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Understand Sourdough Yeast, What it is and How to Use It Properly in your Baking goods

Updated: 4 days ago

Solid Sourdough Yeast
Solid Sourdough Yeast

Understand Sourdough Yeast! In this article, I will explain what it is and how to use It properly in your dough, provide tips for freezing and storing, and provide a practical Table of leavening times for your homemade bread.

The Tail of Sourdough Yeast

Sourdough is a natural yeast obtained via fermentation. It can be made by mixing water and flour, or you can add an extra ingredient (yoghurt, honey, resin, etc.) that modifies its organoleptic properties. This mixture develops properties similar to chemical yeasts or brewer's yeast.

Sourdough is indicated in most preparations that require leavening, making foods more digestible and lighter. It can create baked desserts and savoury preparations, such as focaccia, pizza, or savoury pies.

It is known that yeasts could create intolerance because they continue the leavening process inside the stomach, causing bloating and heaviness after eating. Because of its long leavening time, Sourdough Yeast produces fragrant products with a longer shelf life and is more digestible than the more common brewer's yeast.

Sourdough starters can be solid or liquid culture (licoli), each with its characteristics and peculiarities. However, they are essentially the same product, which differs mainly in the management of refreshments. If you want to learn more about the differences between solid sourdough and Licoli - Click Here.

I advise trying one first and then the other to understand which one best suits your needs.

Here are some recipes to start using sourdough, look at:

This is probably the most complicated recipe I have ever done:

The basic recipe on how to prepare sourdough at home:

But remember, deciding to use sourdough is a choice that requires care but is simple to prepare and maintain.

The ingredients you need to prepare sourdough starter:

  • 200 grams of flour, preferably organic and stone-ground whole or semi-whole, to keep the organoleptic and nutritional properties alive

  • 100 ml of warm water

Before it can be used to prepare recipes, sourdough must be activated, or the fermentation process must be triggered to stimulate its leavening activity.

The process of making sourdough starter

  • Gradually mix the warm water with the flour until you form a mixture that is not too sticky.

  • Then, place it in a glass container (I usually use a large Jar with a lid, the type that is not hermetically sealed, as the yeast will need air to survive) and push it to fill the space and mark where the dough ends. The mixture will tend to expand, and this trick will allow you to see it when it does.

  • Live it to rest for three days in an environment of approximately 18-22 degrees, far from the direct sun.

After this time, you must feed (refresh) your starter.

How to refresh the sourdough starter

  • Take 200 grams from the sourdough mixture that will be obtained and add the same quantity of flour and half of water (200 grams of flour and 100 ml of water).

Work the dough onto a ball and place it back into the year.

Repeat this process every three days for two weeks.

After this time, the sourdough starter should at least double in size every three days; if it doesn't, there is something wrong, and I recommend refreshing it until it does.

If everything goes well and the sourdough doubles in size, you can start using it for baking :)

At this point, I recommend storing it in the refrigerator so you can feed it only once a week. If you leave it outside, you must feed it at least every other day.


NOTE: A sourdough starter is like a baby; when it is done, it does things, but it takes time to mature to deliver its best results. Mine is about one year old, and it works like a charm.


If you want to try something sweeter, here is my honey Sourdough Starter recipe:

This table shows the leavening times for 1 kilogram of 00 or 0 flour mixed with Solid Sourdough Yeast.

Remember that in the case of sourdough, there is also a further variable to consider, namely the strength of the yeast itself, which depends above all on age, type of flour and frequency of use.

Solid Sourdough Starter

At room temperature

From the fridge

250-300 g

5 (4-7) ore

9 (6-12) ore

200-220 g

8 (7-10) ore

12 (10-15) ore

150-180 g

11 (10-13) ore

15 (12-18) ore

100-120 g

14 (13-16) ore

18 (15-20) ore

50-80 g

17 (16-19) ore

20 (18-24) ore

10-30 g

20 (19-24) ore

24 (22-28) ore

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