How to Make Your Own Sour Dough Starter

Do you love sourdough bread? Making your starter is a fun and easy way to enjoy this delicious type of bread. We will walk you through the steps to make your very own sourdough starter in this post. 

This simple process only requires a few ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Once you have made your starter, you can use it to make delicious sourdough bread, pancakes, waffles, and more.

What Is Sour Dough Starter?

Sour dough starter is a mix of flour and water used to leaven bread. It contains wild yeast and bacteria, which give sourdough its characteristic tangy flavor and chewy texture. 

Making your sourdough starter is easy and only requires a few ingredients: flour, water, and time. Once you have made your starter, you can use it to make all kinds of delicious sourdough recipes like bread, pizza crusts, crackers, and more.

How to Make Sour Dough Starter – Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Start Making it in the Morning/Night Before

You will need: 

  • All-purpose flour
  • Active dry yeast
  • Lukewarm water
  1. Mix flour and yeast in a large bowl. Slowly add lukewarm water until the mixture is the consistency of pancake batter. Then, cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm place overnight/for 12 hours. 
  2. The following day/after 12 hours, your starter should be bubbly and have doubled in size. If it hasn’t, give it a few more hours. Once it has doubled in size, you’re ready to move on to the next step. 
  3. “Feed” Your Starter 

To “feed” your starter, you will need: 

  • All-purpose flour
  • Lukewarm water
  1. Every day, twice a day (morning and night), mix equal parts flour and lukewarm water. 
  2. For example, if you use ½ cup of starter, mix ½ cup of flour and ½ cup of lukewarm water. Stir until the mixture is smooth, then cover and set aside in a warm place. 
  3. You should see bubbles begin to form within 24 hours. If you don’t, your starter may be too cold or too old – you will need to start over. 
  4. Once your starter is bubbling, it is ready to use! Congratulations! You have now made your sourdough starter from scratch!

How Does Sour Dough Starter Smell?

The starter will have a yeasty smell, similar to beer. However, if your starter smells sour, that is normal and means the fermentation process is working. If your starter has mold, you will need to start over with a new batch.

What Is the Ideal Consistency for a Sour Dough Starter?

The ideal consistency for a sour dough starter is thick and creamy. It should not be too runny or too dry. An excellent way to test the consistency of your starter is to take a small amount of it on your finger and then touch the tip of your tongue to it. 

The starter should be slightly acidic but not so acidic that it makes your tongue feel burning.

Once you’ve achieved the ideal consistency for your sour dough starter, you need to feed it. To do this, add equal parts flour and water to the starter and stir until well combined. Allow the mixture to sit out at room temperature for several hours before using it in any recipes. 

You can store sourdough starters in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When ready to use it again, remove it from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before feeding it again.

Preparing Starter for Sourdough

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