Updated: Oct 26
I thought about making sourdough for over a year before I actually dove into starting it. It seemed so intimidating and so overwhelming and messy, it just seemed so scary to me adding it on top of everything else going on in life. I started a start and got it going beautifully, did some research and made LOTS of really dense, bad breads! I ended up letting it go and doing more research, tried to start another start and failed, badly… I could not get it to become active and bubbly.. So, I tossed it and started my start again and it has now been going for over 4 months and I’m LOVING This process of learning, creating, baking and providing this beautiful handmade, homemade, home loved creation for my family and for the purpose of serving God inside my home.
This has also saved us money, I go through a 10lb bag of unbleached flour every 3 weeks or so, making 4 different styles of bread a week, it costs about $12. The bread I bought was over $4 a loaf, and we went through at least 2 loaves of bread a week. That’s significant! I hope this method helps you out and is successful for you! Please feel free to reach out for questions and further help on getting your start going!
There is SO MUCH information out there on sourdough, sometimes just starting super simple with tunnel vision on ONE method is what will help with the success of your goal in your bread making path!
Just start! Mess ups and challenges are bound to happen, it's inevitable, but keep going and keep trying! Once it clicks, you got it!
Sourdough Starter Recipe
2/3 C UNBLEACHED All-Purpose flour
Glass Jar (I use a quart size for a start)
Mix WELL until no lumps. The mix will be a bit thick, but that’s okay! Cover with a tea towel or Cheese cloth. Leave in warm spot on your counter (by the back of a fridge or freezer, next to your stove or above a dishwasher are good places if your kitchen tends to get cold)
Add same measurements of flour and water to feed your jar, mix WELL until there are no lumps, mixing in a “pumping” motion to create air bubbles. Make sure inside of your jar is wiped clean and cover again with towel or cheesecloth.
Make sure to not tightly cover, it needs the space so the gases can escape the jar as it grows and ferments.
You MAY start seeing some growth here. Just add the same measurements of flour and water and mix WELL again using the same pumping motions. Cover with your towel or cheese cloth and set in warm spot in your kitchen.
By now, your start may have doubled in size or have grown substantially. If space is needed in your jar, discard ½ C of your start and feed again with the same measurements.
If you have plenty of space for another feeding, I PERSONALLY don’t recommend discarding until day 5.
Some people may say the opposite, I’m just sharing what has worked best for me for starting my own sourdough start. I’ve made 3 different starts now and *not* discarding too early has made the difference for me on it becoming active. If you’re worried about it overflowing, place it on a plate, to avoid it getting all over your counter and easy cleanup, it's OKAY! That just means it’s a really happy, active starter! Yay!
By now, you should have an active start. Discard ½ cup (you can save your discard for a discard recipe. Or start another whole new start with it!)
Feed again with same measurements and mix WELL as before.
From now on, you can feed daily, or you can place in fridge and feed when you need it, OR at least once a week if stored in the fridge.
*** I personally feed in the evening! That way when I wake up, it’s bubbly and happy and ready to make bread In the morning!
*** IF kept in the fridge, take out and bring to room temp, then feed (with same measurements). Could be used in 8-12 hours in an active start recipe as long as it grew and became active again.
*** I found it is a lot harder to kill a start that is established than people believe it is.
*** A “sour” or fermented smell is totally normal that’s why they call it “sour”dough.
*** The “hooch” is the liquid that can form on top of a start, its normal, you can scrape it off and feed as normal. I have found it mostly happens on refrigerated discard or after the first two days of starting my start. Other than that, I have not experienced “Hooch” to be in mine at all.
*** Discard can be used in many recipes where an active yeast is not necessary, noodles, pancakes, cookies, soda breads, I even have a discard recipe on my website that is divine.
*** Humidity, temperature and even elevation can affect your start, just something to keep in mind when finding a method that works for you!
***PLEASE keep in mind this is MY experience, and I'm just here to help those that have been asking and seeking, it may not be your way, but it works beautifully and simply for me!
*** PLEASE reach out for any questions about this! Let me know how this start works for YOU! I’d love to keep adding to this Section for tips to help others as much as possible!
*** STAY tuned for more on my sourdough!