How to make sourdough starter with atta and troublshooting the starter.
I have earlier shared how to make a sourdough starter. While you can make a sourdough starter with any flour, high protein flours work best when making a starter. Rye flour is a preferred flour when it comes to making starters for the same reason. I have not been able to source rye flour of late and decided to make the starter with atta (or the Indian whole wheat flour).
WHAT IS ATTA
Atta or chakki atta is whole wheat flour used to make Indian flatbreads like roti, chapati, or paratha. It is popularly known as chapati flour outside of India. Atta is ground slightly coarse when compared to the western wholemeal flour. Atta is different when compared to all-purpose whole wheat flour and has high gluten content, making it very good for a sourdough starter.
I was super excited about how the atta starter turned out. I found it very similar to the rye flour starter. My atta starter fermented very quickly and very actively. The maintenance of my atta starter is also relatively easier than my other starter, although the process is the same.
I maintain a very small quantity of atta starter and use it to make the Indian version of sourdough bread – like plain or stuffed paratha, atta bread, ladi pav, etc. In fact, I prefer using my atta starter to make the Indian style bread as opposed to using my bread flour starter.
KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER WHEN MAKING SOURDOUGH STARTER WITH ATTA
The process of creating the atta starter and troubleshooting is similar to creating a regular starter and I have shared the process here. However, there are a few key things that you should keep in mind:
- Atta absorbs a lot of water. As a result, the starter will look relatively less hydrated.
- My atta starter was ready by day 6. However, the time taken for the starter to mature may vary depending on the ambient temperature.
- Use filtered water to make the starter.
- While I prefer to wait for 4-5 days before using the bread flour starter discard, I have used the atta starter discard from day 2.
- I have shared all the troubleshooting techniques here.
- The maintenance of the atta starter is the same as a regular flour starter. Learn more about it here.
- You can prepare the atta starter for baking in the same way you prepare the starter made with regular flour. You can find the technique here.
Atta starter is easier to make when compared to bread flour starter and is definitely easier to maintain as well. Check the detailed recipe below and create an atta starter that is good to go within days.
SOURDOUGH STARTER WITH ATTA
SOURDOUGH STARTER MADE WITH ATTA STEP-BY-STEP RECIPE WITH PHOTOS
1. DAY 1: Combine 100 grams of atta and water. Let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours
2. DAY 2: You can notice bubbles in the starter
3. DAY 3: There are more bubbles and a small rise in the starter
4. DAY 4 (Feed 1): There is a lot of activity in the starter
5. DAY 4 (Feed 2): There is a good rise in the starter
6. DAY 5 (Feed 1): My starter has doubled overnight
7. DAY 5 (Feed 2)
8. DAY 6 (Feed 1)
7. DAY 6 (Feed 2)