Leaven (starter)

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

What can I say about my starter, I have named it Bob for some reason, may be its because of the movie "What About Bob." I have watched this movie numerous times and it still gets me every time. 不不Watch it if you haven't .....any ways you're here to learn how you can have your very own starter. It takes a little bit of work at first, but it is worth every bit. Think about all the yummy baked goods you can make.

First, what is a leaven(sourdough stater), well its when flour and water are combined and allowing the microorganism's --the wild yeast and bacteria that is present in the air, flour and even on your hands to start the process of fermentation. As the fermentation process starts, it's essential to be consistent with the schedule you keep. Feed your leaven/starter regularly and try to do it daily around the same time. This step is specially crucial as you are in the initial stages of the training process.


1) In a clean bowl add 300g warm water and 155g whole wheat flour/155g bread flour (total of 310g flour blend). You can also use All purpose flour in place of bread flour. Mix with your hand or a wooden spoon and cover with a kitchen towel. Place it in a warm place to start the process of fermentation.

2)Check on it daily, it will most likely take 2-3 days before you see any fermentation. A crust usually starts to form on top, no worries it's normal. It's active when bubbles become visible. That is when its time to feed it again.

3) Now transfer about 80g of the starter ( you can discard the rest of the starter, including that crust that had formed on top) and place in a clean bowl, to it add about 150g warm water, 75g of Whole wheat flour, and 75g of Bread flour. Mix to combine. Repeat this process every 24hours. You should be able to pick on the pattern of the rise and fall of your starter. When you have picked up on the pattern, the smell will also change from sour to more sweet undertones.

4)Once you have reached a consistent and a predictable pattern for your starter its time to make the leaven(starter) for your baked goods. Get about 5 TBS of starter and to it add 200g water, 100g Whole Wheat Four, and 100g Bread Flour. Mix to combine and let it sit for about 4-6hours before use.

Few pointers:

*For me it took a little over a week to get it going before I could use it for baked goods, but then again every environment is different. BE PATIENT and give it plenty of LOVE. 歹

*For bread baking, you need to use the leaven at its pick(rise) that is when its highly active. Also if you are planning on making bread, its important to feed your starter TWICE the day before. This not only ensures a sweeter sourdough flavor but a great rise for the final product.

*Test your leaven by getting a cup of water and to it add about 1TBS of leaven(starter), if it floats, your good to go.

****Ready to break the RULES, well you know when your about to throw away a portion of the leaven and give it a new batch of water and flour, well you can use it for my pizza dough recipe. It makes the best pizza crust ever.


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