Step by Step Guide to making your own sourdough starter

Sourdough Starter

Pendleton Family FarmJanuary 21, 2021

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Hands mixing a bowl of sourdough starter

SOURDOUGH STARTER

Oh how I adore my sourdough starter. A year ago I really started to do some research on sourdough. I had some blood work done that I subconsciously, already knew the answer to….gluten sensitivity. What exact would happen? Anytime I eat something with gluten in it, my stomach would freaks out. I’ll save you the details, but I knew I had to change some things. 

WHY SOURDOUGH THEN?

The wild yeast and bacteria in a sourdough starter break down some of the carbohydrates and proteins found in flour, making it much easier to digest. It’s a super amazing process and a little strange. We’ve been told that bacteria is bad, but not in sourdough. Bacteria ward harmful bacteria and help make some food more nutritious. Farm House on Boone has an extensive list of all the benefits here

Step by Step Guide to making your own sourdough starter

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.

EASY PEESY LEMON SQUEEZY

It really is easy, but I think the reason people don’t make their own starter is they don’t know where to start and don’t know what to do with it when they do. There are tons of recipes on Pinterest for sourdough, literally thousands and thousands. My most favorite of all time is to make banana bread and cinnamon rolls with sourdough, which I’ll share the recipe for in a later blog post, but first you have to make your starter. 

STEPS TO MAKING YOUR OWN SOURDOUGH STARTER

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Any flour you want to use, but we like organic unbleached all-purpose

2.  Filtered Water-the key to using water without chlorine, which will cause the stater to die. We have this one in our refrigerator to use daily. We would eventually love a Berkey, but for the time being…we’re making do with what we have. 

Yes, that is all the ingredients you need. 

TOOLS: 

  1. A glass bowl (don’t use a metal one-it can react with the sourdough)
  2. Wooden spoon
  3. Thin tea towel

DIRECTIONS:

Day 1: Mix 1 cup flour and 1 cup water, stirring to make sure all the flour and water has been incorporated. Let it sit on the counter with a tea towel over it for 24 hours. 

Day 2: Discard (throw out) 1/2 of the flour/water mixture and repeat day 1 process. Mix 1 cup water and 1 cup flour into your bowel, mix, and place on the counter for 24 hours. Don’t forget to cover it with your towel. I use the same towel over and over again. No one has time for that much wash. 

Side note: If you feel bad discarding 1/2 of it, you can always start a brand new starter with that leftover to give to a neighbor or friend. I’ve personally done this. 

Day 3, 4, & 5: Follow Day 2’s instructions. Discard half, then mix 1 cup water, 1 cup flour, mix, let sit for 24 hours. 

Day 6 & 7: You will follow the exact same steps as before, but instead of every 24 hours, you will repeat the process every 12 hours. 

Congratulations. You just made a sourdough starter. You should have enough beneficial bacteria to make anything your heart desires. 

HOW TO KEEP IT ALIVE

Sounds weird saying keep it alive, but it’s true. If you plan on using your sourdough starter everyday, then you need to feed it everyday (see step 2), and keep it on your counter, if not, then put it in an air-tight container and place it in the back of your refrigerator. Again, Farm House on Boone has an amazing article on how to care for your starter here. She is my person for all things sourdough. 

Side note: If you’re planning on storing it in the refrigerator, make sure you take it out weekly, let it sit on your counter for a few hours, “feed it,” and then you can put it back up. 

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