Creating a sourdough starter takes some patience and a little work but nothing that is not manageable! Today I will share with you all how to make your own sourdough starter and what worked and did not work for me. I won’t be going into the specifics on why a sourdough starter is great or why live yeast is better than instant yeast in a packet. I’m sure you have already reserarched that and that is the reason you are looking to create one!
First lets start off with what you need:
Flour (I use organic unbleached all purpose- no bleached flours, Whole Wheat works great, Gluten Free Flour Blend, etc.)
Water (It has to be filtered water not even the water from my filtered fridge worked you either have to buy filtered water from the store or if you have a Berkey or Aquatru water system those are both great)
Big glass bowl or mason jar (see picture) No metal bowls, no mixing with metal spoons, nothing with metal as it can react with the yeast.
Wooden spoon or Silicone spoon for mixing
Okay so the first thing you are going to do is take a cup of filtered water and a cup of flour and add it to your big glass bowl or mason jar. Mix it together. It will have a pancake batter consistency. Scrape the sides and mix together as well trying to get as much of everything mixed as you can. Once that is done let it sit out for 24 hours. Cover loosely with hand towel or coffee filter or whatever you have on hand that will let the starter still breathe a bit and isn’t secured with a lid.
So here is where I failed with my first starter. I keep my house at 68-69 degrees. We like it cold. So leaving my starter on the counter did not cut it. I ended up placing it in a cabinet close to my oven to get my starter to mature by day 8. So I would save yourself the hassle and just store it in a cabinet by your oven or if your house is still too cold (which mine was at one point) then place your starter in the oven with the oven light on but the oven OFF! Make sure to have a reminder note so you don’t turn your oven on forgetting your starter is in there and then you kill it.
After 24 hours on day two discard half of your sourdough starter. You want to do this because it makes sure that all the beneficial bacteria and yeast have a good ratio discarding will ensure of that. After you discarded half add in another cup of flour and water and mix well again. Let it sit out for 24 hours and repeat this same process until you hit day 6.
Once you hit day 6 feed your starter every 12 hours (doing the same thing as before even discarding half just doing it more frequently now)
By day 7 your starter should be good to go! Remember I find that letting it sit out on the counter just doesn’t do it for my starter due to keeping it cold in my house so placing it in a cabinet near oven or in the oven with the oven turned off just the light on really did wonders for my starter.
To maintain your starter you keep it in the fridge and feed it once a week or more depending on how often you will use it. I use my starter for sourdough pizza on Friday so on Thursday I pull out my starter in the morning feed it and then it will be ready for me to use on Friday! If you leave your starter out on the counter you need to feed it every day, which I doubt you will use it everyday that’s a TON of baking haha.
I hope this helps and I hope you create a sourdough starter! Check out my sourdough banana bread recipe and my sourdough pizza recipe! Enjoy!