If you love making your own bread, then you’ll be excited to learn how to make your own Sourdough Starter from scratch.
Whilst it is a process that requires patience, the results will take your bread to a whole new level. You will end up with a perfectly balanced flavor and it’s customizable. You can adjust the flavor to make it exactly the way you like it!
Making your own sourdough starter might sound complicated, but once you’ve got it going, it’s actually quite simple.
The starter is created by the wheat from the flour. Once it’s ready, it can be stored in the fridge and kept for long-term use.
For the very best results, be sure to use organic whole wheat flour, not bleached flour. So, let’s take a look at what you are going to need.
Sourdough Starter From Scratch – What You Need
via Handle The Heat
- Organic Whole Wheat Flour
- Bottled Water
- Large jar or container: (use a non-reactive material like glass, or stainless steel)
- Spoon to stir
- Plastic wrap, coffee filter, or loose lid to cover the jar
- Rubber band
How To Make Your Own Sourdough Starter Video Tutorial
via Handle The Heat
Tess from Handle The Heat has created an excellent video tutorial that steps us through the process. She has clever tips to share along the way.
By watching the video, you can be assured of achieving a perfect result. To see Tess in action, click play above ^
Make Your Own Sourdough Starter Instructions
via Handle The Heat
In a container of choice, mix 1/2 cup of water with 3/4 cup of any type of wheat flour. Tess suggests that you use organic whole wheat flour. She says that it will work faster and you have no chemicals. She also uses bottled water so there is no chlorine.
Give it a good stir, being sure there’s no dry flour left over.
Cover it with your lid of choice and be sure it’s covered tightly. You can also secure it with a rubber band.
Leave your container on your kitchen counter, preferably in an area where the temperature won’t dip below 70F or 21C.
You’ll start to notice some bubbles forming after about 12-24 hours. That means it’s growing! Now you’ll need to feed it.
Feeding Your Sour Dough Starter
After 24 hours you’ll need to start the feeding process of your starter. This means more flour and water to keep the yeast growing.
Start by taking out half of your starter and putting it into a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of water, and another 3/4 cup of flour to the original container of starter.
You can use the 1/2 you took out to either make bread or even begin another starter.
It will last in the fridge for several days if you can’t use it right away. Try to feed your starter at least once every 12 hours. It’s a bit of a learning process. By being observant, you will soon know when it needs to be fed.
After about 5 days to a week of feeding, you can start to feed it less. You’ll know it’s ready to be fed again when it rises and doubles its size.
When it’s ready to feed again, always be sure to repeat the same process as above and take out half before feeding it.
Also, be sure to always leave at least 1 cup of starter in the jar so that it has enough yeast left in it to grow.
Storing Your Sourdough Starter
Once your starter is growing between feedings, you can start to store it in the fridge.
The cooler temperature will slow down growth so you won’t need to feed it or use it as often.
Generally, if kept in the fridge, you only need to feed your starter once per week.
Be sure to let it rest on the counter at least 2 hours after each feeding. This allows the new yeast to establish.
Best Way To Store Sourdough Starter Long-Term
If you need to leave your starter longer than a week, you can also dry it out.
This can be done by feeding your starter with the usual process and then letting it get bubbly. Spread it over a baking sheet, covered with parchment paper.
Leave it to dry at room temperature until it’s brittle. It is then suggested that you store it in an airtight container until you’re ready to start it again.
You need to plan ahead though. The drying process can take up to five days, depending on the size of your starter.
Once you’re ready to use it again, you’ll need to rehydrate it. Break it up into a jar again and cover it with water. You should use about 1/4 cup of water for every 1/3 cup of dried starter.
After dissolving it the water, let it sit until it gets bubbly once again. You will then restart the 12-hour feeding process. Once it’s established, you can begin feeding and storing it as usual.