Do you want to make sourdough, but you don’t know where to even start? I’ve got you. I’ve been making sourdough on and off since 2019 and I’ve a learned a thing or two along the way. There are so many ways to go about it and it totally seems overwhelming at first. Just remember, every new thing is overwhelming and that’s okay. That’s apart of the learning! I promise there can come a point where it will literally be like second nature for you and making bread is just a normal part of your life! I want to do my best to help YOU in every way I can! So let’s get started with the basics! I also have an Ebook coming with a deeper dive into everything with a few exclusive recipes so be on the lookout for that coming in a few weeks!
Sourdough Starter 101:
First things first, you need a sourdough starter. Now you have options here, you can make one or you can buy one. Or if you have a friend or someone nearby with one, they can share theirs with you. My friend actually shared some of hers with me and I still have it. She actually bought it online (linked below) and it’s been great. I haven’t personally made my own, but you totally can.
If you want to make one, here are some great resources to do it:
If you want to buy one, I’d buy from one of these personally:
-Amazon- This is the one I have.
Once you have your starter established, then you can start your baking! Just so you know, the beginning of a starter can typically be more finicky so don’t be discouraged if the recipes you make don’t work as you’d like them too. The longer you have your starter the stronger it’ll be so with time it will get easier. Just be patient, I know I know, that’s annoying haha but it’s true!
How to feed your sourdough starter:
Now, let’s go into how to feed your starter. First of all, what the heck does that mean? Feeding your starter just means adding flour and water to your starter and mixing it up. That’s all. Everyone has a different opinion on this and there are actually so many different ways to feed your starter as far as measurements, which is part of why all of this can be so confusing This is how I do it and it’s worked great for years! I feed mine a 1:1 ratio meaning I feed it the same amounts. So I’ll start with 50g of starter in the jar, then I’ll add 50g all-purpose flour and 50g of filtered water.
For water, you want to make sure your water is filtered. We have a Berkey water filter system and it’s what we use for everything and we LOVE it. We have the big Berkey with the stand it’s great. It’s a water filtration system but it also helps get rid of over 200 contaminants in your water. It “removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. This system is so powerful it can remove red food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance.” (n.d.). Berkey Filters. USA Berkey Filters. https://www.usaberkeyfilters.com/product-category/berkey-water-filter-systems/?gclid=CjwKCAiA85efBhBbEiwAD7oLQD5GpG6YlUn-qIOXaUoF_YRPvqGmDvW-jMc_arIjPw3xMKZCMFtv-RoC-JQQAvD_BwE) However, just filtered or spring water work just fine. The reason you don’t want to use tap water is because it has chlorine and it can mess up with the starter chemically and kill some of the beneficial goodness.
You know your starter is ready to use when it’s bubbly and it’s just about doubled in size! You can also do what’s called a “float test”. It’s when you take a cup or bowl of water and drop a little bit of your sourdough in. If it floats, it’s ready to use, if it sinks it’s not ready yet!
How to store your starter?
People often get confused on whether to store the starter on the counter or in the fridge. The basic rule of thumb is if you leave your starter on the counter, you’re going to have to feed it everyday. If you’re going to be making sourdough multiple times a week you can leave it on the counter. However, if you are going to be baking once a week or even twice, I’d leave it in the fridge. You feed it once a week in the fridge or just anytime before you’re going to bake.
Active/ Fed Sourdough Recipes:
If you want to see my go-to equipment for sourdough baking, CLICK HERE!
I know all of this seems like a lot, but I promise over time it’ll become second nature for you. It’s a learning process and a really fun one because you get to eat yummy food as a reward! By the way, a sourdough loaf is never a waste. If it doesn’t work out, you can always use it to make a french toast bake, bread pudding, or even breadcrumbs. All is not lost and no loaf is ever a full fail! Sourdough can be attainable for everyone, I promise. Just think, this is how bread used to be made and they didn’t have a bread scale or any fancy equipment and it still worked. It’s about having fun and making homemade goodies for you, your family, friends, whoever. It’s not about it being perfectly beautiful or a certain way. Make it yours and have fun!