We love baking and cooking with sourdough.  Souring the grain makes it easier to digest and by baking it at home we can control all of the ingredients.  The basic whole wheat sourdough bread that I make has 6 ingredients, compare that to a store bought loaf of bread and you’ll see exactly why I prefer to make my own. Plus, it tastes so much better!

In order to bake with sourdough, you need a starter.  A lot of people get a little starter dough from friends and build up from there but there is a very easy way to start your own from scratch.  I have done it a couple times now and since I am wanting a second starter (I’m using mine so often it needs a chance to catch up) I’ll be making a new one soon.

sourdough starter

Starting Sourdough from Scratch

1 teaspoon of quick active dry yeast

1/4 cup of warm water

3/4 cup of milk

1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour *Once made I bake and feed my sourdough whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur brand White Whole Wheat) but I have found it starts much better with all-purpose.

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large glass bowl (no metal or plastic when working with sourdough) stir in milk and then gradually stir in flour until smooth.
  2. Cover with a towel or cheese cloth and let it stand in a warm place (80 degrees is ideal) for 24 hours.  After 24 hours there should be lots of bubbles on the surface of the starter.  If not discard and try again.
  3. Stir well and then cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap (it won’t touch the starter).  Let sit in a warm place for 2-3 days or until it has become foamy.
  4. Once foamy you can transfer it to a crock or glass jar (I use a large mason jar) and it’s ready to use.

sourdough starter

Caring for your Sourdough Starter

Sourdough starters are living things (creepy?) and need to be fed on a regular basis.  I store mine in the refrigerator and feed it 2-3 times a week depending on how often I am using it.  To feed it I put 2/3rds of a cup of flour and 1/3rd of a cup of warm water into the jar and stir it with a clean wooden spoon.  Once its fed, let it sit in a warm place for a few hours until it gets bubbly.  Always make sure to feed it as soon as you’ve used some for baking or cooking to keep it strong and healthy.

Making a Sourdough Starter

When baking or cooking with your sourdough starter make sure to take it out of the refrigerator and let it warm up.   Once it’s warm, just give it a stir and start cooking.  If you are looking for ideas, I have tons of recipes on my Sourdough Recipes pinterest board.  Hop on over and see what you can make.

I’d love to hear about your adventures with sourdough! Feel free to ask questions and share in the comments or on our Facebook page.  Happy Baking!