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A Simple Sourdough Starter Recipe. Copyright © 2020 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.
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5 from 6 votes

Simple Sourdough Starter Recipe

When it comes to baking, there are few things more satisfying than making your own sourdough bread from your own sourdough starter. Some people think it’s complicated, but here's my simple sourdough starter recipe.
Prep Time6 d
Total Time6 d
Course: Baking
Cuisine: French
Servings: 1 Cup
Calories: 162kcal
Author: Terence Carter

Equipment

  • Mason Jar
  • Baking Scales

Ingredients

Sourdough Starter Day 1

  • 50 g wholewheat flour
  • 50 g filtered water

Sourdough Starter Day 2

  • 75 g wholewheat flour
  • 75 g filtered water

Sourdough Starter Day 3

  • 100 g wholewheat flour
  • 100 g filtered water

Sourdough Starter Day 4

  • 100 g wholewheat flour
  • 100 g filtered water

Sourdough Starter Day 5

  • 150 g bread flour
  • 150 g filtered water

Sourdough Starter Day 6

  • 200 g bread flour
  • 200 g filtered water

Instructions

Sourdough Starter Day 1

  • Place the flour and water into a clean mason jar and stir together until fully combined.
  • Cover and leave at room temperature overnight.

Sourdough Starter Day 2

  • To the sourdough starter add the wholemeal flour and filtered water. Stir together until fully combined.
  • Cover and leave at room temperature overnight.

Sourdough Starter Day 3

  • Discard 100g of sourdough starter and add the flour to the starter and mix in the water.
  • Cover and leave overnight. If there’s no activity yet, don’t panic. Baking is about patience.

Sourdough Starter Day 4

  • Discard 150g of sourdough starter and add the flour and the water to the starter and stir until fully combined.
  • Cover and leave overnight. The starter should smell a little sour with small bubbles appearing on the surface.

Sourdough Starter Day 5

  • Discard 200g of sourdough starter and add the flour and the water and stir until fully combined.
  • Cover and leave overnight. The starter should appear active and full of tiny little bubbles.

Sourdough Starter Day 6

  • The starter should be quite active now and be full of bubbles and have a slightly sour aroma that’s not unpleasant. If the starter appears really active, you could try a test loaf with the discarded starter. I usually can’t help myself! Discard 250g of sourdough starter and add the flour and the water and stir until fully combined.
  • Cover and leave overnight.

Sourdough Starter Day 7

  • The starter should now be very active and full of bubbles. The starter should double to triple in size around 6-8 hours after feeding – note that the warmer the atmosphere the faster starter will rise. If so, the starter is now ready to use. If not, continue the feeding schedule from day 6 until you achieve the above result.
  • When making your sourdough bread, keep in mind that you always need to retain some sourdough starter to be fed after the starter is used to make bread. If making several loaves, calculate the amount of starter need for the batch and ensure that you have enough left over to keep your starter active.

How to maintain your sourdough starter

  • How to maintain your sourdough starter depends on how often you intend to bake. Your starter is a living thing and needs to be fed – how often depends on how often you intend to bake – and at what temperature you keep it.
    If you’re planning to bake a loaf every couple of days, use a daily feeding schedule. If baking a loaf a week for the weekend, you can place the starter in the fridge for up to 10 days – although I know some bakers who have successfully revived a starter after a month away.

Daily Feeding

  • My personal daily feeding routine for a mature starter is discarding most of the current starter so that I have 100g left. I then add 100g of flour (often a mix of wholewheat and bread flour) and 100g of filtered water. A lot of American bakers use the discarded starter to make pancakes, but as I don’t eat pancakes, I make pizza dough with the starter, see the recipe here.

Refreshing from the Fridge

  • This can be confusing for some people, but it’s really about working backwards from when you want to take that finished loaf out of the oven. I like to proof the final shaped loaf in its banneton overnight, so if I want that loaf on a Sunday morning, it needs to be in the fridge on Saturday. That means you take the starter out of the fridge on Friday, feed it Friday night and leave out on the bench overnight. Discard and feed again on Saturday morning. Use what you need for your bread, refresh and put back in the fridge on Saturday. Mark the date – to be safe feed it again preferably in a week’s time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Fiber: 3g