A Resource Guide to Sourdough Starter
The Best Resources For Making a Sourdough Starter From Scratch
While you can certainly begin your sourdough journey with a starter gifted by a generous neighbor or like me purchase a dehydrated starter from a fellow sourdough enthusiast on Etsy (see below), another option is to start your own from scratch.
Making a sourdough starter from scratch is a simple process that takes 7 days. While it may be simple, getting it right requires patience and diligence in following specific steps and exercising basic skills of observation.
There are some different variations to the process, but in general, it looks something like this:
|Combine flour and water in a clean glass jar. Stir, cover, and let rest in a warm spot for 24 hours.
Discard half of the starter mixture or just add additional flour and water to the jar. Stir, cover, and let rest in a warm spot for 24 hours.
You should begin to see activity by day 3. Discard half of the starter mixture and add flour and water to the jar (you may want to use a clean jar each day). Stir, cover, and let rest in a warm spot for 24 hours.
Your starter should be consistently rising by now and would benefit from feeding twice a day. Every 12 hours, discard half the starter mixture and add flour and water to the jar. Stir, cover, and let rest in a warm sport for 12 hours. On Day 7 your starter will be ready to use.
If you have questions about how much flour and water to use or what type of flour, here are some of the best resources I could find to help you maximize your chance of success.
Articles to help you make your starter from scratch
Videos to help you make your starter from scratch
Frequently Asked Questions to help you make your own starter
Many bakers recommend a mixture of all-purpose flour and rye/whole wheat flour. The rye/whole wheat flour aids in fermentation due to its higher nutritional value.
It’s generally not advised to use tap water since it contains chlorine or chloramine, both of which inhibit fermentation. If your tap water contains chlorine (and not chloramine), you can remove most of the chlorine by leaving an uncovered jar or bowl of tap water out overnight.
Activity in the first few days may start and stop after initial activity as the bacteria composition changes. Continue to feed and discard according to plan and ensure the starter is placed in a warm environment to ensure optimal conditions for an active starter.