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Sourdough Journey #1: Sourdough Starter


This is part 1 in a 31 part series: Sourdough Journey

Sourdough Starter

My goal is to make bread, using a long ferment method, in the hopes of being able to eat a bread that my stomach can digest easily. 

I am hopeful. 

Now, I’m not a perfectionist and I’m not into measuring things exactly (to be honest, I’m really not into measuring at all) and that’s ok - when it works. 

My mom has often shared that my great-aunt Ettie used to make the most delicious cakes by tossing in a handful of this, a pinch of that, a scoop of the other thing, and a dash of the other-other thing. No measuring. She just “knew” by the look of things. 

Of course, that knowing came from experience and failures but, in the end, she made those delicious cakes. 

I’m crossing my fingers that my “knowing” will come through with this starter and I will end up with something that will create the most beautiful breads. We will see. First step: a healthy starter.

Healthy Sourdough Starters

From all of my research, the key to a healthy sourdough starter is keeping it fed when it is growing. 

What does that mean?

Well, it seems that the starter microbes will eat their weight in flour. So, if you have “this” amount of starter, you need to feed it this amount of flour and this amount of water to keep it at a “pancake batter” consistency. 

Now, if you keep the starter in a cooler temperature, it gets sleepy and doesn’t eat much. If you keep it in a warmer temperature (I think the optimum is around 80F) then it is active and hungry! (Tip: use your fridge strategically) 

This Starter

For this starter, I began with equal parts of flour and water, stirred it, and let it sit on the counter.

I used just plain white flour because that’s what I had. Apparently a whole wheat or rye flour is better to start with and, then, maybe feed it with the white flour.

Day 2: fed it with the “this amount” strategy

Day 3: I had a lot of starter, so I took out most of it and then fed it again.

Day 4-7: repeat

By Day 7, the starter should be bubbling with happiness. 
If not, repeat for a couple of more days.

And there you have it.. how I make my sourdough starter. 

There are many options, with varying amounts of water and flour. 

At one point I got very overwhelmed with the research but then I remembered that you have to start somewhere - just start. 

So, that’s what I did. And this is my journey. 
- Debbie 


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