All Things Bread No. 1

I’m Chief Baking Officer at Saher Bakery and this is a newsletter of everything thats been happening in my sourdough world. 
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Hello Friends of Sourdough,
Firstly thank you Sameer for suggesting I start a newsletter!
And a BIG thank you for subscribing! I am so so excited to finally be doing this.

On our 15th Apr zoom, we discussed how to start your sourdough starter. Just mix equal parts water and flour, cover and keep at room temperature.

We discussed what kinds of flour to use : ANY wheat or rye flour – whole grain or refined, all purpose or bread flour…anything!

We discussed what kind of container to use and how to cover it: Glass / plastic / ceramic are best, steel is safe too but not copper / aluminium (sourdough starter is mildly acidic). Cover with a cloth or a non-airtight lid.
Finally we discussed where to place it : ANYWHERE thats around room temperature – not too hot and not too cold! Dark or light makes no difference. Remember that the warmer the place is the more activity you’ll get and vice versa.On our 16th Apr zoom, we discussed signs of life! What to look for when looking at your starter.

We saw one starter that was so active already that it had a layer of liquid floating on top and we saw another that had yet to show any bubbles.
Remember that bubbles and the liquid layer are both signs of active fermentation. The bubbles will come first and then after some time (depending on how active your starter’s culture is) the liquid will form. 

We learnt that if you see the liquid layer you should discard it along with half of your starter and then  “feed” your starter.
We learnt that if you have a very active starter that is forming the liquid too fast then you must “Retard” your starter to regulate its progress (See below)
We learnt that if you see lots of bubbles, it’s a good sign of active fermentation.
We learnt that “feeding” your starter is the process of giving the yeast and good bacteria more food to eat (ie fresh flour/water mixture) 
We learnt that “Retarding” an overactive starter can be done in a few ways such as placing it in the fridge to slow down yeast activity or replacing whole wheat flour (more wild yeast) with refined / All Purpose flour (less wild yeast) 

In our next zoom we’ll take a deeper look at how to “read” your starter, common issues and troubleshooting. 
Thank you for reading! If you know anyone who might be interested in all things bread, please send them this email so they can get in touch! Our (free!) Sourdough classes on zoom run daily at 4pm Dubai time, thats 12 noon UTC, please let us know if you’d like to join!

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