The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Need a Starter Recipe

JLA956's picture

Need a Starter Recipe

New to this forum and was hoping to find a recipe or directions for creating a sourdough starter.  If that information is already on this forum somewhere please provide with me with a link.  Thanks in advance for your help.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

There are some rules but you'll find many recipes. I'll try to make this as simple as possible. 

1: you can use any flour but wholegrain works very well and wholegrain rye the best. 

2: warmth and patience are essential.

3: feed when you see activity. Watch the starter and not the clock. 

4: if you keep warm then it should be quite quick. And by quick I'm talking about 5-7 days. If not it can take up to two weeks. Often after the seemingly quick burst of activity things may go quiet after the 3rd or 4th feed. Do not attempt to over feed to wake it up. Have patience, keep warm, stir every 12 hours instead of a feed. Once it begins to wake up again then carry on with the feeds. 


Mix together 50g boiled water which has been cooled and 50g whole rye flour. Use a clean glass jar and clean utensils. Keep keep warm, preferably at 78F. Cover so it can't be contaminated but gas can escape. (Some use pure pineapple juice for the first feed and then switch to water for the remainder - this works well). 

Do not feed again till you see activity. Till then you can give it a stir every 12 hours. 

Once it bubbles up then you starter a feeding regime as follows...

Take off 50g and too back up with 25g water (boiled and cooled) + 25g whole rye flour. Then as above don't feed again till you see activity. Till then stir every 12 hours. Keep warm! 

Keep this up till it becomes strong and predictable. Once it is strong and bubbles up everytime on cue then begin to give it bigger feeds. If it still rises on cue and smells good it is ready. 

So you can see the process this is a good video to watch. He feeds at regular intervals come what may and uses a blend of flours. I find this is fine if conditions are just perfect. But it rarely is and you need to go by feel. Which is difficult when first starting off. That is why I say watch the starter and not the clock. Activity = there's something present to feed. 

How to make a sourdough starter

barriehiebread's picture

As Lechem noted patience is a really good thing with a starter.  I've got one going on about 2 years old and the flavor is uniquely tart, but it's not bad.  It's closer to a sourdough kind of flavor.

Ford's picture

 I like Debra Wink's Pineapple Juice method of preparing a starter.  See: The Pineapple Juice Solution, Part 2/


Arjon's picture

for a reasonable length of time. The number of ways to arrive at a viable starter is innumerable. Any sensible method will work given enough time. So, whichever one you choose, trust in the process and don't fiddle by trying to work in bits and pieces from other methods.