bread,  Home Cooking

Sourdough Starter Tutorial


Why, oh why do we over complicate the heck out of easy, simple stuff? Are we just bored?

People have been capturing wild yeast and making naturally leavened bread from them for thousands of years. Before modern day kitchen scales and even before super accurate measuring cups. Creating a sourdough starter is simple. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

You WILL need a few things though.

  • Wide mouth glass jar or other glass or plastic
  • Lid for your container
  • Wooden spoon
  • Flour
  • Water (if you have city water with chlorine added it may not work as well, or it could work just as well… I don’t really know – we have well water)

I documented the whole process for my YouTube channel, so you could see how it all turned out. Here’s the cliff notes version:

  • Day 1: mix equal parts of flour and water (I used about a half cup each) so that you have a consistency of thick pancake batter in a wide mouth jar and stir with a wooden spoon. Keep this on the kitchen counter with a loose lid. I just put a screwed lid on and didn’t tighten it all the way. Warmer temps will speed up the process of fermentation, but HOT temps (above 100) can damage your yeast.
  • Day 2-5: each day around the same time, dump 1/2 the total volume of the mixture out and add another 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water, and stir. If there is liquid separated on the top, just stir it in first, and then discard and feed. It will develop a weird, vinegar/smelly feet smell – this is totally normal.
  • Day 6-10: Increase “feedings” to 2 times per day approximately 12 hours apart. Follow the same routine of dumping the discard, adding the flour and water, and stirring. By the end of 10 days, your starter should be smelling like yeast/sourdough and less like dirty feed.
  • Once your starter is “doubling” in volume a few hours (6ish) after feeding then your starter is good to go.