This homemade sourdough starter recipe is the jumping-off point to making your own whole-grain sourdough bread (see associated recipe) at home. You need just two ingredients to make this starter--flour and water--but it takes at least 5 days for the starter to develop. Then, once it's ready, it's easy to maintain. Just store it in the refrigerator and feed it according to the directions below. Each time you feed the starter you discard half of it--but don't throw it away! It's perfect for using in pancakes or waffles.

Elisabeth Almekinder
Source: EatingWell.com, June 2018

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Recipe Summary

active:
1 hr
total:
5 days
Servings:
24
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Day 1: Combine 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour and 1/2 cup of water in a 2-quart plastic or glass container. Do not use a metal container. Stir until the flour and water are well mixed. No dry flour should remain. Cover the container with plastic wrap or a loose-fitting lid. If you are using a glass jar, do not tighten the lid. Expanding gasses can break the glass. Let the mixture sit for 24 hours in a warm place, 75-90 degrees F. If the temperature is lower, the starter may take a few days longer to fully develop.

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  • Day 2: Discard half the starter, leaving 4 ounces in the container. Add 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour and 1/2 cup of water. Stir well and cover loosely. Let the starter sit for 24 hours. Near the end of day 2, the mixture should have expanded a little and some small bubbles should have appeared.

  • Day 3: Repeat the feeding process from Step 2, discarding half the starter and adding 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour and 1/2 cup of water.

  • Day 4: The starter should have expanded and should have a distinct, sour odor. More bubbles should be visible on top. Begin a 12-hour feeding schedule: In the morning, repeat the feeding process from Step 2, discarding half the starter and adding 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour and 1/2 cup of water. Repeat the feeding process again 12 hours later.

  • Day 5: The starter should have a ripe, sour odor. Small bubbles should be abundant throughout the mixture. Discard half the starter, leaving 4 ounces in the container. This time, feed with 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour and 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup water. Continue the 12-hour feeding schedule, discarding half the starter and using 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour and 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup water for each feed until you are ready to bake. Or, store the starter in the refrigerator and feed once per week.

Associated Recipes

Nutrition Facts

17 calories; protein 0.5g 1% DV; carbohydrates 3.6g 1% DV; dietary fiber 0.1g 1% DV; soluble fiberg; insoluble fiber 0.1g; sugarsg; monosaccharidesg; disaccharidesg; other carbs 3.4g; fatg; saturated fatg; mono fatg; poly fatg; trans fatty acidg; cholesterolmg; water 25.2g; ashg; vitamin a iuIU; vitamin a reRE; vitamin a carotenoidRE; vitamin a retinolRE; vitamin a carotenemcg; vitamin b1 thiaminmg; vitamin b2 riboflavinmg; vitamin b3 niacin 0.3mg; niacin equivalents 0.4mg 2% DV; vitamin b6mg; vitamin b12mcg; vitamin cmg; vitamin d iuIU; vitamin d mcgmcg; vitamin e alpha equivalentsmg; vitamin e iuIU; vitamin e mgmg; folate 8.5mcg 2% DV; vitamin kmcg; pantothenic acidmg; boron 1mg; calcium 1.4mg; coppermg; fluoride 20mg; iron 0.2mg 1% DV; magnesium 1.3mg; manganesemg 2% DV; phosphorus 5mg 1% DV; potassium 5.2mg; selenium 1.6mcg 2% DV; sodium 0.8mg; zincmg; 40 butyricg; 60 capriocg; 80 caprylicg; 100 capricg; 120 lauricg; 140 myristicg; 160 palmiticg; 180 stearicg; 161 palmitolg; 181 oleicg; 201 eicoseng; 221 erucicg; 182 linoleicg; 183 linolenicg; 184 stearidong; 204 arachidong; 205 epag; 225 dpag; 226 dhag; omega 3 fatty acidg; omega 6 fatty acidg; alanineg; arginineg; cystineg; glycineg; histidineg; isoleucineg; leucineg; lysineg; methionineg; phenylalanineg; proline 0.1g; serineg; threonineg; tryptophang; tyrosineg; valineg; alcoholg; caffeinemg; energy 17kcal; aspartic acidg; glutamic acid 0.2g; thiaminmg 2% DV; riboflavinmg 1% DV; biotinmcg; pyramid bread; exchange starch.

Reviews (1)

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1 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
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Rating: 5 stars
08/09/2018
My starter turned out great but I'm confused by the bread recipe. It calls for 1/2 cup or 8 ounces of starter. Those measurements don't seem to coincide - 8 oz of starter is a lot more than 1/2 cup. Which do I use? Read More