I also offer a full visual walk-through of this process in a Sourdough From Scratch Guide that is FREE for any email subscribers. Just head to the Free Sourdough Resources tab and grab it!
A sourdough starter (or sourdough culture) is a symbiotic relationship of wild yeast and bacteria. The specific strains of yeast and bacteria are unique to the combination of your location and the flour you use. They are present in the flour you feed and also in the environment around you. Every sourdough is unique. This method works for the vast majority of folks who have tried it. Nine times out of ten if someone is having an issue, it is an issue with using some other flour type or expired flour.
Ingredients & Supplies
Organic Unbleached Bread Flour
Organic Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
Two 16oz Mason Jars
First, put 1 cup of water into a metal container like a hydro flask and let it sit out for an hour or two.
- Day 1. Weigh 50g of that water into a mason jar. Add 50g whole wheat flour. Using a silicone spatula, stir to combine. Leave on the counter with a loose lid overnight.
- Day 2. Pour off any liquid and scrape any darker top layer. Pour 50g into a fresh container. Add 25g water and 25g whole wheat flour (this is a 2:1:1 feeding). Stir to combine, using a silicone spatula to clean the sides of the jar. Leave on the counter with a loose lid overnight.
- Days 3-6. Repeat Day 2 instructions. If at any point you notice your culture is at least doubling in size, up your feeding ratio to 1:2:2 (20g of yesterday’s culture, 40g water, and 40g flour).
- Day 7. Feed 3 times, approximately 8 hours apart. This may run over to the following morning. For each feeding: Pour off 20g into a fresh container. Add 40g water, 20g whole wheat flour, and 20g bread flour. Stir to combine. Leave on the counter with a loose lid for 8 or so hours.
At the end of this week, you’ll have a healthy baby culture, with active yeast and bacteria, but it won’t be very strong. It will only get stronger over time, meaning it will revive easily after dormancy and strengthen quickly before baking. Treat this new culture like a tiny sprout in your garden that needs some extra care and attention to grow. When it’s as strong and wild as rosemary, you can neglect it a little more and know it’ll still be there when you get back.