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How to Make Sourdough Starter From Scratch

How to make a sourdough starter from scratch and why buying a starter is a waste of money.

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It’s easy to make a healthy sourdough starter from scratch. All it takes is patience and a little know-how. Here is everything you need to know to make a bubbling and delicious sourdough starter.

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 oz flour (approx. 3 tbsp)
  • 1 oz chlorine-free water (1.5 tbsp)

Instructions

  1. Create your starter by mixing the flour and water in a glass container. Mix it with a fork and loosely cover with a tea towel and leave it in a warm spot. (Above the fridge works well.)
  2. Check the starter twice a day and mix vigorously with a fork to incorporate air. It should start forming bubbles within 2 to 7 days (depending on your air quality, see above for details).
  3. Once it has started forming bubbles you need to feed the starter daily. Add 1 oz of water and 1 oz of flour, and mix vigorously to incorporate air.
  4. Within 4-5 days, of feeding you should have an active, bubbling culture. That means you are ready to bake bread!

Notes

  • Check out the Sourdough Archives page for recipes for bread, waffles, biscuits and more.
  • If you end up baking a lot of bread, then I recommend getting a digital scale (affiliate link) that has a zeroing function to make feeding easy.
  • The exact ratio of water to flour will depend on whether you’re using white, spelt, rye, etc. The goal is to make a thick, fully hydrated mix, but it shouldn’t be stiff. It will become more liquidy as the yeasts and lactic bacteria start to break down the starches.
  • I don’t believe in wasting sourdough starter, which is why I only start feeding my starter AFTER it has started to bubble. See the section above for information on how to feed your sourdough starter and avoid sourdough discard.

Keywords: feeding, hooch, vegan, dairy free, egg free, simple, easy, homemade, discard, no discard, probiotic