Once your sourdough is activated, you can use it in a recipe. Obviously it can be used to bake bread, but also crepes, biscuits, pizza dough, and so on. Don’t forget to keep a portion for later use.
Optimizing use of your sourdough
- Use a scale to weigh out your ingredients. You’ll get better results, because you’ll be more accurate. Baking is an art that demands precision!
- Use a large container for our bread’s rest times. If you use too small a bowl, you risk harming the proper development of the gluten.
- You can always change the type of your sourdough by feeding it a few times with another type of flower. That’s a way you’ll discover new flavors.
- Certain actions can vary the flavors of the breads you bake. For example, you can influence their acidity.
To increase it...
- Promote the production of acetic acid in your sourdough by:
- Using a little less water to feed it with;
- Using whole-grain flour;
- Keeping the liquid that sometimes forms on sourdough.
- Extend the duration of the bread’s fermentation by:
- Letting the bread sit in a cooler place;
- Pressing it (in order to remove gas) at least once during the rest phase.
After it sits in the refrigerator, leave it at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before baking.
In contrast, you can also have a milder bread by:
- Using a sourdough fed more regularly;
- Using a greater proportion of sourdough in your recipe.
- More advanced users can try to use milk instead of water to feed their sourdough. Milk will lend breads a slightly chocolatey flavor, without chocolate.
Keeping your sourdough forever!
When your sourdough is in the best possible shape, 12 hours after being fed, it’s ready for use. But that’s also the moment to set aside a small portion of it, which you’ll use to develop it once again for later use. And the cycle begins again!
We suggest that you put aside 25g of sourdough each time you use it in a recipe. Then keep that little sourdough somewhere cold to conserve it until you need it.
- In the refrigerator, you can keep it in hibernation for a maximum of 3 days.
- In the freezer, it can hibernate for up to 2 weeks.
After those deadlines, your sourdough will have to fed once again. When it is, it will increase in volume, and you’ll be able to separate it once more to make a recipe.
To feed the sourdough:
- Take it out of the fridge or the freezer. Defrost for 1 hour, if that’s how long it takes, then feed it by adding 100g of flour and 100g of water. Mix and let sit at room temperature.
- It will be ready again 12 hours later to make a bread (it should have started making bubbles again).
- Don’t forget to keep 25g for your next recipe.
However, if you reach the deadline and don’t wish to prepare a new recipe yet, you can simply weigh 3 g of it, then feed it with 11 g of flour and 11 g of water. It should start making bubbles again 12 hours later, and can therefore be put back in hibernation.
If your sourdough doesn’t seem to have reached the hoped-for condition or if a problem arises, read the article “Sourdough: tips, advice and troubleshooting.” You’re bound to find the answer to your questions!