Bread making: The starter, the mother, il lievito madre…. my love for baking

Here we go again, with something very important, that I love from the bottom of my heart.

My grand father was a baker, and I think all his knowledge passed into my veins. I have no idea. I’ve never met him, he died before I had the chance  to ask him anything. One incredible thing I know is that I love to let my hands knead any doughs.

I love baking as you can see:

A part this short story, today I want to talk to you about the starter, in Italian commonly called lievito madre.

This incredible mixture of basically 2 ingredients has a huge amount of bacteria, ferments and enzymes, which helps the product to grow in volume.

Practically what happens is simple:

We mix flour and water that bring with them micro organism, which we also find in the air, these bacteria and enzymes start eating the flour cells and multiply into more bacteria and enzymes, and everyone creates gas.

Preparation :

So start by mixing 50 g of water and 50 g of flour. Leave it in the dark covered by a towel.

The day after stir the mixture and place it back, repeat this step for 4 days or until the starter shows few bubbles.

From this stage you have to reinforce the starter everyday. Grab 50% of the mixture and add same weight of flour and water. Example: if my mixture Has 100 gr of total weight I’ll add 100 g of flour and 100 g of water.

This is the way the starter is kept alive after its birth. If your recipe requires a wet starter just increase the hydration percentage up to 80% or 100%.

You can use your starter in a percentage between 20% and 50%.

Enjoy your new baby…

with love and passion Giuseppe Nasti

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