***Update: After two attempts at using this starter for bread baking, my dough would not rise. After much research I found that using this method, of only adding flour+water, this starter is best for things like banana nut bread, pancakes, and other recipes that don’t need much of a rise in the flour. I’m working on a new method, one that involves taking away a portion of the starter before adding more flour+water.
A few (high quality) ingredients and time is all you need to make a sourdough starter. Now that you have all your tools, we can get started.
First, why should we consume sourdough?
Fermented foods rich in probiotics, like sourdough, help with digestion and assimilation (proper absorption) of food. This traditional food is also rich in several nutrients, minerals, proteins and fatty acids needed for a proper diet. Health benefits aside, sourdough is delicious!
Real sourdough will only have a few ingredients: starter, flour, water, and salt. Beware of breads in the store claiming to be sourdough if they have more ingredients than this. Most storebought “sourdough” contains yeast, which isn’t actually necessary if the bread was fermented with wild yeasts.
Enough with that. If you’re here, you probably already know the benefits of eating sourdough and just want to get some going in your kitchen!
Sourdough Starter in 5 Days
Organic, unbleached all-purpose flour (most stores will carry this, but you can get here too)
(Is that not the shortest ingredient list you’ve ever seen?!)
Gather tools described in this post.
Make sure your large jar is clean and free of soap (yes, even soap can contaminate the ferment). If your scale has a “tare” option, set a small jar/glass on the scale and select “tare”. This will take the weight of the container and set back to zero.
Now, add 4 ounces of flour, then add to the large jar. Next, add 4 ounces of water, add to large jar, then mix well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Cover with cloth and rubber band around the top. Leave alone.
Add 4 ounces of flour, 4 ounces of water. Mix well and cover the same as yesterday. Leave alone.
Repeat the steps from yesterday. You may be seeing bubbles now–that’s a good thing!
Repeat same steps from Day 3.
Have you caught on yet? Yep, add 4 ounces each of flour and water. Mix well.
Late on the fifth day or on the sixth you should now have a full-blown sourdough starter. It should be bubbly and “active”. Now you can make any of your favorite sourdough recipes!
Not ready to cook with it yet? That’s okay. Just put your starter in the fridge and when you are ready remove the starter from the fridge and feed it 3-4 times. Feed the starter equal parts flour and water just like before, but you can use less this time. Sometimes I just do 1/4 cup each. Day 1 feed it two times, preferably 6-12 hours apart. Day 2 feed it one more time, let it set for a couple hours then it’s ready to use.