The name of the game for this week’s demo is fermentation. Creating your own sourdough starter takes time and sounds intimidating, but it’s really not difficult to do. Jim Amaral, owner of Borealis Breads is back in our kitchen this week to talk sourdough starter: getting it up and running, Maine grains, care & feeding, and how to prepare for baking.

For more than twenty-five years, Borealis Breads has been a vibrant and lasting part of Maine’s dynamic food scene. Relying on locally sourced ingredients and grains grown and processed right here in Maine, Borealis owner Jim Amaral was a pioneer in the local food movement and helped lead the way in Maine’s wheat and grain renaissance.

Creating A Sourdough Starter


Organic Whole Rye Flour   25 g

Organic Bread Flour   75 g

Water 100 g

Total: 200 g


In a small bowl combine the flour and water to create a stiff batter. The temperature of this batter should be between 70°and 80°. Lightly cover the container so gas produced by the fermentation may escape. Place in a spot where the batter can remain in the  70°- 80° range. After two days small fermentation bubbles should appear. After 3-4 days when the batter has reached peak fermentation. Discard all but 25 grams of the starter and mix it with 100 grams of water and 100 grams of bread flour place this in another container (glass, stainless steel, or ceramic). The starter should be ready to feed again in one to two days. Feed two more times using the same ratio of 25 grams of starter and 100 grams each of water and flour. After this last feeding, the starter should be ready to be used when it is bubbly and frothy and at its most active. Take a teaspoon of the starter at this stage and put it into a glass of water, if the starter floats it is ready to be used for breadmaking!

Thereafter the starter may be stored in the refrigerator and refreshed once a week for breadmaking.

Sourdough Starter