How to make your own sourdough bread starter

It takes a bit of practice and patience, but you can make your own sourdough bread starter at home. You only need two ingredients.

Sourdough bread is one of the favourites of bread connoisseurs around the world. But for novice bakers, it can be difficult to get the deep, intense flavour right.  It does take a fair bit of practice to create the perfect sourdough bread, but it is possible.

It is believed that sourdough has been with us for centuries – some say as far back as Ancient Egypt. It also became the main bread consumed in Northern California during the Gold Rush period. To this day, it remains a delicious treat.

While specialist bakers do a great job at making delicious sourdough bread, you can make your own inside your own kitchen. The process take some time and if you have never baked bread at home before, you might want to practice on a few basic loaves while your sourdough starter ferments.

You’ll only need two ingredients, flour and water. Unbleached bread flour is recommended for new bakers, but you also try using flours made of whole-wheat and rye. You could also use organically grown flour if you want. You will also need a clear glass jar big enough to hold in all the mixture.

How to make your own sourdough starter

What to do with your sourdough bread starter on day one

Sterilise and clean the jar you’re going to use thoroughly. Put one cup of flour and one cup of water into the jar and stir. Use a plastic or wooden spoon for this. Do not use a metal spoon.

Cover your jar with a clean, damp towel and store in a warm place. The ideal temperature is around 21 to 26 degrees Celsius.

 What to do with your sourdough bread starter on day two

All you have to do today is to make sure your jar is still sitting happily where you left it. If you see little bubbles appearing inside – that’s a good thing.

What to do with your sourdough bread starter on day three

Open your jar and have a look inside. Don’t be alarmed if there is a slightly sour smell – this is normal.

Using a wooden or plastic spoon, remove half of the mixture and throw it away. It can go onto your compost heap or garden.

Add half a cup of lukewarm water and half a cup of flour and stir again. Cover and return to the warm place.

What to do with your sourdough bread starter on day four to seven

Repeat step three on days four to seven – removing half and adding fresh water and flour every day.

By the seventh day, the container should be already filled with bubbles. The expansion in its volume indicates that your starter can now be used. You could now use this mixture for baking your very own sourdough bread, or store it for future use