With all the current buzz about sourdough and starters, we wanted to share some new information with you about how to use Super Sprout™ in your starters and sourdough baking at home! Since we are working with such a new, bioavailable product there is sure to be a learning curve and this is sure to be the first of many posts, but we encourage you to follow along with us on this journey and learn with us about using Super Sprout™ Sprouted flours in your sourdough baking!
We started a few weeks ago by making starters from scratch in-house. We used only the best Lindley Mills Flour and water, so that these starters would be 100% Organic. At first we had one starter made with 100% Certified Organic Unbleached Bread Flour and one with 100% Certified Organic Super Sprout™ Sprouted Wheat Flour. We fed each with their original flour, aerated them frequently and after a week of patiently waiting and encouraging them our starters burst to life.
Once they were bubbling along we kept the "discard" from one feeding and started keeping 4 of them alive. It really felt like we had a class of small school children, each with different characteristics, opinions, and likes or dislikes. We changed what we were feeding them so that we could test out some different theories and this is what we've learned so far:
1) The Super Sprout™ Sprouted Wheat Flour starters need more water than the average.
For a 'close to 100% hydration' starter, we learned we needed to feed about 90 grams of starter with 60 grams of flour and 90 grams of water. This created a good structure in the starter, but allowed it enough liquid to keep it from drying out too quickly over a 24 hour window between feedings.
2) Any starter fed with Super Sprout advances more quickly and may need to be fed more often.
When we first started this project, we really had to watch the starters being fed with Super Sprout™. They would ramp up more quickly and run out of "food" for the yeast before we had planned to feed them again. After several late nights and early mornings that many bakers can relate to, we found an optimal balance of time and temperature that allowed us to get on a more regular feeding schedule.
We are planning some new tests in the coming weeks and will let you know how they progress so stay tuned! For further info on sourdough starters we suggest checking out books by some of our favorite bakers: Jeffrey Hammelman, Peter Reinhart, Richard Miscovich, and Sarah Owens.