Sourdough is a beautiful, amazing, and healthy cooking method.
It brings me so. much. joy.
I love it.
Yet, I know it can be a struggle and a challenge.
If you're experiencing challenges with it, the cause is usually something very simple you can tweak or change.
So instead of throwing in the towel on sourdough and giving up forever…
Instead of sourdough being a struggle and a drain…
Take a look at these 7 common sourdough mistakes. And if you're making any of them, stop. Just stop. 🙂
Success with sourdough is just on the other side!
Which of these mistakes are you making? What common sourdough mistakes would you add to this list? Please share in the comments!
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7 Sourdough Mistakes You Might Be Making
These are common sourdough mistakes I see over and over (and I have made them, too). What would you add? Be sure to share in the comments!
1. Thinking it's too complicated.
The sourdough starter’s needs are pretty simple… it needs food, water, warmth, and air.
Same with dough.
If you focus on these things, the rest often falls into place.
2. Not keeping your starter or dough warm enough.
If your starter isn't showing much activity, if your dough isn't rising… it's usually a case of the starter/dough not being warm enough.
Perhaps it's in a drafty location or a cool room. Move it, wrap it in towels, put it on the refrigerator or freezer, move it near the fireplace.
You'll be amazed what warmth will do for it's health and happiness… and your results!
3. Not keeping your starter thick enough.
We like to feed our sourdough starter so it's a bit on the thick side. If it's thick, it shows you better how active and strong it is. If it's too thin, it might very well be active, but you can't see it. So thicken up your starter (feed a bit more flour than water) and then you'll really be able to tell how active it is!
4. Not feeding your starter often enough.
Look, if you want a strong starter (so it makes awesome bread), you've got to feed it often enough so the culture stays strong. Those organisms die back without food.
And often enough means — 2 times per a day. During warm weather, 3 times per day.
If you know you're going to have a big bread baking session, then even with normal weather, feed it 3 times per day in the days leading up to the baking day so it's extra strong. It will perform better for you!
5. Trying recipes that are too hard.
If you're just beginning or you are busy and just need easy, dependable, delicious bread — why do hard recipes?
Sourdough English muffins make the best bread and they’re sooooo easy. Here's the recipe.
Or, what about no-knead bread? (I make this a couple times a week and it takes 15 minutes total of easy hands-on time!) Here's my easy free recipe.
In general, you want to cultivate a set of recipes — for those busy or low energy times — that don't rise too much. In other words, almost anything but your typical sandwich bread.
6. Thinking you have to “wait”.
With traditional cooking, we're mixing flour and starter and then waiting 7 to 8 hours or overnight for the starter to fully prepare the additional flour for digestion and nutrition.
Yet, you don't always have to wait.
Not if the flour of the recipe comes in the form of sourdough starter (where it's already soured).
Thus — what I call “no wait sourdough” and you can hear more about it on Know Your Food episode #106.
7. Thinking it’s all sour.
Sourdough doesn’t have to be! Here are 6 tips for “not sour” sourdough.
- How to make a sourdough starter (free instructions)
- Simple needs of a sourdough starter
- Sourdough English muffins recipe
- No-Knead Einkorn Sourdough (free recipe)
- “No Wait” Sourdough
- 6 Tips For “Not Sour” Sourdough
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