How To Make Kombucha Sourdough Starter
This post is going to be super short and sweet, because this is really, really simple. I thought I’d better share how I make my sourdough starter because I’ve just posted my grain free sourdough bread recipe and without this, the bread won’t work!
What Is A Sourdough Starter?
A sourdough starter is essential when making ‘real’ sourdough. If you look at most of the sourdough breads available in supermarkets, they still contain yeast. That is NOT real sourdough!
It’s fake sourdough…
Real sourdough uses a bug or starter – just like real yogurt, kefir, kombucha and all that other fermented, healthy stuff.
It’s ‘the bug’ that is already fermenting, which is the beginning of the fermentation process that will make your sourdough bread rise, instead of using yeast. The sourdough bug will partially digest your flour mixture, creating gas and bubbles that will make the bread rise, as well as making the bread easier for you to digest!
So let’s get started…
Grain Free Sourdough Bread Starter Made With Kombucha
To start with you will need:
- One or two clean jars (for my bread I use two gherkin jars that hold about 400ml and I make two starters at a time so that I have enough for my bread recipe that makes two large loaves of bread)
- Kombucha tea (either 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).
9 Important Things To Know About Making This Sourdough Starter
- 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. It is VERY forgiving.
- The mixture should be bubbly. Sometimes it will be very bubbly. Sometimes not so much. I don’t know why… But don’t panic if it’s not so bubbly – it still works.
- If you miss a day of feeding, it doesn’t matter. Feed it and it’ll spring back to life. As I said, this process is very forgiving.
- 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 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 a warmer environment, and away it goes!
- Cover your bug to keep other bugs out! We use a nut milk bag over our jars and that works perfectly.
- If you do manage to kill your bug, simply grab some more kombucha and start again!
✅ You can find my gluten free, grain free sourdough bread recipe here. 🙂