Yeast is present on all grains and wheat that makes our flour.
When the grains are milled and turned into flour and that flour is mixed with warm water, yeast begins to thrive and multiply in a warm environment.
As more flour and water are added to the mixture (refreshed), the yeast becomes more concentrated and produces carbon dioxide gas. Eventually enough gas is produced that when added to your dough, it will help it to rise to form bread.
Good bacteria in the form of lactic acids will also form alongside the carbon dioxide, which contribute to the flavour and texture that sourdough is known for. This also helps preserve the shelf life of your sourdough.
In order to keep your starter dormant (stop it from rising), you can place it in a covered container in the fridge indefinitely.
It is important that before the next use you take the starter out of the fridge 24 hours before using it and store it at room temperature. It should then become active again.
Do the starter check with water and if it passes then it is ready to use in your dough. If it is not ready, then start the feeding process until it is, remembering to keep the temperature warm and cruically, steady.
Any discarded starter can be used to make pancakes, crumpets, bagels and flatbreads.
We used the Dualit Hand Mixer whisk attachments to swiftly mix up this starter.