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Homemade Sourdough Starter

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Making Sourdough from Scratch

Making Sourdough from Scratch

Jennifer McGavin
A true sourdough starter is flour and water which is exposed to the microorganisms in the air and in the flour, either outside or inside the house. It starts growing in 2-3 days.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 2 c. flour (white or whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 c. unclorinated water (let water sit for 24 hours or use bottled)


Mix flour and water in a 2 quart bowl, stirring well to incorporate air. Cover with a layer of cheesecloth to keep the bugs out and place in a spot of your choosing, either inside or outside. Stir twice a day. When bubbles form in 2 or 3 days, start feeding your new culture.

Add 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup dechlorinated water and stir. Add a little more water, if necessary, to have the same consistency you started with.

Repeat feeding twice a day for several successive days. You may want to divide or throw away part of the culture. Keep at least 2 cups and feed with 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup water.

The starter is active when 1 to 2 inches of foam develop on the top within 12 hours of feeding. You may then refrigerate it.

If the starter begins to have any off-odors or mold growing on top, you will have to throw it out.

Feeding a culture

If you use part of the culture, feed it by adding 1 cup flour and 3/4 cup water to the left-over culture. Let it sit 1 hour at room temperature, then refrigerate.

If you do not use the culture, you should still feed it. If the culture is unrefrigerated, you must feed it once a day.
If the culture is refrigerated, feed it once a week. If you neglect it for several weeks, the culture might die.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
Sourdough Starter, Member JanMowbray

The water to flour needs to be equal. There isn't enough water in this recipe. It dried out while waiting to ferment. I threw it out and started over with equal amounts of water and flour. It's going well now.

8 out of 9 people found this helpful.

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