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Super Easy Way To Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

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Ball canning jar with sourdough starter inside.Pin

Welcome to the wonderful world of homemade sourdough baking! This super easy way to make your own sourdough starter will have you baking the perfect loaf in no time! Creating your own homemade sourdough starter from scratch is a rewarding process that allows you to collect wild yeast and bake the best bread imaginable. 

This guide will walk you through each step, making sure you get the best results with your classic fresh sourdough starter.

The beauty of sourdough lies not only in its delightful tangy flavor and chewy crust but also in its simplicity and tradition. 

Unlike commercial yeast, which gives rapid and uniform results, wild yeast takes a little bit of patience but offers unmatched depth of flavor and texture. Plus, there’s something incredibly satisfying about nurturing your own starter and watching it grow and bubble with life.

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting your journey, making a sourdough starter at home connects you to a centuries-old tradition. With just two simple ingredients—flour and water—you can create a living, breathing culture that will be the foundation for all your sourdough baking adventures. The fermentation process not only helps to develop the unique sour flavor but also breaks down some of the gluten and makes the bread easier to digest.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get started, from the initial mixing to maintaining your starter for regular baking. You’ll learn how to recognize when your starter is at its peak activity and ready to use, how to store it for the long term, and even how to troubleshoot common issues. 

Plus, we’ll share some pro tips and video tips from our test kitchen to help you achieve the perfect loaf every time after making your sourdough starter from scratch.

So, grab your flour and water, find a cozy spot in your kitchen, and let’s embark on this sourdough adventure together. By the end of this guide, you’ll not only have a thriving sourdough starter but also the confidence to bake bread that tops any bakery’s best sellers. 

Happy baking!

Ball canning jar with sourdough starter inside.Pin

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour (we recommend using all-purpose flour)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water

Equipment:

  • Large bowl
  • Rubber band
  • Plastic wrap
  • Stainless steel spoon
  • Digital scale (optional for precision)
  • Glass jar or container

Day 1: Mixing the Starter While Making Your Sourdough Starter From Scratch

  1. In a large bowl, combine equal parts flour and lukewarm water. It is ok to use tap water if that is what you drink. Stir until you have a thick, smooth batter.
  2. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band. Place it in a warm spot at room temperature to kickstart the fermentation process.

Day 2: Feeding the Starter

  1. Check your mixture for lots of bubbles and a slightly tangy aroma. These are signs that the wild yeast is starting to work while making your sourdough starter from scratch.
  2. Discard half of the starter (about 1 cup). Add 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of lukewarm water to the remaining starter. Mix well and cover again. Return it to its warm spot.

Days 3-7: Regular Feedings

  1. Continue the same feeding process every 24 hours. Discard half of the starter, then add 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water. Mix well and cover.
  2. As you progress, you should notice the starter becoming more bubbly and rising more consistently.

Day 7 and Beyond: Active Sourdough Starter From Scratch

  1. By the end of the first week, your starter should be active, bubbly, and have a pleasant tangy aroma. You may get lucky and the starter takes less time to get active. Perform the float test to ensure readiness: drop a small spoonful of starter into a cup of water. If it floats, it’s ready to use.
  2. If your starter isn’t quite there yet, continue with regular feedings for a few more days.
Ball canning jar with sourdough starter inside.Pin

Maintaining Your Sourdough Starter

  1. Once your starter is active, you can store it in the refrigerator and feed it weekly.
  2. When ready to bake, take it out of the fridge, discard half, and feed it as usual. Let your starter rest at room temperature until bubbly and active before using.

Using Your Sourdough Starter From Scratch

  1. The best way is to always use an active starter. The remaining starter can be used to make a variety of sourdough recipes, including the perfect pizza dough and blissful bagels.
  2. Experiment with different flours, such as white whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour, to expand your sourdough repertoire. Get creative making your sourdough starter from scratch at home!

Pro Tips for the Best Sourdough Bread:

  • Bulk Fermentation: Allow your dough to ferment in a warm spot for the best flavor and texture.
  • Dutch Oven: Baking in a Dutch oven traps steam, creating a perfect crust. I love using this method! 
  • Bench Knife and Razor Blade: Use these tools for precise dough handling and scoring.
  • Warm Room Temperature: Keep your starter and dough in a warm environment for optimal fermentation.
  • Little Bit of Patience: Great sourdough requires time and care. Enjoy the process!
  • Try Something Different: Use a heavy cake pan like a nordic ware or even dessert cups!
Ball canning jar with sourdough starter inside.Pin

Rustic Urban Life Sourdough Starter

Learn how to create your own sourdough starter from scratch with this easy step-by-step guide, perfect for beginners looking to bake delicious, homemade sourdough bread with their own homemade starter! Discover tips, tricks, and the science behind the bubbly, tangy magic of sourdough.
Keyword Bread, pizza dough, sourdough, starter
Prep Time 5 minutes
Author www.rusticurbanlife.com
Cost $5

Equipment

  • Large bowl
  • Rubber band
  • Plastic wrap
  • Stainless steel spoon
  • Glass jar or container
  • Digital scale (optional for precision)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

Day 1: Mixing the Starter

  • In a large bowl, combine equal parts flour and lukewarm water. It is ok to use tap water if that is what you drink. Stir until you have a thick, smooth batter.
  • Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band. Place it in a warm spot at room temperature to kickstart the fermentation process.

Day 2: Feeding the Starter

  • Check your mixture for lots of bubbles and a slightly tangy aroma. These are signs that the wild yeast is starting to work.
  • Discard half of the starter (about 1 cup). Add 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of lukewarm water to the remaining starter. Mix well and cover again. Return it to its warm spot.

Days 3-7: Regular Feedings

  • Continue the same feeding process every 24 hours. Discard half of the starter, then add 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water. Mix well and cover.
  • As you progress, you should notice the starter becoming more bubbly and rising more consistently.

Day 7 and Beyond: Active Starter

  • By the end of the first week, your starter should be active, bubbly, and have a pleasant tangy aroma. You make get lucky and the starter takes less time to get active. Perform the float test to ensure readiness: drop a small spoonful of starter into a cup of water. If it floats, it’s ready to use.
  • If your starter isn’t quite there yet, continue with regular feedings for a few more days.

Maintaining Your Sourdough Starter

  • Once your starter is active, you can store it in the refrigerator and feed it weekly.
  • When ready to bake, take it out of the fridge, discard half, and feed it as usual. Let your starter rest at room temperature until bubbly and active before using.

Using Your Sourdough Starter

  • The best way is to always use an active starter. The remaining starter can be used to make a variety of sourdough recipes, including the perfect pizza dough and blissful bagels.
  • Experiment with different flours, such as white whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour, to expand your sourdough repertoire.

Pro Tips for the Best Sourdough Bread:

  • Bulk Fermentation: Allow your dough to ferment in a warm spot for the best flavor and texture.
  • Dutch Oven: Baking in a Dutch oven traps steam, creating a perfect crust. I love using this method!
  • Bench Knife and Razor Blade: Use these tools for precise dough handling and scoring.

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