Make Sourdough Starter with Water Kefir
With extra time on our hands, and a shortage of yeast in the grocery aisles, many of us have been turning to sourdough as an alternative to traditional yeast-risen bread. You can get a head start with your sourdough starter with water kefir first ferment instead of plain water. The low pH of kefir inhibits the growth of competing bacteria, so the wild yeast can flourish.
Sourdough is a laco-fermented dough that rises naturally from the wild yeast found in bread flour. The yeast eats the sugar in flour (the carbohydrates) and eventually will be strong enough to bake with. Although it requires time and commitment, making your own sourdough is extremely satisfying, not to mention delicious and easier to digest.
1. In a non-reactive jar, mix 40g (1/3 cup) of flour (we recommend a blend of whole-wheat and white flour) and 40g (3 tbsp) of first ferment water kefir. Tip: It’s easier to add flour into liquid, than vice-versa. Use a fork to thoroughly mix the flour, and try to keep splashes scraped down from the sides. Cover with a lid or waxed fabric wrap, and leave it in a consistently warm place in your kitchen for 24 hrs.
2. After 24 hours, your starter should look liquid and there may be small bubbles on top. Discard half of the starter, or use it for sourdough pancakes. Add another 40 g of water kefir, and 40 g of flour. Mix well and leave it covered again for another 24 hrs.
3. Repeat the discarding and feeding for about 3-4 days, and by then you should notice the starter growing on it’s own. Once it is doubling in size, it is ready to use! You can tell how much it’s growing by wrapping a rubber band around the line base line of the starter when it’s been fed and mixed. Compare after 24 hrs to see how much it’s grown. Note: If you notice the starter has deflated on it’s own, it’s time to feed it.
4. Use your sourdough starter with water kefir in your favourite sourdough baking recipe, and enjoy!