Thursday, 30 August 2012

making a sourdough starter

So i tried this several times, every time for some or the other reason it did not work out like it should. the first time i used whole wheat flour and thought that would work the same.. well no. it works a lot slower and needs about double the time, if it works at all with this recipe. the second time i ended up with mold in my starter ( still have not figured out why...) and the third time i did not close the bowl tightly and a fly got in... the result were lots of small maggots the next day.

don't be discouraged because i cant get things right,
yours might work on the first go.
and as i am not giving up here is my next try.

so the things to remember are: use white wheat flour, cover your bowl tight so no flies can get in but give it air to breath because that's where the yeast is going to come from. the wild yeast is everywhere in the air and will just have to settle down into your starter and start eating the sugars and flour.

what you will need:
  • 4 cups of warm potato water (just cook some potatoes the day you are making the starter and save some of the water)
  • 2 tsps of salt
  • 2 tsps of brown sugar/or 2 tbs of honey
  • 4 cups of white wheat flour
  • a glass bowl, a towel, a rubber band, a refrigerator and something to store the starter in afterwards, like a jar with a lid 
1.) mix all the ingredients together in a bowl (add the flour in small portions) and give it a good stir
2.) cover the bowl with a towel and fix it with the rubber band 
3.) let your starter sit for about three days in a warm place
day 1
day 2
this is the first time i really get to this stage where you have the fluffy bubbles on top, the transparent liquid in the middle and the dense dough on the bottom of the bowl. it is really warm here at this time of year so if you are living in a colder climate it will take longer, but you will get there dont worry!
It also starts to smell like beer now.
4.) so after about 3 days i stirred it, put some flour inside and put it in the refridgerator.
5.) now it should be possible to bake with it. even though i heard that in the beginning you should always use some additional yeast as the starter is not strong enough yet. i guess after about a few months it should be ready.
6.) dont forgett to feed your starter once a week with a cup of flour and a cup of water. also if you dont use it, just to keep it alive.

Update 24.10.12: my starter is still not strong enough to make bread but for other things it works fine i guess. i read now that you should leave the starter outside for a longer time before you put it in the fridge to let it develope stronger yeast. but if you leave it outside you will have to feed it more often then once a week.
Update 20.5.2013: i think i figured out what i did wrong. i did not put it in a airtight jar when putting it in the fridge. after i did that it started working like a charm. i am baking breads with this starter now and even gave a part to a friend so she can start her own.


  1. I love sourdough bread! I've still been too chicken to try my hand at making my own starter. Maybe now is the time. :)

    I'd love it if you'd post this on my new healthy-living link up:

  2. hi robin, you should try making one! there are billion of recipes out there and everyone sais different things how you best start a sourdough. i guess everyone has to choose for them selves what method works best (also concider the climat you live in). thanks a lot for the invitation to your linky party! will go there right away =)