If you love making your own bread doughs, then you’ll love to learn how to make your own Sourdough Starter.
Whilst it is a process that requires patience, the results will take your bread to a new level. You will end up with the best-balanced flavor and it’s totally customizable. In other words, you can adjust the flavor to make it extra tangy and sour, or less.
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 to use, it can be stored in the fridge and kept for long-term use.
Make Your Own Sourdough Starter Supplies
Organic Whole Wheat Flour
Large jar or container: (use a non-reactive material like glass, stainless steel or plastic)
Spoon to stir
Plastic wrap or coffee filter to cover your container
Make Your Own Sourdough Starter Video
Tess from Handle The Heat has created an excellent video tutorial. She has lots of clever tips and tricks that will ensure you achieve the perfect result.
Think of yourself as an Artisan, perfecting their craft! To see Tess in action, click play above ^
Make Your Own Sourdough Starter Instructions
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 secure it with a rubber band.
Leave your container on your kitchen counter, preferably in an area where the temperature won’t dip below 70 F.
You’ll start to notice some bubbles forming after about 12-24 hours. That means it’s growing! Now you’ll have 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. You could even tie it up pretty give it to a friend.
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 as you learn to see 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 once it rises to double its size.
You’ll notice that wonderful sourdough smell too and you’ll probably be keen to whip up a loaf at this point.
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
After your starter is growing well 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 should 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 to allow the new yeast to establish.
Long-Term Sourdough Starter Storage
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. You then spread it over a baking sheet, covered with a layer of 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 just 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, and restart the 12-hour feeding process. Once it’s established, you can begin feeding and storing it as usual.
Sourdough Bread Recipes You’ll Love