Sourdough is a beloved ingredient in many bakers’ kitchens, whether it’s a crusty, full of flavors loaf of bread or a bubbling container of flour/water starter. Making your own sourdough starter can seem like a mysterious blend of microbial science and metaphysics when you first dive into the process.
However, a well-developed, active starter that can raise bread will be yours to enjoy if you take the time to learn the underlying concepts and perform the necessary steps. So here is our guide to how to make a sourdough starter.
How to Make a Sourdough Starter?
Here’s how to start one from scratch; it will take a few more days than if you just stole some starter from a friend, but the end result will be worth it. When your starter is ready, it will give your homemade bread a tangy flavor and pleasant aroma.
- 1 cup whole-wheat or rye flour (4 Ounces)
- Unbleached all-purpose or bread flour for feeding
- Water At 60-85 F
- Rubber spatula
- One 1-quart glass jar
- Kitchen scale
- Day 1: Mixing
- Mix together 1 cup (4 ounces) of whole-wheat or rye flour and 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of warm tap or filtered water between 65 and 80 degrees F in a very clean 1-quart jar.
- Continue mixing until the flour is completely incorporated into the liquid and the mixture has the consistency of a thick paste.
- Use a lid or plastic wrap to loosely cover the container. Leave out for 24 hours at a warm room temperature (around 75-80 degrees F).
- Day 2: Initial Feeding
- Aside from some condensation and a wheat-like odor, you will likely not notice a significant difference in the starter’s appearance after the first 24 hours.
- To promote growth, you will need to begin feeding the plant. Using a rubber spatula, transfer 2/3 cup (5.5 ounces) of the starter to a mixing bowl made of stainless steel or glass; discard the remaining starter.
- In a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl, combine 1 cup (4 ounces) of all-purpose or bread flour with 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of warm tap or filtered water between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Ensure that all of the flour has been incorporated and that the starter is thoroughly combined by vigorously mixing all of the ingredients.
- Place the starter back into the jar. Re-cover the container with the lid or plastic wrap. 24 hours at a temperature between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit
- Day 3 To 5: Keep Feeding
- You should see some action in your starter on day 3. The liquid should be bubbling and have risen slightly. It will smell crisp and tangy, like fresh air.
- The starter must be fed twice daily from now on. Schedule the times so that they are most convenient for you. Try to keep them at 12-hour intervals or thereabouts.
- After adding the starter’s food, give it a good stir to get rid of any trapped air. Take a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl and fill it up to the halfway point with the starter; then, dump the rest.
- First, in a glass or stainless steel mixing bowl, combine 1 cup (4 ounces) of all-purpose or bread flour with 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of warm tap or filtered water between 65 and 80 degrees F.
- Be sure that all the dry flour has been incorporated and that the starter is thoroughly blended as you stir the mixture to combine all the ingredients.
- Place the starter back into the jar. Re-cover the container with the lid or plastic wrap. Presented at room temperature (75 to 80 degrees F). Repeat the steps every 12 hours for the next two days.
- Day 4 To 5: Checking on Mix
- During the next two days, the activity of your starter may vary between feedings. Before each feeding, it should consistently appear bubbly and sometimes foamy.
- Before you feed it on day 5, it will have nearly doubled in size. The aroma should be mildly sour and yeasty.
- Day 6: It Is Ready!
- Your sourdough starter will be ready to use in your first loaf of bread after 5 or 6 days. Observe the warnings: The starter should be very bubbly and slightly foamy on the surface, and it should nearly double in volume between feedings.
- Additionally, it should smell strongly acidic, but in a good way. Keep feeding it in 12-hour intervals for another day or two if you don’t think your starter is ready.
Hot To Maintain & Store The Sourdough Starter?
If you plan on using your starter for more than one recipe per week, remember to keep it in the refrigerator or at a cool room temperature (65-50 F) and feed it once per day.
Keeping the starter in the fridge will slow its growth, which is ideal if you only bake once a week. Before putting your starter in the fridge, give it a regular feeding and let it ripen at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours or until you see a lot of activity.
You should check on the starter at least once a day, feed it once a week as described above, and let it ripen at room temperature before putting it back in the fridge.
This was all about how to make a sourdough starter. We hope now you can easily make your own sourdough & don’t have to ask your neighbor or friend for the starter. Follow each step properly & you will have a good sourdough starter.
Thank you for reading!