How To Make Sourdough Starter


I have made sourdough starter many times. I have had varied amounts of success with it. I first made it using a little yeast to get it going because I just could not believe that you could create a starter that would raise bread without yeast. That worked fine, and I made a few different recipes with it before I forgot about it and it died.

Then I read Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions and tried her recipe. It used rye flour and a daily maintenance of pouring the starter into a bowl, feeding it and pouring into a clean jar. I did have success with my starter and my bread, no yeast added. But eventually my starter turned a yucky color and smelled bad.. and I tossed it and I guess I tossed my enthusiasm for sourdough with it. Plus it seemed like a big hassle to change out the jar every day.. life is too busy for stuff like that.. at least for me.. :)

Well, recently I was doing some bread baking and thought.. I want to try a sourdough starter again. This time I started very basic.

Here is the basic recipe:

Sourdough Starter

½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup white flour
1 cup warm water.

I put this in a 2qt. canning jar and put some cheesecloth on the top secured with a rubber band...



Each day you need to feed your starter.  It should begin to get bubbly and smell somewhat fermented. 

Feed your starter each day:

¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup white flour
½ cup warm water

Put this in a warm spot.  The starter needs to be kept warm to get it going.  You do not need to change out the jar each day, simply feed the starter every 24 hours. 

After about 5 days you should be ready to bake with it.

Time to Use the Starter

Began by pouring the starter into a bowl and feeding it with:

½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup white flour
1 cup warm water

Let that sit and get all bubbly for a few hours (this step is called, ‘proofing’). Proofing may take a couple of hours or it may take much longer.  You can let it sit out overnight to proof.  The longer it proofs the more "sour" taste your bread will have.  Also depending on the temperature of your home it may take a more or less time.  You just have to be patient with sourdough proofing..


Now you are ready to bake bread!

Before we get to the recipes I want to discuss the starter a little more.  When you bake the bread you will measure out the required amount of starter for the recipe and then you will have leftover starter.  Now you need to feed your starter once more.

To do this add:

½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup white flour
1 cup of warm water

Then pour the starter into a clean glass jar and cover it with the cheese cloth and rubber band. I again used a 2 quart canning jar. Make sure to wash your jar and give it a rinse with boiling water to make sure there are no stray germs hanging around..

Put the starter in the refrigerator.  It will live just fine as long as you remember to feed it each week. 

The weekly feeding is:

¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup white flour
½ cup warm water

When you are ready to use it again you begin by proofing it as explained above.

***NOTE: one more thing to add..  your starter may develop a brownish liquid at the top of it.  This is called "hooch" and is perfectly normal.  You can either mix it into the starter or you can pour it down the drain.  Either will work and the liquid does not mean your starter has gone bad. 


Now for the recipes.  I am just getting the hang of sourdough baking and don't have a huge number of recipes yet to share.  As I continue to try new things I will be posting the recipes here.  For now, here is what I have made:

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Biscuits

Sourdough French Bread

Sourdough Banana Bread new

Sourdough Pizza Crust new





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