. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9071355. PMID: 34201420; PMCID: PMC8306212.

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