Sourdough: the best recipe and how to refresh it

Mother yeast: how to do it and the tricks to refresh it

The mother yeast o natural sourdough is a dough composed mainly of water and flour. At the recipe base can be added, as needed, activators or ingrediants to stimulate and accelerate its development.

This compound is used to replace yeasts produced with industrial methods and often represents an added value for bakeries, pastry shops and pizzerias. The first processing date back to about three thousand years ago, with reference to what can be defined ancient mother yeast. More precisely, it is believed that the first traces are those dating back to about 1500 BC, at the time of the Ancient Egyptians.

Over the last few centuries, the study of these compounds has led to the identification of some strains of battery involved in the fermentation process of the dough. Among these is the Saccharomyces cerevisiae, used for example in the so-called brewer’s yeast, which is however different from mother yeast.

Mother yeast, how it’s made

When it comes to mother yeast, how you do it it is certainly one of the major curiosities. To better understand the process, it is necessary to take a few steps back. Fermentation is lactic and causes the formation of molecules such as lactic acid, acetic acid, water, carbon dioxide and other metabolites.

Because it is important to know these things to understand how to make sourdough e how to refresh it? The answer is simple. As in other cooking preparations, the sense of smell plays an important role. It may happen during the refreshment to notice more or less pungent odors, the result of the formation of some of the aforementioned molecules. This is to say that, within certain limits, these will be normal reactions that should not cause excessive concern.

Sourdough, let’s start

There are two main ways to start growing your own sourdough. The first is the most convenient, that is to start with a portion of the compound that is already active. On the other hand, those who want to have their own yeast can start from ingrediants base: flour and water.

When you start it is advisable to work on small ones amount, easier to manage. First step is the preparation of the initial core, which will include two parts of flour for one part of water. Ingrediants:

  • 100 grams of flour;
  • 50 grams of warm, not boiling water.

The weight of the two ingredients may vary, as long as the proportion of 2: 1 between flour and water is respected. The initial base is prepared by adding the water to the flour a little at a time, mixing until the mixture is soft, but not sticky. At this point, flour the inside of a glass jar, then place the dough obtained (placing a cross on it to stimulate fermentation) and close with a sheet of cling film.

Which flour is used for the mother yeast?

For water, tap water will usually do, unless the flow is too rich in limestone or is not drinkable. Different speech for the farina, of which there are various types. Which of this is used for the mother yeast?

Following the proportions indicated above, the flour to use to make and subsequently to refresh the mother yeast it is type 0 (zero), usually the most used, or type 1. It is also possible to use Manitoba flour as an alternative. In this case, however, it is recommended to change the proportions, passing from 2: 1 to 1: 1 (equal weight of flour and water).

Renewing the mother yeast: how and when

Now that we have begun prepare the mother yeast let’s see how it will proceed in the following days and weeks. It should be remembered that starting from scratch will take some time before arriving at an active and usable compound.

When to renew the mother yeast? Generally every 48 hours, as long as it is kept at a temperature not exceeding 25 degrees. At higher temperatures it may be necessary to refresh even once a day. The question is different if you choose to keep it in the refrigerator, where it can remain still for about 5 days.

How to do

Remove the dough from the glass jar and weigh it. Put the mixture in a large bowl and add an equal weight of flour and the usual half of water (always gradually). For a loaf weighing 200 grams, add 200 grams of flour and 100 grams of warm water. Repeat the process described at the beginning, doing so for all the further phases of refreshment.


Mother yeast, how to use it

The use of mother yeast is usually traced back to some beneficial properties, among which the largest stands out digestibility of final foods. Other advantages are the greater preservation of food over time and the higher concentration of mineral salts.

For which foods can mother yeast be used? Surely it can be used in the preparation of pizza, as well as the different types of pane. The wraps and other bakery products such as croissants, croissants and brioches. It is also possible to prepare products of pastry for frying such as donuts, donuts and donuts.

Before using it

It is good to remember that before using the mother yeast it will be necessary to proceed with the refreshment of the same. The procedure is the same as described above. Cool and leave for 4 hours a room temperature before use. A few minutes of waiting will be enough if the yeast has been refreshed on the same day of use and stored in a cool place, other than the fridge.

How many grams of mother yeast for one kg of flour?

The amount of yeast to be used for each preparation varies according to the type of sweet or salty food to be made. It is not possible to indicate a standard quantity, especially with regard to desserts, although there are several recipes with specific quantities.

However, it is possible to indicate how many grams of mother yeast for one kg of flour, regardless of the specific preparation, when it comes to pizza and bread. In the first case it will be necessary to add 300 grams of yeast for every kilo of flour, even in the case of pizza prepared with type 00 flour.

Between 300 and 350 grams of sourdough are required for the preparation of bread, also variable depending on whether or not an activator is used. This is usually a teaspoon of honey, the sugars of which will provide extra nourishment to the yeast and stimulate its growth.

According to some general indications it is possible to say that for croissants with mother yeast about 250-300 grams of leavening agent, while for donuts or donuts you will need 350 for every kg of farina.

Quick recipes

Here are two quick recipes for preparing wraps with leftover mother yeast or for a homemade loaf.


Ingredients and preparation for 5 wraps:

  • 300 g of unrefreshed mother yeast;
  • 200 g of flour;
  • 80 g of water;
  • 50 g of extra virgin olive oil;
  • 1 pinch of salt.

Combine the unrefreshed mother yeast with flour and water, mixing by hand or with a mixer with hook. After the first processing, also add oil and salt. L’dough it will be worked until a smooth and homogeneous ball is obtained.

The mixture should rest in a bowl, covered with cling film, for about half an hour. After this period we divide the dough into 4 or 5 parts. Each portion will be rolled out with a rolling pin and will form a flatbread.

For cooking we use a cooking pan hot and lightly greased non-stick. We do to taste and we serve.

Homemade loaves

Ingredients and preparation for 3 loaves:

  • 200 g of sourdough refreshed the day before and left at room temperature;
  • 600 g of flour 0;
  • 350 ml of water;
  • 1 teaspoon of honey;
  • 2 pinches of salt.

The yeast will be dissolved in warm water, until a liquid mother yeast is obtained. We add a teaspoon of miele, then flour and salt. We knead in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous.

We transfer everything to a smooth surface and work energetically for no less than 10 minutes. At this point we form a ball to put back into the bowl, covering with cling film. We leave bump up for 4 hours.

After 4 hours, remove the film and pour the mixture onto the previously floured work surface. We work briefly and form three loaves. Let it rise for about 10-12 hours, then bake at 220 degrees in a preheated oven. Time to cooking about 30 minutes.

The differences between mother yeast and brewer’s yeast

Sometimes the terms sourdough and brewer’s yeast are used as if they were synonymous. A small mistake that comes from the practically identical uses of the two ingredients. But there is one difference substantial among these, which resides in the composition.

Brewer’s yeast is a culture of only one strain of microorganisms, of the fungi in particular, namely Saccharomyces cerevisae. On the contrary, the mother yeast it does not contain only yeasts. The mixture based on water and flour is also enriched with lactic and acetic bacteria present in the air.

In this way, always at the right temperatures, fermentation takes place. The flavor of pizzas and loaves made with sourdough is even more pungent and acidic compared to the same products made with brewer’s yeast. As far as digestibility is concerned, it is not a mystery: the mother yeast gives less problems in this regard.

Source: GreenStyle by

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