Culturing Your Own Sourdough Starter

Sourdough pizza

Sourdough pizza

Using organic whole wheat flour and water, you can easily culture your own sourdough starter from scratch.  Organic flour naturally contains plenty of wild yeasts. In culturing a sourdough starter, you are simply providing an environment in which those wild yeasts can thrive and reproduce. Below is a step-by-step process to produce a starter that you can use in making all kinds of sourdough, including breads, bagels, pizza dough, pancakes and waffles.

Ingredients and Supplies

Ingredients for culturing sourdough starter

The ingredients

  • 1/2 cup room-temperature, purified water. Be careful not to use chlorinated water because it may hinder the growth of your sourdough culture.
  • 1/2 cup freshly ground organic whole wheat flour.
  • Plastic wrap
  • Clean, half-gallon glass jar

Steps

1. In the half-gallon jar, combine 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup water. Cover the jar with plastic wrap and let it sit 3-5 days until you begin to see bubbles forming on top of the mixture.

2. Once you see bubbles, discard all but 1/4 cup of the mixture. The jar may have a lot of dried starter on the side by this time, so you may want to transfer the 1/4 cup of mixture into a clean, room-temperature half-gallon jar. Feed the mixture by adding 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup room-temperature, purified water.

Sourdough Starter

Active sourdough starter

3. Once a day, discard all but 1/4 cup of the starter and feed it by adding 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup room-temperature, purified water. Continue to do this daily until the yeast can double in size within 4-6 hours.  One way to keep track of the results is to mark the outside of the jar with a permanent marker immediately after feeding your starter. Then you can easily compare its growth to its original volume.  When it becomes vigorous enough to double in size within 4-6 hours, the starter is ready to use in making breads, bagels, pancakes, waffles and other recipes.

3 thoughts on “Culturing Your Own Sourdough Starter

  1. Connie Ann Braziel

    Thank you so much for this information. As soon as I can gather the ingredients and supplies, I will start my sourdough starter. I look forward to the outcome.

    Romans 8:38-39

  2. Victoria

    this may sound really silly – but where does one get purified water? Would that be bottled/distilled water? Can I purify tap water myself?

    1. admin

      Victoria,
      Bottled water, such as distilled water or purified drinking water would work fine.

      If your tap water is from a municipal water supply, then it may have been treated with either chlorine or chloramine. Chlorine is fairly easy to remove. One of the simplest ways is to leave the water in an uncovered container for 24 hours to let the chlorine dissipate. Another approach is to boil the water, then let it cool before using it in the recipe. Or you can use a home water filter that’s designed to remove chlorine.

      If your tap water contains chloramine, there are filters that will remove it, but chloramine can’t be removed by boiling or by leaving the water in an open container.

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