Einkorn sourdough starter
EINKORN SOURDOUGH STARTER
Einkorn is an ancient grain, known for its exceptional nutritional profile and unique and distinctive flavor, has been cultivated for thousands of years. Einkorn has a unique and nutty flavor with a specific taste that adds depth and complexity to baked goods. It contains a higher protein content than modern wheat varieties and is rich in vitamins and minerals, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a wholesome alternative to conventional flour.Sourdough is a type of bread that is made through a process of natural fermentation using wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria. Unlike conventional bread that relies on commercial yeast for leavening, sourdough bread is leavened through the natural fermentation of a sourdough starter.A sourdough starter is a combination of flour and water that captures wild yeast and beneficial bacteria naturally present in the environment. This starter is then used as a natural leavening agent for the bread dough. The wild yeast in the starter ferments the sugars in the dough, producing carbon dioxide gas, which creates air pockets and gives the bread its characteristic texture and rise. The lactic acid bacteria in the sourdough starter also play an important role in the fermentation process. They produce lactic acid, which contributes to the slight sour flavor of sourdough bread and helps create a favorable environment for the yeast to thrive. Sourdough bread has a distinct tangy flavor and a chewy texture. It often has a thicker and crunchier crust compared to bread made with commercial yeast.Creating an einkorn sourdough starter is a straightforward process that requires just two ingredients: einkorn flour and filtered water. The lactobacillus and yeast in the starter feed on the flour and water mixture, breaking down the flour's complex carbohydrates and creating carbon dioxide, which causes the mixture to bubble.By following these simple steps, you can cultivate your own einkorn sourdough starter and embark on a journey of delicious and healthy baking.Step 1: Day 0 - Initial MixingMix the flour and water thoroughly until no dry spots remain. Cover the jar with a lid and set aside. Step 2: Day 2 to Day 6 - Daily Feedings. On the second day, you should start seeing some activity in the jar. Bubbles may appear, indicating that fermentation has begun. Each day, discard half of the starter and feed it with einkorn flour and filtered water. Mix well. Repeat this process daily for a week, maintaining a consistent feeding schedule. Keep the discarded half of the starter in a separate jar in the fridge- you can add it to the dough for baking.Step 3: Day 7 and Forward - By the seventh day, your einkorn sourdough starter should be active and ready to use in your bread recipes. It should have a pleasant aroma, a bubbly appearance, and should double or get close to doubling in size 6-8 hours after a feeding. Ready for baking!To maintain your einkorn sourdough starter, you can keep it at room temperature and continue daily feedings. In this case, your starter will mature in about a month of daily feedings, stored at room temperature. If you plan to bake less frequently, you can store it in the refrigerator and feed it once a week; in this case the starter maturity will happen in several months. I usually mature my starter at room temperature with daily feedings and when I go on vacation, I put it in the refrigerator and when I come back I take it out of the fridge and pick up to feed and mature my starter. After my starter gets stronger and bubbles and rises much quicker, I put it in the fridge and feed it every 1-2 weeks.Regularly removing a portion of the starter, or "discarding," plays a vital role in ensuring the beneficial bacteria receive sufficient nourishment. If you skip the discarding step, you would need to increase the amounts of water and flour added to sustain the starter, resulting in unnecessary waste, especially during the initial phases of the process.When you start your sourdough starter, it will initially smell like water mixed with flour. As the fermentation process advances, the aroma will go through a series of changes. It will go from a pleasant, sweet and yeasty to a more pronounced yeasty smell. At a certain point, you may notice a strong fermented odor, and could make you think that something went wrong. But this intense aroma is normal and will gradually diminish, eventually giving rise to a delightful and distinct sourdough scent.After approximately 6-7 days of fermentation, your sourdough starter should consistently emit a pleasant fragrance. If at any point you detect a vinegary smell, it indicates that the starter requires additional feeding. Remove half of the starter into a discard jar and proceed with regular feedings to supply the starter with the necessary nutrients, promoting a