How to Make a Sourdough Starter from Scratch

Today we’re learning how to make your very own sourdough starter from scratch! After doing my own research (with a good deal of trial and error), I’ve decided to share my own method that involves the least hassle whilst preserving accuracy.

Ready to make your own sourdough starter? Pin this image to Pinterest so you have it saved for later, and let’s go!

pinterest pin of sourdough starter in a small glass jar with a spoon and saucer

What’s a sourdough starter?

What is a sourdough starter in the first place? Essentially, it’s a combination of flour and water that has been allowed to ferment. The fermentation process allows the small amount of wild yeasts & bacteria from the wheat berry and the air to multiply and become fragrant. This means the sourdough starter you make will be unique to you and your home!

Sourdough starters need to be “fed”, just like a pet. They’re a little more needy in the beginning, but after you get it nice and robust they can go longer periods without feeding. The yeast colonies in your starter consume the sugars in the flour and convert it to alcohol and carbon dioxide as wastes. Once all the sugar from the last feeding is consumed, the starter will get “hungry”! It won’t be able to create as much carbon dioxide gas, which is why you’ll see it start to deflate and slide down the sides of your jar.

spoon with some sourdough starter dripping off of it into a glass jar


To make a sourdough starter from scratch, you really only need a container with a lid and a spoon.

However, there are a couple extra things that could make this whole process a lot easier! Here’s the full list of what I recommend:

Container with lid

Make sure your container has at least a 500mL (16oz) capacity, and that the lid is not airtight. I chose to use a weck jar from the dollar store — I just removed the rubber seal. You can also use a mason jar or plastic tupperware, as long as you don’t close the lid all the way. Carbon dioxide gas will be produced by the yeast as it grows, so there needs to be a way for it to escape your container. Your best bet is to use something with straight sides, which will make it easier to mix things around.

Small silicone spatula

Great for scraping down the sides of your container to ensure everything is mixed up nicely. Check out this set from Amazon.

Kitchen scale

Honestly one of the most used cooking/baking tools in my kitchen. It allows you to cook and bake with more accuracy without having to wash a gazillion measuring cups. Plus, you can get this one for only $15!

Rubber band

Placing a band around the outside of your jar just after feeding can help you visually keep track of how much your starter has risen over a given period of time. You can also mark it with a permanent marker or a piece of tape.

closeup of bubbles in sourdough starter

Published at Mon, 17 Aug 2020 20:57:31 +0000

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