Making a bread starter

One of the things I didnt realize about making bread was that it’s often made without using yeast.  In these cases, they use what’s referred to as a ‘leaven’.  The leaven is a product of a starter.  That is – you make a starter, then add some more flour and water to it and they call that the leaven.  The starter is just flour and water too.  Confused?  Me too but let’s just do what the book says for now.

The book Im using is called ‘Tartine Bread‘ and it seems to be just what Im looking for to get started.  Plus is has lots of pictures for people like me who like pictures.  

So the first thing we need to do is make a flour mix of 50/50 white and whole grain flour.  By some miracle I had both of these in the pantry…


The book calls for 5 pounds so we’ll need to mix 2.5 pounds of white flour with 2.5 pounds of whole grain flour.  To do this I’ll use these large plastic containers my sister insisted I needed (but probably dont really need).  The other thing you’re going to need which I already had was a food scale.  If you dont have one – get one.  They are incredibly handy for cooking, I use mine all the time.  So let’s use our scale and measure out 5 pounds of the mix…

This is a lot of flour.  Luckily I had this big container to store such an amount of flour in.   And don’t worry – this appears to just be a batch of flour you can use to feed your starter – you aren’t using it all right away.  So once you have the right proportions give it a good mix.  Once mixed, you want to find a small clear glass container to mix your starter in.  Fill it about half way with luke-warm water and then add the flour mix in until you get a thick batter like consistency mixing with you hands…

Once it’s mixed, clean up the residue on the sides of the container and find somewhere to put it that’s cool and dark and cover it with a towel.  Like this…

Now we wait…. for like 2 or 3 days… which is a long time…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *