Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How To Make a Sourdough Bread Starter

I have become mildly obsessed with baking my own bread. I love the way it makes our home smell, and especially love the fact that I am controlling the ingredients that my family is consuming. Have you ever had sourdough bread? It. is. amazing. Warm sourdough bread with a glass of sweet tea...I need to just stop thinking about it since it will be several days before I actually get to eat it. I found this starter recipe on allrecipes.com.

Sourdough bread starters have to ferment for 4-8 days before they're ready for use, but the starter can be used over and over again. As you remove one cup for baking bread, simply add one cup water and one cup of flour with a pinch of sugar to keep your starter going.

I'll post my sour dough bread recipe when my starter is ready to bake.


1 package active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large glass bowl, add the yeast, water, and flour. Cover this loosely and place the bowl on a cookie sheet to catch any overflow. Leave sitting in a warm place for 4-8 days. You'll know it's ready when it has a nice sour smell and is bubbly. After it is ready to use, you can transfer it to the refrigerator until you are ready to bake. Note: If the starter has a pink or orange tint to it, throw it out and start over.

Remember that whatever amount you remove for baking, you need to replace it with the same amount of water and flour, with a pinch of sugar. (Example: Remove 1.5 cups of starter, replace with 1.5 cups water & 1.5 cups flour, and a pinch of sugar.) Allow it to sit out on the counter again until bubbly, and then place it in the frige.
You may notice a clear or brown liquid on the top of the starter. This is alcohol that is created during fermentation. Just stir it back into the starter. It will cook out during baking time, so no worries.

Your starter will get better and better as it ages. Enjoy your bread!


  1. I had a starter that an elderly friend shared. It kind of sounds gross, but it had been passed down from her great-grandmother, so it could have seriously been around a hundred years old. I lost mine during the first few weeks of my pregnancy and when I called to see if I could get more, she said that someone in the family had been in the hospital and she had lost her starter. Seriously, I could have cried. It was the best!!

    I know exactly what you mean about sourdough bread and sweet tea. I think I'm going to start making bread again!!!

  2. This sounds so neat. I think I might try it.

  3. When life slows down from homestudy stuff for the adoption I am SO doing this!!

  4. You have great ideas!! Thanks for sharing your link. I know I have been here before.

  5. You have no idea how excited I am to find a starter recipe! I have looked for one for a long time, but they have all been too complicated. I am a sourdough bread addict!

  6. So, when you say warm place, what does that mean exactly? Where do you keep yours?