How to make a wheat sourdough starter

 
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Make your own whole wheat sourdough starter. All you need is flour and water. There are really no excuses not to! Generally speaking, you don’t have to make a wheat starter if you already have a rye starter to hand. You can simply use the rye starter as a basis for a wheat refreshment if you wish. However, if you don’t have a rye starter or rye flour to hand, or you’d like to bake an all-wheat sourdough bread, you can quite easily prepare a wheat sourdough starter from scratch.

Wheat sourdough starter wholemeal
Wheat sourdough starter wholemeal

This is based on Andrew Whitley’s step-by-step guides in his books Bread Matters and Do Sourdough – Slow Bread For Busy Lives.

Wheat sourdough starter recipe

This sourdough starter recipe uses both stone-ground whole wheat flour as well as white flour.

Day 1

  • 30g stoneground organic whole wheat flour
  • 30g tepid spring water (35°C/95°F)

Use a medium sized plastic bowl with a lid to mix the flour and water. Try to use bottled or spring water as chlorinated tap water may impede the fermentation process. I tend to use a silicone scraper to mix the starter as it makes it really easy to wipe the inside surface of the bowl. Cover the bowl and keep at a warm temperature for about 24 hours. The ideal temperature for the wheat sourdough starter is 28°C/82°F.

Day 2

  • 30g stoneground organic whole wheat flour
  • 30g tepid spring water (35°C/95°F)

Add the whole wheat flour and water into the bowl which contains the 60g starter mixture from Day 1, cover and keep at a warm temperature for 24 hours.

Day 3

  • 30g stoneground organic whole wheat flour
  • 15g tepid spring water (35°C/95°F)

Add the above ingredients into the bowl which now contains 120g whole wheat starter mixture from Day 1 and 2. This time, you add slightly less water to tighten the dough consistency. Cover and keep at a warm temperature for 24 hours. At this point, you may already start to see signs of the starter fermenting i.e. small bubbles may be visible.

Day 4

  • 90g strong organic white flour
  • 45g tepid spring water (35°C/95°F)

Add the above ingredients into the bowl which now contains 165g starter mixture from Day 1, 2 and 3. Cover and keep at a warm temperature for 24 hours.

Day 5

You should now have an active wheat sourdough starter that has bubbled up overnight, slightly subsided again and smells fruity and / or acidic. You’re ready to start using your sourdough starter for wheat sourdough bread baking.

Wheat sourdough starter
Wheat sourdough starter

Please leave me a comment with any questions, happy to help with any trouble shooting. And please note: Your wheat sourdough starter will behave differently to your rye sourdough starter. It will lead to a production sourdough three times its size while the rye sourdough starter leads to a production sourdough ten times its size. Your wheat production leaven will fully ferment in only four hours while the rye sourdough leaven will take longer.

Savisto stand mixer review

 
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Here it is! Still boxed up and waiting to be unwrapped – my first ever stand mixer, acquired to make my ever increasing bread and baking output easier to manage. As a determined manual dough kneader, I’m excited yet apprehensive about using a stand mixer to ease dough handling. Savisto was kind enough to donate one of its shiny red stand mixers to the cause. Read on for my Savisto stand mixer review.

Savisto stand mixer in red
The decorative Savisto stand mixer in red

Savisto stand mixer review

The beater

I decide to ease myself into the process with a cake recipe to test the beater attachment. The Savisto booklet contains easy to follow instructions so the equipment is quickly assembled. The attachments are less heavy than I thought they would be but that may be down to my preconceptions. I’m impressed the equipment includes a silicone scraper, which I find to be invaluable for baking. The suction heads at the bottom of the stand mixer make sure it holds its position and I use both the beater and silicone scraper to mix a batch of rhubarb brownies.

I’m delighted by how much time is freed up during the mixing process. I would have previously used a hand mixer to combine the various ingredients. Now, the Savisto stand mixer does the work for me and I have time to clear away the ingredients and tidy up after me while the work happens. The mixing works well; everything is mixed evenly and no unmixed ingredients stick to the bottom or sides of the bowl. The handle on the mixing bowl comes in super handy when pouring the ingredients into the baking tin.

The dough hook

The big question for me is testing the dough hook. I decide not to give it an easy ride and choose my flaxseed bread recipe with a fairly heavy wholemeal and rye flour dough to truly test the Savisto mixer. The mixer sounds like it finds the mixing hard work, but doesn’t stumble and gets the job done. I knead the dough on speed level 2 for five minutes. Proving is easy, I just leave the dough in the mixing bowl, covering it with a plate. My hands stay almost clean, although it’s hard to judge the dough consistency, so I end up stopping the mixer and touching the dough several times to check its texture.

Savisto stand mixer dough hook
Savisto stand mixer dough hook
Savisto stand mixer bowl with dough
Savisto stand mixer bowl with dough
Savisto dough hook bread dough
Savisto dough hook bread dough

The whisk

As expected, the mixer performs well when I whisk some egg whites for a pavlova.

My Savisto stand mixer review conclusion

The Savisto stand mixer is an affordable, well-designed and decorative stand mixer delivering all the benefits, work efficiencies and quality output you would hope for. With its 800 watt motor, it has enough power to manage heavy wholemeal and rye flour doughs. The 5.5 litre stainless steel bowl is big enough to handle any cake batter or dough quantities I’d be looking to bake at home and the handle on the bowl is a welcome bonus. Overall, the mixer is a useful product with a competitive price tag – I would not hesitate to recommend it to other home bakers.

Disclaimer: The Savisto stand mixer was received as a gift for product review purposes.