HOW TO ACTIVATE GLUTEN-FREE STARTER FLAKES

METHOD

1. In a clean & sterilised jar, stir together 50g of filtered lukewarm water & all of the Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter Flakes. Let this soak for 2 minutes to help the flakes soften before adding flour.

2. Add 40g of White Gluten-Free Bread Flour. Using a spoon or jar spatula, mix well until there are no more dry lumps. Take note of the consistency in the video above. You may like to add a few extra grams of water if your starter is a little on the dry side, there should be no dry patches & the dough should be well mixed. In terms of consistency, it should be more of a stiff starter than a wet runny one.

3. Let the jar sit in a warm room (preferably 24-25 degrees Celsius), After about 12-24 hours you should start to see small air bubbles on the bottom of your jar (see image below). The reason for such a varying time is the temperature will dictate how fast this moves. Warmer means it will be faster & cold temperatures under 21 degrees will slow it significantly, taking twice as long to develop. 

Note: If after 24 hours you do not see activity, it doesn't mean there isn't any live yeast, they might just be weak as this can vary depending on the room temperature, flour or batch of flakes. Leave it at room temperature for another 12 hours, then move to step 4. If after step 4 is completed & you still do not see any activity, please contact us & we'll help you get it on track. Often the initial activation can be slow but once it is activated you will find your starter will become more predictable after every feed.
 

4. Feed it again with 30g of flour & 30g of water. Once your starter is showing lots of little bubbles & has grown roughly 50% in size, it is now active & ready to use. During this early stage, your starter will show smaller bubbles, it will be a little slower at proving your bread too so be patient.  This will change as your starter gets older & stronger with subsequent use/feeds. With more time, it will get stronger & grow with larger bubbles (similar to the image below). A healthy starter should grow more predictably & smell mildly sweet/sour but never acidic.

 5. Proceed to Part 2 of the Gluten-Free Bread Kit Guide.

Picture above: very active starter that has been fed everyday for a week. This is the gold standard for healthy starters. You may find smaller bubbles in the first few feeds as this is due to the lower levels of good bacteria which needs time to grow. This can only happen if you feed your starter regularly. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you’re unable to start baking at this point, you can pop the starter in the fridge in an air tight jar. It can be stored for up to 1-2 weeks before needing another feed or used to bake a loaf. In our experience, if you are using/feeding your starter once a week it will be fine to use straight out of the fridge provided it does not smell acidic & you will need to account for extra time for the starter to come to room temperature. 

If your starter is smelling acidic, you will need to discard all but 1 tablespoon & do a starter build as per the bread recipe to refresh your starter before using.  

If there is discolouring or your starter is smelling off, the starter may need to be thrown out.  

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTES 

FLOUR

For best results we recommend feeding your starter with our White Gluten-Free Bread Flour. Unlike feeding your starter with brown rice, our white GF bread will double in size when active & won't go sour quickly compared to using brown rice etc. 

ROOM TEMPERATURE  

Keeping your starter at the optimal temperature of 24 degrees Celsius will help it grow according to our instructions above. If your room temperature is below 20 degrees, this can significantly slow down activity, in which case it can take up to 48 hours before it will show any activity, so be patient. We understand sometimes it is difficult to maintain these temperatures in your own kitchens during winter/overnight, so we recommend resting your starters in the oven with just the light on or with a bowl of hot water. 

CONTINUOUS FERMENTATION  

When using your active starter for baking, always leave some behind (a tablespoon is sufficient) to feed & maintain a continuous fermentation cycle. Replace what you’ve used by feeding what’s left with equal parts flour & water. 

GLUTEN-FREE STARTER MAINTENANCE   
Maintaining a healthy starter requires either regular baking (using) or regular feeding. 
If storing at room temperature you will need to feed it daily or at a minimum every second day. It will smell acidic relatively quickly if left un-fed for more than 3 days. If you’re not one to bake often, store your starter in the fridge in an air tight container to minimise cross contamination. It is recommend that you feed/use your starter once a week to ensure it stays healthy. 

 

FAQ’s & Troubleshooting

It has been 24 hours since I rehydrated my starter flakes & it is not showing signs of activity or bubbles! What am I doing wrong?

Firstly, make sure you have read & followed all instructions to revive the starter flakes. The most common issue with a slow moving starter is due to the room temperature as it directly affects the time it takes for your starter to bubble or show activity. The second most common issue is the flour used, read more on the types flour used to feed your starter above. 

After reviving your starter with water and adding the first portion of flour, wait 24 hours. If there are no bubbles in your starter it doesn't mean there isn't any live yeast, they might just be weak (as this can vary depending on the batch). Leave it at room temperature for another 12-24 hours. If after 48 hours has passed & your starter is not showing any signs of small bubbles, please contact us

What type of water should I use to make sourdough?

Filtered water is recommended. If using drinkable tap water, you may like to fill a jug & leave overnight, this will help remove some chlorine in the water. Some tap water may have high concentrated levels of chlorine which can slow or kill your sourdough starter.

What if my room temperature is cold?

Often the temperature in the room in which our starter lives can fluctuate, especially at night & in winter, this can slow activity dramatically. One way to prevent slow growth in your starter is to leave it in the oven with only the light on & a bowl of hot water can help too. Or you could purchase a small heat mat similar to a seedling mat should also help. Make sure you do not exceed 28 degrees Celsius as it can kill your starter. 

My starter has mould & smells off, can I save it?

Unlike gluten starters, gluten-free starters are harder to save once mould is taken over. This is why it is important to bake regularly or store in the fridge in an air-tight jar & feed (or bake) once a week.

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