Jar of sourdough starter, flowing over edges

Sourdough starter

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(10 ratings)

5 days feeding the starter, chilling and cooling

More effort

Makes 2 loaves (12-15 slices each)

Learn how to make a bubbling sourdough starter using white bread flour and water. After feeding the starter for five days, you can use it to make a sourdough loaf

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition:

  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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Ingredients

  • 250g strong white bread flour, preferably organic or stoneground

Method

  1. Day 1:

    To begin your starter, mix 50g flour with 50g tepid water in a jar or, better still, a plastic container. Make sure all the flour is incorporated and leave, semi-uncovered, at room temperature for 24 hrs. 

  2. Day 2:

    Mix 50g flour with 50g tepid water and stir into yesterday’s mixture. Make sure all the flour is incorporated and leave, semi-uncovered, at room temperature for another 24 hrs.

  3. Day 3:

    Mix 50g flour with 50g tepid water and stir into yesterday’s mixture. Make sure all the flour is incorporated and leave, semi-uncovered, at room temperature for another 24 hrs.

  4. Day 4:

    You should start to see some activity in the mixture now; there should be some bubbles forming and bubbling on top. Mix 50g flour with 50g tepid water and stir into yesterday’s mixture. Make sure all the flour is incorporated and leave, semi-uncovered, at room temperature for another 24 hrs.

  5. Day 5:

    The mixture should be very active now and ready for making your levain (starter). If it’s not bubbling, continue to feed it on a daily basis until it does. When it’s ready, it should smell like yogurt. 

  6. You now have a starter, which is the base to the bread. You’ll need to look after it, but naming is optional! Keep it in the fridge (it will stay dormant) and 24 hrs before you want to use it, pour half of it off and feed it with 100g flour and 100g water. Leave it at room temperature and it should become active again. The longer the starter has been dormant, the more times it will need to be refreshed – the process of pouring off half the starter and replacing it with new flour and water – to reactivate. If your starter is ready to use, a teaspoonful of the mixture should float in warm water.

    The starter can now be used to make white sourdough bread.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Dominika Kaliszewska's picture
Dominika Kaliszewska
24th Mar, 2020
I don't discard the starter - such a waste and keep it in room temperature because I bake 3 times a week,
DjBgc
23rd Mar, 2020
5.05
Fun activity when isolating!! ....saves money and makes food!
Ellie Upton's picture
Ellie Upton
7th Apr, 2020
Hi! What should the consistency of the starter be like? I measured it all out exactly but it seems to be quite thick, just checking that's okay? Thanks
Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
Esther_Deputyfo...
7th Apr, 2020
Hello! Esther from the food team here. It should be a thick, bubbling batter type consistency. But should drop off the spoon in a gloopy way! Thanks for your question.
Crowters
7th Apr, 2020
Each time I feed it, should I pour some away?
Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
Esther_Deputyfo...
7th Apr, 2020
Hello! Esther from the food team here. Yes pour half away (or use it in your loaf) and feed with 100g water and 100g strong bread four. Thanks for your question.
clairywairy1983
5th Apr, 2020
What do you mean by semi-uncovered? Like a teatowel half over the bowl? Would that work?
Barney Good Food's picture
Barney Good Food
6th Apr, 2020
5.05
A tea towel would be great or just the lid ajar.
smuncer
31st Mar, 2020
5.05
When storing in the fridge, should the jar be sealed, or semi uncovered like during the feeding stage?
Barney Good Food's picture
Barney Good Food
1st Apr, 2020
5.05
Hi, sorry we didn't make this clearer, when it's in the fridge it should be covered.
Yukes
26th Mar, 2020
what would happen if I make the starter using the half of ingredients?
Barney Good Food's picture
Barney Good Food
1st Apr, 2020
5.05
It won't be that easy to mix, we've gone with the minimum amount of ingredients you need to make this starter.

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