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Discussion Starter #1
I want to get a starter going, but I'm not sure if I have the flour I need. The store shelves are bare of flour currently, so I only have bleached all-purpose and unbleached bread flour. Can I use the bread flour to safely make the starter?
Also, if you have a good recipe for it so I'm not making too much, that would be great as well!
Thanks!
 

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Sourdough does not like me, so I'm no expert. But I think you could try both flours and see what happens, without being out much if it doesn't work.
 

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Both are fine for feeding your starter and for making bread. You will get better results baking with bread flour and adding a small amount of yeast to the dough when you are ready to bake. I use the AP to feed and bake with bread flour.

Do you have a starter culture or are you hoping to catch a local one in the air? It's much easier to work with a known, robust, starter than something random.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
I will be making my own starter at this point as I don't know anyone that has one personally (not that it's safe currently anyway).
I am thinking I may just start with the bread flour since it is unbleached and raw. Once I get a good starter going, I may feed with AP from there.
Thanks!
 

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DLR, not sure about that, but want to recommend www.kingarthurflour.com as a helpful resource for anything you need to know about baking bread. They have recipes for everything!

Some recipes such as ciabatta are made with a biga, which I think is similar to sourdough but quicker and more reliable, being made with yeast. Biga is mixed the day before and allowed to grow overnight. If you can't get a sourdough starter going, maybe biga recipes would be an alternative.

I like looking at KAF's site so much I had to set up a binder for all the recipes I printed from their site, in spite of already owning two 500-page bread cookbooks by them.
 

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I have a package of this, because I thought it was a dried sourdough starter. But it's not, and says 'not meant to be used in place of a sourdough starter'. But do you think I could get a batch of starter going? Ingredients rye flour, lactobacillus, yeast, soy flour, ascorbic acid and some other stuff.
https://redstaryeast.com/red-star-platinum-instant-sourdough-yeast/
Lactobacillus is the bacteria that "makes" sourdough. Ascorbic acid is vitamin C, a common natural preservative and bread ingredient.

I see no reason why you could not use it to make a batch of starter. Make the recipe as instructed on the packet and ADD 1/2 cup each of flour and water. After the dough has done a 1st rise, remove 1 cup of dough from the batch. This will become the starter for your 2nd loaf.

Now, your 2nd and additional loaves are going to be a little different since the yeast will be spent, and you might not have rye flour, but you should be able to feed and divide and bake with it.

And I second King Arthur Flour's web site for good recipes and advice.
 
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