How I Made My Own Sourdough Starter with 2 Ingredients

WOW – it’s been way too long since I’ve shared anything on here. Between a new city, a new job, and lots of visitors, I’ve just been slacking. I’ve still been cooking lots of yummy things and am vowing right now to share more with you all each month. If you follow my instagram account (@whatscookingwithkb), you know I set a goal to make my own sourdough bread back in January. My wonderful sister gifted me with some starter right around the new year, and I managed to forget it at my parents’ house before driving back to Texas. I still really wanted to make sourdough though, and I thought, surely it couldn’t be that hard. Well if you’re wondering, it’s really not hard, but it is a labor of love. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend with some starter, try to snag some from them if you’re short on time… If not, I’ll share the process with you here!

What you need:

  1. 1 cup of flour
  2. 1 cup of filtered/distilled water
  3. A large glass bowl
  4. A wooden spool
  5. A clean tea towel

**it’s important to note that using metal throughout the process will affect the feeding process, so wood and glass are recommended :)**

What to do:

  1. In a large glass bowl, combine water and flour. Mix well until combined. Cover with tea towel for 24 hours and leave on counter.
  2. After 24 hours passes, remove half the mixture (you can toss it), and add 1 cup flour, 1 cup water. Mix vigorously, cover with towel for 24 hours.
  3. Repeat step 2 for days 2-5. This is how you “feed” your starter.
  4. On day 6, begin “feeding” the starter every 12 hours. So you’ll remove half the mixture, add 1 cup water, 1 cup flour. By day 2 of the every 12 hour feeds, you should be ready to make bread!

How to store sourdough:

Once you have an active starter, you get to make soooo many yummy treats (I’ll share my favorite recipes), but you have to maintain the starter as well. To slow down the fermentation process, you should store your starter in the fridge, otherwise you pretty much have to feed it daily, and noooobody got time for that. Storing the starter in the fridge will allow you to feed only every 5-10 days. I typically store my starter in a giant mason jar with a paper towel over top, held in place by a hair tie. You could also use a rubber band to hold it in place, but I couldn’t find one, so here we are! The paper towel works for me, allowing the starter to still breathe but also keeping it partially sealed.

How to maintain and bake with your starter:

Now for the fun part! When you’re ready to bake with your starter, you’ll just pull it out of the fridge the day before, and add your 1:1 (ish) flour to water ratio. Mix vigorously and cover on the counter for 8-12 hours. Your starter should grow and bubble up. After the 8-12 hours has passed, you can remove a cup. This would be your “discard” but you can bake with it or give it to a friend to share the love.

Some pro tips I wish I knew when first making my starter:

  1. Discarding will seem wasteful in the beginning, but too much starter is difficult to keep healthy. After your starter is “active” you’ll be able to use the “discard starter” in recipes instead of tossing it!
  2. It’s going to look kind of funky. This is a fermentation process to grow active, healthy bacteria and yeast.
  3. Over the past couple months of weekly feedings, I’ve learned that you might not always need exactly a 1:1 ratio of flour to water when feeding. If you notice a whole lot of water sitting on top after mixing, you can add a little more flour or a little less water next feed.

If you’ve made it this far, you deserve an award. I think the best part of this all is that once you’ve successfully created a sourdough starter, you can have it for a lifetime. You’ll always be able to make a fresh loaf of sourdough bread for your family/friends to enjoy. All it takes is a little maintenance, and you’re set for life! I plan to try a few different feeding styles over the next couple months, and I’ll report back! I hope you find this helpful if you’re trying to make a starter of your own! Comment below if you have any questions or just to share your sourdough successes. Happy baking!


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