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How to Make Sourdough Starter

How to Make Sourdough Starter

Want to make some delicious bread but don’t have any yeast? This Sourdough Starter Recipe can help you make soft and fluffy bread without using yeast. Made with just 2 ingredients, it’s easy to make your perfect bread at home using this recipe!

Making bread at home isn’t difficult as you only need water, flour and yeast. The first two ingredients will be already in your kitchen and you can get yeast from a nearby store. But what if you can’t get yeast? Should you give up your idea of making fluffy and soft bread at home?

No, try this sourdough starter recipe that doesn’t use yeast but makes perfect and tasty bread that you’ll love. Sourdough starter is as healthy as other bread because the ingredients are the same; it just skips yeast.

If you love making yummy bread at home, you need to check our Incredibly Easy Air Fryer Cornbread recipe, which is quick, easy and delish.

Try it once and you’ll make it over and over again!

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Jar of sourdough starter with ingredients around it.

Why You’ll Love This Easy Sourdough Starter Recipe

  • The sourdough starter makes very tasty, dense yet light bread
  • It doesn’t use any artificial ingredients, in fact you only nee 2 ingredients.
  • You know what your starter is made of and how to control the quantity of any ingredient.
  • It’s easy to make at home.
  • Cheaper to make your own sourdough bread than to buy a loaf at the grocery store

Want more easy to make recipes that can help you save money? Try our homemade syrup recipe.

Ingredients

You’ll need the following ingredients to make a sourdough starter: 

  • All-purpose flour 
  • Filtered water 
Ingredients needed to make sourdough starter- flour and water.

Tools Needed

Mason jars for storing

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Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet, 2-Pack, Silver
  • Naturals commercial bakeware is made of pure aluminum which will never rust for a lifetime of durability. For sweet or savory baking; from cookies to sheet pan dinners, this is the pan you’ll reach for.

Wooden spoon for stirring

Sale
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet, 2-Pack, Silver
  • Naturals commercial bakeware is made of pure aluminum which will never rust for a lifetime of durability. For sweet or savory baking; from cookies to sheet pan dinners, this is the pan you’ll reach for.

Measuring cups

Sale
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet, 2-Pack, Silver
  • Naturals commercial bakeware is made of pure aluminum which will never rust for a lifetime of durability. For sweet or savory baking; from cookies to sheet pan dinners, this is the pan you’ll reach for.

Dishcloth

Sale
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet, 2-Pack, Silver
  • Naturals commercial bakeware is made of pure aluminum which will never rust for a lifetime of durability. For sweet or savory baking; from cookies to sheet pan dinners, this is the pan you’ll reach for.

How to Make Sourdough Starter

Although this recipe uses only two ingredients, you have to wait a few days before you can finally use your starter.

But you can deal with this by making and storing it in bulk, so you can use bc it whenever you want. Here is how you can make a sourdough starter:

  • Day 1 – Add the flour and warm water into your Mason Jar. Mix them together well using a wooden spoon. Then cover the bowl with a cloth, such as a clean kitchen towel, and leave it on the countertop at room temperature. Note the exact time you finished mixing and covered your starter.
  • Day 2 – At the same time, on the next day, remove half of the mixture from the jar. You can use this discarded mixture for some other recipes (our sourdough discard recipes are coming next!) or throw it away. Now add a cup of water and another cup of flour to the jar and mix well with your wooden spoon. Once mixed well, cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave for a day.
  • Day 3-5 – Repeat the same process from day 2 after every 24 hours on the upcoming days till day 5.
  • Day 6-7 – Every 12 hours repeat the process from day 2-5, instead of waiting 24 hours.
  • After day 7 – Store in the refrigerator. Feed it every week to maintain the taste and texture of your starter. As you use some, replace it.
First couple steps of making sourdough starter in a bowl.
In process collage images of making sourdough starter.

