How to Make a Sourdough Starter

Dustin and I experimented with creating our own sourdough starter from scratch.

Sourdough Starter Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

We’ve always been intrigued by making sourdough bread. And, when I say intrigued, I mean we have talked about it for years but have never done anything about it.

Sourdough Starter Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

We ran across this sourdough starter recipe from Pinch My Salt and figured we’d give it a shot.

Now, you know me and baking bread – I tend to get a little intimidated. But, then I always come to realize, it’s really not that scary.

Sourdough Starter Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Creating a sourdough starter from scratch was pretty exciting.  Dustin and I would get a kick out of coming home from work and seeing that our starter had grown from earlier that morning.

In addition to being kinda fun, the whole process of making your sourdough starter is actually quite simple. All you gotta do is give it some love and attention. You will have to feed it on a daily basis – sometimes twice daily — so be prepared.

Sourdough Starter Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

But, just follow these simple instructions and you’ll be on your way to successfully making your own sourdough starter and to making delicious sourdough bread in your own home.

How to Make a Sourdough Starter

Original recipe and directions from Pinch My Salt

Day 1

In a small bowl, mix one cup of whole wheat flour with 3/4 cup (6 oz) filtered water (bottled) at room temperature until all of the flour is hydrated.  Scrape mixture into a wide-mouth glass container, such as a jar.  Mark the level of the starter with a piece of tape or rubber band. Cover the container with a paper towel r cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.  Leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

Day 2

You probably won’t notice much change at this point.  Scrape the contents of the jar into a mixing bowl using a spatula and add 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose or unbleached bread flour plus 1/2 cup filtered water (make sure at room temperature).  Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.  Wash and dry your glass container and scrape the mixture into the container.  Mark and cover the container just like day one.  Let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

Day 3

You may notice some activity at this point.  The mixture may have risen some and there might be bubbles.  Regardless of whether you notice any fermentation or not, discard half of the mixture (or give it to a friend to cultivate) and mix the remaining half with 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose or bread flour and 1/2 cup filtered water (make sure water is room temperature).  Wash and dry your container and scrape the mixture into the container.  Mark and cover as before.  Let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

Day 4

The mixture should have at least doubled in size at this point.  If it seems to be sluggish and hasn’t doubled in size, allow it to sit at room temperature for another 12 to 24 hours.  Otherwise, repeat instructions for Day three.

Day 5

Feed the starter (repeating Day 3 instructions) first thing in the morning and then again in the evening (about 12 hours apart).

Day 6

If your starter has been very active and always doubles in size (or more) between feedings, then your starter is ready to bake with.  You may also choose to refrigerate your starter at this point and slow down the feedings to once a week.  If your starter still seems a little sluggish, continue with the twice daily feedings as above.

Day 7

Same as Day 6.

 

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About the author: My name is Lacey and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a foodie, a photographer, a chef, and a project manager at a local tech start-up in Austin. But, most importantly, I am the mother of three adorable little kiddos (Jordan, Savannah and Hunter) and am madly in love with and married to my high school sweetheart, Dustin.

2 comments… add one

  1. Kristi July 6, 2013, 12:13 pm

    Does the whole wheat flour at the beginning make a difference or would it be okay to use all all purpose flour?

    Reply
  2. Rachael July 17, 2013, 3:27 pm

    I love your blog!!!
    Am definitely going to try this with my new San Francisco sourdough starter : ) Just ordered it from Sourdough’s International! Love their products.

    Reply

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