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Tips for making sourdough starter that you can use in recipes for years to come

Sourdough starter is what is used to make the bread rise. It's made by combining water and flour. Making your own starter can be intimidating since it does take time and care.

Making sourdough bread at home has been a growing trend. 

With the help of social media, beginner bakers have been making recipes at home with guided instruction. 

The process of making sourdough bread is a bit different from other baked goods. It uses a starter to rise, rather than traditional yeast. 


The process of making sourdough starter can be intimidating because it does take a fair amount of care and time to get one going. 

But don’t worry. 

This guide will provide you with all the knowledge you need to make your very own sourdough starter.

Sourdough starter at its core is actually quite simple. 

Sourdough starter is made by combining flour and water. This mixture naturally ferments and is used to make dough rise. 

It depends. On average, it takes about a week before your starter will be ready to bake. 


You’ll want to test your own starter to determine whether it’s ready to bake. 

Visually, when your starter is ready to bake with, it will double in size after each feeding. You can determine how much your starter grows by marking your jar with an elastic band.

An easy way to know for sure if your starter is ready is with a float test. Fill a bowl with water, take a spoonful of your starter out of the jar and place it into the bowl of water. If your starter floats, you’re good to go. If it sinks to the bottom, give it more time before using it to bake. 

It sure is, if you love fresh homemade bread, that is. Of course, you can easily buy a loaf of sourdough bread from your local grocery store or bakery. But if you want to challenge yourself to making the bread yourself, then having a starter is a step you’ll need to take. 

You can make sourdough bread without your own starter by either borrowing from a friend who already has an established starter or buying starter online, either dehydrated or fresh.

That said, many bakers take pride in their own sourdough starters. Some use the starter to make hundreds of loaves and keep it for many years. Some people even pass down their starters to their kids or even grandkids. For those reasons, many people do choose to make their own, but there are other ways to get delicious sourdough bread without starting your starter from scratch. 

Making sourdough starter is really pretty easy. Keeping up with it is the hard part.

First, you’re going to need a jar. You can get one with or without a lid. Either will work just fine.

To begin your starter, you’ll start with one cup of flour and a half cup of water. The King Arthur website notes to start with pumpernickel flour or whole wheat flour. 


Mix the flour and water well and scrape down the sides of your jar. Check the consistency of your starter. You should have a batter-like consistency. If it’s too liquid, add more flour. If it’s too thick, slowly add more water.

If you have a jar with a cover, gently place the cover onto the jar but don’t snap it shut. If you don’t have a cover, you can simply cover it up with a cloth secured with a rubber band. 

The following day, it’s time to feed your starter for the first time. Discard half of the starter, and add one cup of flour and a half cup of water. Give it a good mix and cover it up again. You’re going to repeat this process of discarding half and adding flour and water until your starter is ready to bake with.

Once your starter is ready to bake with, you can, of course, make sourdough bread, but you can also make cookies, cinnamon rolls, pizza dough and more delicious baked goods. 

Making sourdough starter can be daunting, but once you get into the flow of routine feedings, it will be a lot easier to manage. Try to feed your starter around the same time each day for the best results and so that you can work the process into your daily schedule with ease. 

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