Helpful Tips 

Follow the following tips to make the best starter:

  • Always use the same type of flour for making a sourdough starter. If you’ve used all purpose flour, then use only all purpose flour every time you feed your starter. If you use organic flour, continue using that, don’t switch to whole-grain flour or anything different than what you’re using when you start a new starter.
  • Never use tap water for your starter. The bacteria and chemicals in tap water can slow down the fermentation process and can actually kill your active starter. 
  • Avoid cooler temperatures, it’s always a good idea to keep it in a warm place only. Storing in a cold place will affect fermentation. 
  • If you’re worried about the cover coming off your sourdough starter, use a rubber band to hold the towel on top of the jar. If you don’t have a clean towel to use, you can use some plastic wrap.
  • Always use a clean jar when making your own sourdough starter.
  • If this is your first time making this, have patience and plenty of it.
  • When you discard the starter it can intimidate people, sometimes, it’s easier to use a digital scale to see how much starter you took out so you know how much flour and water to add back in.
  • You can make this with different types of flour, just continue to use whatever kind you started with throughout the whole process.
  • We like to use a mason jar for storing, feeding, etc, but you can use whatever glass container you have.
Jar of starter close up in a horizontal shot.

Recipe Ideas to Make With Sourdough Discard

Want something else to make with your starter after you have made some tasty homemade bread?

Here are some recipes we will have for your VERY soon.

  • Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls using Sourdough Discard
  • Sourdough Pancakes using Sourdough Discard

FAQ 

How do you make a sourdough starter? 

To make a sourdough starter, mix water and flour, let it rest and grow. As mentioned in the recipe instructions, you’ll have to repeat the process for a few days. Be patient and follow the recipe as it is to get the best results.

Do you have to discard sourdough starter every time you feed it? 

Yes, you have to discard sourdough starter every time you feed it. It’s essential for the following reasons: 

  • Control the starter’s growth; if not discarded, it will grow exponentially and become hard to handle. 
  • Helps to maintain the acidity of the starter. 
  • It’s essential for keeping your starter healthy. 

But don’t worry, that starter will be put to good use in our starter discard recipes.

How long does it take to make sourdough starter? 

You’ll have to wait about a week to make the sourdough starter. It also depends on the amount of starter ingredients; if you’re making a large amount, you might have to wait even longer.

Jar of starter.

What is so special about sourdough starter?

Instead of artificial yeast, the sourdough starter gets the yeast required for fermentation naturally.

Natural yeast is healthier than store-bought yeast and can promote the growth of healthy bacteria, which will improve your gut health and overall health.

So, if you have to choose between the regular store bought bread and making your own with sourdough starter, this recipe can get an easy win every time

Best flour for sourdough starter

Personally, we think bread flour. is the best flour for sourdough starter. You can use any wheat or grain flour for a homemade sourdough starter, like with this recipe we used all-purpose flour since that is what we had on hand, but if you have it, try. touse bread flour and see how it works out for you.

How do you know when you have a dead or bad sourdough starter

If your starter starts to show mold on it, the starter has gone bad and should be tossed. If you forgot to feed it for a long time and it doesn’t respond to feeding or tending to it, it is a dead sourdough starter. We think the best way to test it would be to try to feed it for a few sessions and see if it has any life left, otherwise if you’re not seeing a lot of bubbles, the remaining starter needs to be tossed out and you need to start over.

A healthy starter will react and have lots of bubbles as it ferments with the active yeast, giving you a delicious sligh sour flavor when you use the discard for other recipes.

Jar of starter.

Other Healthy Homemade Recipes 

Making various everyday ingredients and recipes at home saves you money and is better for you- less artificial ingredients, preservatives and additives.

Here are some recipes you must try, and you’ll forget about the store-bought versions!

Close up image of sourdough starter.

How to Make Sourdough Starter

Mason Jar Recipe
Make your own sourdough starter with 2 simple ingredients. Learn how and when to feed and discard your starter for best starter health.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup flour all purpose
  • 1 cup filtered water

Instructions
 

  • Day 1 – Add the flour and warm water into your Mason Jar. Mix them together well using a wooden spoon. Then cover the bowl with a cloth, such as a clean kitchen towel, and leave it on the countertop at room temperature. Note the exact time you finished mixing and covered your starter.
  • Day 2 – At the same time, on the next day, remove half of the mixture from the jar. You can use this discarded mixture for some other recipes (our sourdough discard recipes are coming next!) or throw it away. Now add a cup of water and another cup of flour to the jar and mix well with your wooden spoon. Once mixed well, cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave for a day.
  • Day 3-5 – Repeat the same process from day 2 after every 24 hours on the upcoming days till day 5.
  • Day 6-7 – Every 12 hours repeat the process from day 2-5, instead of waiting 24 hours.
  • After day 7 – Store in the refrigerator. Feed it every week to maintain the taste and texture of your starter. As you use some, replace it.
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Jar of sourdough starter and text overlay.
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