How to Start and Feed your Starter?
There are only two things you need to start your starter:
Using flour with a higher percentage of bran and husk will have more of their own wild yeasts and bacteria attached to the flour and hence is guaranteed to give you results.
That is why using a whole organic grain-like whole wheat or rye is recommended for starting a starter from scratch.
That being said you can use any type of flour that you have handy.
If you had seen our Instagram bake along series, you might be knowing that I tried making starter from bread flour, APF and also whole wheat flour with same results.
Use filtered water.
Chlorinated water can contaminate the starter.
Here is the recipe to make your own Sourdough Starter from scratch:
Weigh the glass jar. Press Tare.
Add 50 gms flour and 50 gms warm water.
Mix well so that you see no bits of dry well. Cover the jar loosely with a lid.
Set it in a warm place on your counter top itself.
If it is too cold in where you are living like I do.. It is winters in New Zealand now so I set it up in my oven with lights on but the oven was off.
Pat you back as you have just started your own Starter.
By the way now is the time to name your Starter.. I have named mine “Pebbles”.
What is your Starter’s Name?? Leave a comment below or share it with me on Instagram.
Come back on the same time.
So if you fed your starter at 8 am on Day 1 then come back at 8 am on Day 2.
You have to understand that Yeast is a live culture and just like your pet it gets trained to feed time too.
So select a time with which you can stick too for 7-15 days after that the YEAST will look after you 🙂
So on Day 2 –
Give a quick stir to degas the starter.
Remove (Discard) 50 gms of Starter.
Feed 25 gms Flour and 25 gms Water.
Give a mix and let it sit for 24 hours.
You might observe great activity on day 2 and day 3.. too much bubbling and rising of the dough..
It is actually the bad bacteria getting killed.
The smell of the starter will also indicate the same.
It smelled like dirty socks to me.. GROSS!!! But that’s how it would be.. so unpleasant to begin with.
The consistency of the starter was also quite stringy
Give a quick mix to degas.
Discard 50 gms. Feed 25+25 and give a good mix. Set aside for 24 hours.
You may or may not observe a brown line on Day 3.
This is called as HOOCH.
It means that the starter is hungry and needs more feeding.
I got this line on Day 3 so I fed Pebbles twice a day on Day 3 but if you do not then simply continue feeding once a day.
Degas. Discard 50 gms. Feed 25+25 Flour:Water.
I observed very few small bubbles. But no rising and no major activity.
Since I observed HOOCH on Day 3 I fed Pebbles twice even today.
If you do not get the HOOCH continue feeding once a day.
Degas and follow the same procedure.
Discard 50 gms. Feed 25+25 Flour:Water.
Again I did not find any major activities going on. It had some bubbles on the surface indicating that it was alive.
No Rising was observed.
Follow the drill – Degas, Discard 50 gms, Feed 25+25 Flour:Water.
Some say your starter will be matured by day 7 and it is perfectly fine to use it.
But after reading multiple (in fact all the) blogs on the internet I learned that the starter needs a minimum of 10-15 days to mature completely.
So we will continue feeding the starter for 15 days.
On Day 7 it is said that you will start observing the same activity as you did on Day 2.
That is once you feed the starter in about 4-6 hours of the time the starter should double in size.
I did observe rising in the starter in the stipulated 4-6 hours time duration but only in my bread flour based starter and not in others.
There were also some big and small bubbles.
You may or may not observe rising or bubbling activity but just keep going.
The only thing changed was the smell.. It started smelling pleasant and more like a IDLI DOSA batter to me.
Day 8 – Day 14
We will now start feeding our starter twice a day in a span of 12 hours.
Yes it is now a toddler from baby stage 😉 and needs feeding twice a day.
The pattern remains the same.
Degas, Discard 50 gms and Feed 25+25 gms Water:Flour.
Only thing is you will now feed the starter at 8 am and 8 pm too as per the example that I stated above.
Observe the smell and rising each day.
You will notice that it is now starting to smell more bread like.
The final day of feeding.
Feed it twice as we did all these days.
After the second feed it is ready to go in the fridge to be stored forever or you can use it to make bread.
Check out How to store and care for the Starter section for the details on storing the Starter.
You also have to use the starter when it is at its peak.
Check out what is the peak stage from out FAQ setion.
I made my first bread using Starter from Day 13.
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How to make Sourdough Starter
- 600 gms Flour of choice
- 600 gms Water
Day 1 :
- In a clean glass container, add 50 gms Flour and 50 gms Warm Water.
- Give a good mix so that there are no dry bits of flour left out in the jar.
- Cover loosely and let it sit for 24 hours at room temperature. If it is too cold at your place you can place it under the oven lights with the oven being switched off.
Day 2 – Day 7 : Feed once a day
- On Day 2, stir the starter in the jar to degas.
- Discard 50 gms of starter and feed fresh 25 gms of flour and 25 gms of water.
- Give a quick stir so that there are no dry flour left out.
- Cover loosely and let it stand for 24 hours and then repeat the steps till day 7
Day 8 – Day 15: Feed twice a day
- On Day 8, Morning: stir the starter in the jar to degas.
- Discard 50 gms of Starter, feed 25 gms Flour and Water. Stir to mix and let is stand for 12 hours at room temperature.
- Day 8: Evening: Again follow the steps of degassing, discarding and feeding the starter.
- From Day 8 to Day 15 we will be feeding the starter twice a day in a span of 12 hours.
- Your starter is now ready to be used to bake bread.
- After reading multiple (actually all the) blogs on the internet I have come to the conclusion that the starter needs at least 15 days of feeding to mature completely. In my personal experience too, the started showed activities only after day 10.
- Every starter is different so my observations might not match yours. But just keep in mind that unless you add hot water there is no chance of killing the yeast so just be patient and keep going.
- After day 7 you will start observing a slight rise in the starter and the smell would also change to fruity and alcoholic
- Check out the other sections on how to maintain and care for the starter.
- I observed hooch on day 3 so I fed my starter twice a day on day 3 and day 4 and from day 5 onwards continued with the recipe.
All it takes is 2 ingredients and patience to make your own Sourdough Starter.
So what are you waiting for join us in this and you will have your own starter ready to be used in recipes of your choice