To start with you will need:
- One or two clean jars (for my bread I use two gherkin jars that hold about 400ml and make two starters at a time so that I have enough for my bread recipe that makes two large loaves of bread)
- Kombucha tea (You can buy a commercial variety or make your own)
- Buckwheat flour
- Pour about an inch or 2 cm of kombucha tea into the bottom of the jar/s.
- Add enough buckwheat flour to make a thin paste and mix well.
- Stir more buckwheat flour in to the mixture each day until you have enough starter to make your bread keeping the consistency similar to a thickish pancake mixture (anywhere from a heaped teaspoon to a couple of tablespoons of flour depending on how quickly you want your bug to fill up).
What you need to know before making the sourdough starter [TIPS]
- The making of this starter isn’t rocket science and you can’t really stuff it up. Sometimes we make it faster (3 or 4 days) if we’re running out of bread, sometimes slower.
- The mixture should be bubbly. Sometimes it will be very bubbly. Sometimes not so much. I don’t know why. But it still works.
- If you miss a day of feeding, it doesn’t matter. Feed it and it’ll spring back to life.
- If it gets really sad and looks like it’s not doing anything, add a little sugar. That usually brings it back to life. Or add a little more fresh kombucha.
- This bug can be reused – ie save a little, feed it and use it to continue for the next lot of loaves. We sometimes do that, but often these days we just use it all, wash the jars then start again when we need to as we always have kombucha in the fridge.
- DO NOT use chlorinated water. You will kill your bug.
- If you’re going away, just feed your bug and put it in the fridge. It’ll stay alive quite happily. We’ve left ours for a couple of weeks in the past and it’s been fine. Pull it out of the fridge, give it a feed with some more flour and away it goes!
- Cover your bug to keep other bugs out! We use a nut bag over our jars and that works perfectly.
- If you do manage to kill your bug, just get some more kombucha and start again!
You can find my gluten free, grain free sourdough bread recipe here.
Susie Wilson is a Mum, a writer, a health buff and a bit of a self confessed food-a-holic! Susie has a passion for learning about, creating and of course eating healthy foods. She enjoys sharing recipes, ideas and information about the foods she loves and the things she’s discovered about healthy eating and living. (Contact Author)