Einkorn Sourdough Starter

Making your own sourdough starter from scratch is a frustrating but magical experience if you stick with it. A fresh starter will normally not give you a lofty loaf of bread in the beginning, but with multiple refreshing, even a starter that does not look like much will develop into a powerful leavening tool that will amaze you with every new loaf of bread. Normally, a new starter is not ready for baking until it has been refreshed ten times, but you can make a loaf on the fifth day and see how it turns out. Give it many hours to ferment and remember, it will also get a rise in the oven during baking. If you are not happy with your first loaf, keep refreshing and keep baking and everything will turn out fine.

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Ingredients

DAY 1

  • 3 tbsp. (45g) warm water
  • ½ cup (60g) einkorn flour

DAY 3

  • all of the starter from day 1
  • 2 tbsp. (30g) warm water
  • ½ cup (60g) einkorn flour

DAY 4

  • all of the starter from day 3
  • 2 tbsp. (30g) warm water
  • ½ cup (60g) einkorn flour

REFRESHING YOUR STARTER

  • 2 tsp. (10g) of starter
  • 2 tbsp. (28g) warm water
  • 1/2 cup (60g) einkorn flour

Directions

DAY 1

  1. Mix flour and water in a small bowl to form a wet dough that is firm enough to form into a ball. It will stick to your hands, but try not to add much more flour, as you don’t want to dry it out.
  2. Store in a glass container sealed with a lid and/or plastic wrap, and store it at room temperature in a kitchen cabinet for 48 hours.
  3. This is the start of your starter!

DAY 3

  1. With a spoon, remove the darker surface of the starter, if you see some.
  2. Spoon out the remaining starter into a small bowl.
  3. Add water and flour.
  4. Repeat steps from Day 1, dusting the dough with a little more flour if needed, but still being careful not to add too much.
  5. Store in the sealed container for 24 hours. If you are using a glass container, make sure to keep the container in the dark because exposing the dough to light can oxidize the carotenoids in the flour and turn the surface darker.

DAY 4

  1. Repeat the steps from Day 3, but store for roughly 12-16 hours depending on your schedule.

DAY 5

You are now ready to bake your first loaf with the starter. It will take time for the starter to become strong, so the first loaves might be dense, but keep refreshing and baking and in a short time, the dough will rise well and quickly.

First, you must save a piece of the starter. This piece will be maintained by refreshing with additional flour and water at least once a week. You can leave the starter out for 24 hours, but after that, it must be refrigerated.

REFRESHING YOUR STARTER

Place the piece of starter in a small bowl. Add warm water and combine the starter with the water until it is dissolved and creamy. Add flour and knead in the ball to form a firm ball that is a bit sticky. Roll the starter between your hands until the flour is absorbed, add a little bit more if it seems sticky. Store in a sealed container that leave room for expansions for 12-18 hours. Remember to always leave your einkorn starter in a dark place because light can oxidize the carotenoids in the flour. Refrigerate, taking small pieces for baking, but saving enough for refreshing. At first, if you refresh three times a week, your starter will become stronger quicker, but you will have to discard the extra starter if you are not baking each day.