Flour is one of the main ingredients for making a sourdough starter. Flours are ground grains that look like white powder. But there are two types of flours. One is bleached flour, and another is unbleached flour.
Unbleached flour is usually bleached naturally. And the color of unbleached flour is off-white. On the other hand, bleached flours are bleached with chemicals. That’s why it’s white and softer than the unbleached flour.
Now, the question is, can I use bleached flour for sourdough starter?
No. I can not use bleached flour for sourdough starter. We know that bleached flours have some extra chemicals in them. And these chemicals are not good for the starter. Because bleached flour kills the yeast of the sourdough starter. And without the yeast, the starter will not grow.
Now, we’re going to discuss in detail the problems of using bleached flour in the starter.
Can I Use Bleached Flour for Sourdough Starter?
We already know by now that we can not use bleached flour for sourdough starters. Bleached flours are bleached with some bleaching agents like chlorine dioxide and benzoyl peroxide. These bleaching agents are very harmful to the yeast.
the main ingredients for making a sourdough starter are yeast, flour, and water. That means using bleached flour in a sourdough starter will not be a good idea.
Even bleached flour can kill the yeast of the starter. And if my sourdough starter doesn’t have yeast, it won’t be a starter anymore. This means, ultimately, bleached flour will kill my starter.
Also, we can’t feed the starter with bleached flour. Because the grains in the bleached flour are very fine. That makes the texture of the bleached flour very soft.
Now, the flour was supposed to make the starter more frothy. As bleached flour is a fine and soft kind of flour, it can’t make the starter thicker.
Again, some people ask whether they can change the flour in the sourdough starter or not. It means, making the starter with one flour and then feeding the starter with another flour.
Suppose we made the starter with bleached flour. And then we used the unbleached flour for feeding the starter. In this case, changing flour in the sourdough starter will still not work. Because the bleached flour would kill the yeast in the first place.
Even if we do the opposite, the result will be the same. The only difference will be that the yeast will stop working at the time of feeding.
What Kind of Flour Will Be Great for Sourdough Starters?
Unbleached flours will be the perfect type of flour for sourdough starters. Because it contains no chemicals. It’s bleached naturally and that’s why it takes a lot of time to bleach.
Generally, the bleached flour is an off-white color. When it bleaches on itself, it turns into a whiter flour. As it’s a naturally bleached flour, the grains in unbleached flour are denser. That’s why the texture of the unbleached flour is tougher.
So, if we use unbleached flour for making a sourdough starter, it won’t kill the yeast in the starter. Because it has all-natural ingredients. Also, this flour will make the starter thicker because of its texture.
The unbleached flour is great for feeding the sourdough starter as well. There are some kinds of unbleached flours that we can use for the starter.
Such bread flour for sourdough starter is a great choice. But suppose you don’t have the bread flour. In that case, the whole wheat flour for sourdough starter can be a good option as well.
In this table, here are some details about some of the best flours for sourdough starters.
|Type of The Flour||Name of The Brand||Cost||Where to Buy|
|Unbleached bread flour||King Arthur||$5.90 – $5.95||Buy on Amazon|
|Unbleached self-rising flour||King Arthur||$5.90 – $5.95||Buy on Amazon|
|Unbleached all-purpose flour||King Arthur||$5.90 – $5.95||Buy on Amazon|
Differences Between Unbleached Flours And Bleached Flours
So far, we’ve been talking about the bleached flour and unbleached flour. But do we actually know what’s the difference between them? So now, we’re going to find out about that in detail.
In the first place, we get an off-white colored powder by grinding grains in the milling process. That’s mainly the unbleached flour.
If we want to bleach that off-white flour naturally, we just let it do the job on its own. We just have to expose the flour to oxygen and wait for around two months. After that, it will be bleached naturally.
On the other hand, if we add some bleaching agents to the off-white floor, it’ll be bleached within two days. But it will contain the chemicals.
The unbleached flour has a rough texture as the grains in it are denser. And the grain in the bleached flour is softer as the grains in it are less dense.
Also, the bleached flour is more white than the unbleached flour. For these reasons, unbleached flour costs more than bleached flour.
Best Use of Bleached Flour
Usually, bleached flours are easier to use than unbleached flour. Also, bleached flours are great for baking as well as making some foods. Here are some recipes are given below.
For making cookies, we need two types of sugar, ½ cup of granulated sugar and ¾ cup of packed brown sugar. Then we need 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ cup of melted unsalted butter, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Then we need 1 ¼ cups of bleached flour and ½ teaspoon of baking soda. Also, we need 4 oz of milk and 4 oz of dark chocolate chunks.
If we want, we can use bleached flour for bread instead of unbleached flour. Because bleached flour is really great for making fluffy and tasty bread. Now, there are many types of quick bread recipes and the banana bread recipe is one of them.
So, for making the banana bread, we need 2 cups of mashed bananas and 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and ½ cup of softened unsalted butter.
Then we need 1⁄4 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and ¾ cup of packed brown sugar. Also, we need 2 eggs and ⅓ cup of sour cream.
Then we need 2 cups of bleached flour and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. We can also use ¾ cup of chopped nuts in the batter of the bread, such as pecans or walnuts.
Waffles are one of the most delicious foods that everybody loves. It’s one of the most preferred breakfast foods as well.
For making some nice waffles, we will need 1 cup of bleached flour and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Then we will need 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 2 eggs, and 1 cup of milk.
Also, we will need ¼ teaspoon of salt and 4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter. And for serving the waffles, we could use some maple syrup and butter as well.
Pancakes are one of the most famous breakfast foods. Pancakes are really tasty and also pretty easy to make.
For making some good pancakes we will need 1 ½ cups of bleached flour and 3 ½ teaspoons of baking powder.
Then we will need ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of white sugar. Also, we will need 1 ¼ cups of milk, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons of melted butter. And, we could use some butter and maple syrup for serving the pancakes.
Can I Feed My Sourdough Starter with Bleached Flour?
No, you can’t feed your sourdough starter with bleached flour. Because bleached flours contain some additional chemicals which can kill the yeast of your starter. For this reason, if you feed your starter with bleached flour, your starter will not grow properly.
Can I Make Bread with Bleached Flour?
Yes, you can make bread with bleached flour. Bleached flours are very easy to use. Also, it is white and softer than the unbleached flour. So it’s great for baking cookies and quick bread. It’s great for making waffles, pie crusts, and pancakes as well.
Are bleached and unbleached flours the same?
No, bleached and unbleached flours are not the same. Because unbleached flours are bleached naturally which takes a lot of time. And bleached flours are bleached with chemicals which takes a very short time.
Now, if someone asks this question, “Can I use bleached flour for sourdough starter?”, we can clearly say no.
Because we already know how the unbleached flour can ruin our sourdough starter. But unbleached flour is great for making other types of things that have been given in the article.