healthy and well-balanced fermentation process. However, if your starter smells completely bad, it might be better to discard it altogether and start again.After a week of fermentation, your sourdough starter becomes active, signifying that the beneficial bacteria are diligently breaking down the enzymes in the flour. This crucial stage allows you to utilize the sourdough starter in various recipes that don't need additional yeast for leavening, such as biscuits, pancakes, waffles, or banana bread.The beneficial bacteria in the sourdough starter start off young and gradually mature over time. This process of growing your very own sourdough bread starter cannot be rushed. The maturity of your sourdough starter typically occurs after approximately four weeks of cultivation. During this time, the starter gains the strength and vitality necessary to serve as a reliable substitute for commercial yeast in bread and other baked goods. The patience and dedication invested in nurturing your sourdough starter will ultimately yield delicious and rewarding results.TROUBLESHOOTING:If your sourdough starter takes longer than 6-8 hours to rise, just keep daily feedings until it is ready.If you see yellowish liquid forming on top of the starter, it's normal, just stir it back and feed your starter. It's a sign your starter is hungry.If there is a greyish color collecting on top- just push it aside and scoop out the creamy golden starter from the middle to continue with the feedings. If, at some point after your starter matures, you forget to feed it, and it loses the pleasant color and smell, take it out of the fridge and just re-feed for a couple of days. It will come back to life quite quickly.Einkorn flour is a wonderful nutritious alternative to regular wheat flour. When used to create a sourdough starter, the lactobacillus and yeast in the starter can further enhance the nutritional benefits of einkorn flour by breaking down the flour's complex carbohydrates and making the nutrients more bioavailable.Einkorn is often considered healthier and better than modern grains and regular flour due to several factors:Einkorn has a higher protein content compared to modern wheat varieties. It also contains essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins. The higher protein content makes einkorn a more filling and satisfying option.It contains a different type of gluten compared to modern wheat. This different gluten structure makes it easier to digest and might not trigger sensitivities in comparison to modern wheat gluten. However, it is important to note that although einkorn it has a lower gluten content, it still contains some gluten. But the sourdough method helps break down some of the gluten in the flour so it is even easier to digest.Einkorn is an ancient grain that has remained largely unchanged for thousands of years. It has not undergone the extensive hybridization and genetic modifications that modern wheat has gone through. The less-modified nature of einkorn makes it a more wholesome and natural option.
- ½ cup einkorn flour
- ⅓ cup lukewarm warm filtered water lukewarm warm
- ½ previous day starter
- ½ cup einkorn flour
- ⅓ cup lukewarm warm filtered water
Day 0: In a clean glass jar, thoroughly mix ½ cup of einkorn flour and ⅓ cup of water until no dry spots remain. Cover the jar with a lid or plastic wrap and leave to rest at room temperature. (The warmer the environment, the sooner you'll see the reaction)
Days 2-6: On the second day, you should start seeing some activity in the jar. Bubbles may appear, indicating that fermentation has begun. Each day, discard half of the starter. Or, instead of just wasting it, put half of the discarded starter in a clean jar in the fridge and use it to add to the dough for baking, and keep adding more of the discarded starter as you half and feed the starter daily. Feed the ½ of sourdough starter with ½ cup of einkorn flour and ⅓ cup of filtered water. Mix well. Repeat this process daily for a week, maintaining a consistent feeding schedule.
If you don't plan to use your sourdough starter often, put it in a fridge and feed it weekly- ½ cup of starter, ½ cup of einkorn flour and ⅓ cup of water mixed together. Your starter will mature in about a month with weekly feedings. After that, you can feed it less frequently.
To maintain your einkorn sourdough starter, you can keep it at room temperature and continue daily feedings- ½ cup of starter, ½ cup of einkorn flour and ⅓ cup of water mixed together. In this case, your starter will mature in about a month of daily feedings, stored at room temperature.
If you plan to bake less frequently, you can store it in the refrigerator and feed it once a week; in this case the starter maturity will happen in several months. After your starter gets stronger and bubbles and rises much quicker, put it in the fridge and feed it every 1-2 weeks.