Sourdough FAQ

Tip Thursday

Dough on a counter
  • What kind of flour do you use?

I use King Aruthur organic and unbleached bread flour and Jovial Einkorn organic flour to make my bread. To feed my starter I use King Arthur all purpose unbleached and get it from Costco!

  • Do you have a recipe?

I am working on one- I am doing a mix of flours to see if I notice a difference in how my body tolerates it. I also have to do a longer/cold ferment, which means I am adapting the recipe I use to do that. I strongly recommend getting the book Tartine if you want to get started! It can feel like a lot of information but it is super helpful.

  • What is Einkorn flour? Is it gluten free?

Einkorn is an ancient wheat, therefore is not gluten free. However, Einkorn has 30 percent more protein and 15 percent less starch than modern wheat and has more B vitamins, and essential minerals. It also lacks the high molecular weight proteins that many of us have trouble digesting and is hybridized (meaning the original DNA structure remains intact). I personally would not recommend consuming einkorn flour if you are gluten sensitive unless it is in sourdough. The fermentation process is crucial for breaking down the gluten. Baking sourdough with einkorn flour does allow for more nutrients, less gluten and easier digestion.

  • How long do you let your bread ferment?

I generally do a 3-5 hour bulk rise and then do a cold ferment in the fridge for 48 hours and then bake immediately.

  • How do I feed my starter?

I will do a video on this soon. I personally feed my starter everyday around 8am. I feed it equal parts starter, flour and water (around 78 degrees). For example if I have 100 grams of starter, I will discard some. If I am left with 50 grams of starter, then I feed it 50 grams water and flour.

  • Can I make my own starter?

You can! I personally have not done this. I had a neighbor who was generous enough and shared her 80 year old starter with me. If you want or need to make your own, I know there’s lots of information on how to do that. I just do not have any personal experience with it.

  • What flour do you use for dusting and kneading?

I use white rice flour. Because I am still gluten sensitive, using regular flour for dusting would cause me issues.

  • Is your starter gluten free?

No it is not- I feed it with regular all purpose flour. There are people who do have gluten free starters and bake gluten free sourdough. I suggest looking into The Cannelle et Vanille cookbook. She has a gluten free sourdough starter and bread recipe.

  • When making sourdough do you hand knead or use a bread maker?

I hand knead- but it actually is a series of stretching and folding the dough, which is done in the bulk rise. I tried three different recipes before landing on the one I like (the recipe is in the Tartine book I recommended above) and none of them used a bread maker.

If you go to my instagram and go to my sourdough highlight I have a video on what a stretch and fold looks like.

  • Any equipment you recommend?

The three must haves are a thermometer, a scale and a dutch oven. Those will set you up for success. I went ahead and bought a cloth lined proofing basket, a bread lame and a plastic dough scraper as well. I purchased all of these from San Francisco Baking Institute but I am sure you can find similar items on Amazon. Those are honestly not necessary but I have found them very helpful. I also use this little gadget that I love for dusting but also would be perfect for sprinkling powdered sugar on baked goods.


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