With just flour and water you can grow sourdough starter to make delicious crusty bread, pizza dough, biscuits and more—the sourdough starter is what makes bread rise! It’s easy to make a sourdough starter right at home with our simple method.
While it takes some patience for the starter to naturally ferment, you’ll be rewarded with a sourdough starter that can lift dough and add delicious flavor to your baked goods. Try this simple and easy kitchen project today and enjoy a loaf of crusty bread next week!
What is a Sourdough Starter?
Flour and water ferment and create a “wild” yeast that makes up the sourdough starter. This combination of “wild” yeast and bacteria make sourdough bread rise. The lactobacillus bacteria in the sourdough starter gives it that delicious “sourdough” taste that we love.
How To Make Sourdough Starter
Add ½ cup whole wheat flour and ¼ cup warm water (100°F) to a jar. We use the GoodCook Touch Measuring Cups for measuring out the flour and water. One quart glass mason jars work well to hold the starter. Mix the flour and water with a GoodCook Spatula and let sit at room temperature for 12 hours. You may or may not see bubbling activity within the first 24 hours. By around day 3 you should see bubbles forming in the starter, indicating that the starter is becoming active and multiplying.
Pour half the sourdough starter into a measuring cup, leaving the other half in the glass mason jar. Discard the sourdough starter in the measuring cup.
Add another ½ cup whole wheat flour and ¼ cup water to the sourdough starter in the glass mason jar. Repeat this process of discarding and feeding the sourdough starter every 12 hours for 6 days.
Making Sourdough Bread
Need a sourdough bread recipe to test out your tarter? We love the Perfectly Crusty Sourdough Bread For Beginners recipe from Bigger Bolder Baker. Use 1/2 cup of the sourdough starter to make bread. Store the remaining starter in the refrigerator. Feed the starter (1/2 cup whole wheat flour, ¼ cup water) at least once a week, discarding any liquid on the top before adding the flour and water.
What Can You Use The Sourdough Starter For?
- Sourdough bread
- Pizza dough
- Sourdough cake
- Pie Crust
Sourdough Starter Tips
- If your water is high in chlorine, use distilled water.
- Cover the glass sourdough starter jar with either a cloth fastened with a rubber band or a lid sealed on top of the jar.
- Make sure your container has enough room for the sourdough starter to rise and expand.
- When the sourdough starter is active, it should double or triple in volume between feedings.
- If your sourdough starter is sluggish, go through the feeding process for another week before baking.
Make delicious crusty bread with this simple and easy homemade sourdough starter. The GoodCook line of cookware, bakeware and kitchen accessories has everything you need to get started. A set of GoodCook Touch Measuring Cups and a GoodCook Spatula are all you need to start. Are you ready to make a starter for a loaf of delicious crusty sourdough bread?
Make & Share
If you try this recipe at home, we’d love to see a photo of it! Snap a picture and upload to Instagram. Don’t forget to tag us @goodcook.com #goodcookcom
- Whole Wheat Flour
In a quart sized mason jar, combine 1⁄2 cup of whole wheat flour, and 1⁄4 cup water. Cover the jar with a lid, but don’t seal it completely so that built up gasses can escape. Set aside for at least 12 hours out of direct sunlight.
12-24 hours later, discard half of your mixture and add another 1⁄2 cup of flour & another 1⁄4 cup of water. Repeat this discarding and feeding process every 12 hours for 6 days. After days 2-3, your sourdough may have a rotten or sour smell. Continue to feed until the starter smells pleasant and yeasty. This is the point at which it can be baked with.
Continue to feed your starter every 12-24 hours to keep it alive.