(These are the sourdough starter kit instructions. You can also download this file as a PDF to print and fold into a booklet.)
HOW TO START YOUR STARTER
Your package contains 1 oz of dried sourdough starter. Add starter to 1 cup room temperature water. Stir to encourage starter to dissolve. Add 1 cup all purpose flour. Mix until smooth.
This starter is made with all purpose flour. Try experimenting with different kinds for different flavours!
Use only wood, plastic, or glass containers and utensils when interacting with your starter. Any metal will cause unpleasant reactions.
Lightly cover container and leave in a moderate temperature place. Feed starter daily with 1 part room temperature water and 1 part flour until it’s bubbling with a pleasant smell. Your starter is ready to use the day after a feeding.
An alcoholic liquid might separate and float on top. This can be mixed in or poured off, if it’s excessive. If your starter begins to look or smell off, pour out half and transfer to a new, clean container. Feed again and reassess. You want to see a lot of little bubbles, some growth, a nice sour smell, and no discolouration.
If you wish to use your starter less frequently, store in a container with a tight-fit lid in the fridge. You do not need to feed it when stored in the fridge, but no longer than a month. Take it out to bring to room temperature and feed it the day before you wish to bake.
You can store your whole starter in the freezer when you want a break from feeding and baking. Just remember to bring it back to room temperature and begin feeding a few days before you wish to bake again.
When your starter is doing well, save a cup in another container. Mark with the date and freeze. This can be a useful backup for when your starter goes bad in the future.
If you plan to bake once a week, feed your starter daily and keep it on the kitchen counter. Feeding your starter serves two purposes: it keeps it alive and it builds quantity to be used. Always leave a cup of starter to keep it going.
Your starter contains wild yeasts, collected from the air, as well as bacteria that adds flavour and preservative. Bread can be made with or without dried yeast.
Sourdough starter can be added to all number of baked goods, such as pancakes, waffles, muffins, pastry, and cookies. Pay attention to the liquid measures and balance the consistency with dry ingredients.
HOW TO BAKE SOURDOUGH BREAD
Add 1 cup blood temperature water, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 cup liquid starter, 3 cups all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon salt. Mix until combined, adding more flour until the dough comes together in a ball.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead dough by pressing down and forward with the heel of one hand, folding over, then pressing again. Continue to knead and add flour until the dough is no longer sticky and the board is clean.
Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
EXTRA SOUR SOURDOUGH: if you really love that flavour, put the dough in a container with a lid in the fridge. The cold will slow the rising process and allow extra fermentation.
Punch down the dough to release the air. Turn onto a minimally floured surface.
For loaf pan: press dough out into rectangle the length of your pan. Roll tightly. Pinch ends and seam closed. Place seam-side down into oiled loaf pan.
For boule: using a circular motions, roll the dough into a ball. Pinch towards the centre of the ball until the opposite side is smooth. Place the pinched-side on an oiled sheet pan.
Cover all shaped dough with clean towel and let rise. Scoring the top surface of the dough with a sharp knife will allow further rising during the baking. Dough can be brushed with 1 egg, mixed with a fork, and garnished with salt, seeds, or nuts.
Bake on bottom rack in oven pre-heated to 350 degrees. Add a pan of water below or beside the pan; the steam helps create the crust. Check your bread as soon as you smell it. Fully-baked bread will be golden on the outside, and tapping the bottom crust will make a hollow sound.