Sourdough 101: How to make a Sourdough Starter

Sourdough is one of the oldest methods of bread production, dating back thousands of years. The starter is essentially a way of fermenting dough in order to create your own naturally occurring yeast and gut-friendly bread.

Sourdough starter takes a week to make, but don't let that put you off. It is  actually only a few minutes of 'work' per day and, with some maintenance, the result can last years.

sourdough loaf

Ingredients

  • 650g Flour
  • 650ml warm Water
  • 1l Masonry Jar
  • fabric/muslin cloth (to cover jar)
day 1

Day 1

50g flour + 50ml lukewarm water

Store in a non-metallic container, loosely cover and leave overnight.

Day 2

‘Feed’ another 50g flour + 50ml lukewarm water

Loosely cover and leave in a warm place overnight.

day 3

Day 3

Discard 100g of starter, then ‘feed’ 100g flour + 100ml lukewarm water.

Loosely cover and leave in a warm place overnight.

day 4

Day 4

Discard 150g of starter, then ‘feed’ 100g flour + 100ml lukewarm water.

Loosely cover and leave in a warm place overnight.

day 5

Day 5

Your starter should be beginning to ferment nicely by now and smelling a little vinegary.

Discard 200g of starter, then ‘feed’ 150g flour + 150ml lukewarm water.

Loosely cover and leave in a warm place overnight.

day 6

Day 6

Your starter should now be nice and bubbly.

Discard 250g of starter, then ‘feed’ 200g flour + 200ml lukewarm water.

Loosely cover and leave in a warm place overnight for one last time. Tomorrow is the big day!

Day 7

The day is finally here - you little bundle of joy (and cultures) is ready to use. Keep an eye on my recipes, where I will be adding ideas of tasty loaves to bake.

When you're done, keep your starter in the fridge and feed weekly. Remember to always take it out of the fridge the night before you plan to use it.

Sourdough Maintenance

If you plan to bake weekly (or less frequently), you can keep your starter in the fridge and will need to feed it each week, in order to keep it active. This may sound a little daunting, but it is so worth it. I just set a recurring reminder on my phone and it becomes part of my routine.

  • Take the the starter out of the fridge at set aside overnight, so it comes up to room temperature.
  • Put 25g of your starter into a clean jar (the rest can be used to bake with)
  • Add 100g flour + 100g warm water
  • Let your starter sit for a few hours, then put it back into the fridge until you next need it