Here is your sourdough starter beginner guide. People are interested in owning a sourdough starter and I am loving it. This is going to answer some frequently asked beginner’s questions.
Sourdough Starter Beginner Guide
When I first discovered the world of grinding my own grains to make flour, I was also introduced to sourdough. Before that, I actually never even thought anything of sourdough. Even store-bought sourdough wasn’t apart of my life. Fast forward to today and now sourdough is a part of our weekly life.
Owning a sourdough starter is not difficult. I thought it was going to be so much work, but in reality, it has made my life much easier.
Let me put this out there now. If a recipe is too hands-on time consuming, I will not be doing it. Recipes that take all day to cook, I love. But, if the hands-on work is too long, I can’t do it. Therefore, I don’t make the fancy sourdough breads that are all over Pinterest. Someday, but not in this season of life.
I am by no means a sourdough expert. But I cook with it and it tastes good. So, that’s why I’m here. Just sharing how I do things. If you want to do things the “right” way, you should probably go look somewhere else.
What is sourdough starter?
A sourdough starter is a mix of lactic acid bacteria and wild yeast that is now living in flour and water. You feed it to keep it happy. It is what will make your baked goods rise, without the need for commercial yeast. A sourdough starter is a living organism that requires maintenance. When properly fed, sourdough starters live for years and years.
Why is sourdough good?
Owning a sourdough starter is good for two reasons.
Firstly, remember back in 2020 when the world when wonky and people bought up everything. Commercial yeast was no where to be found. Those of us with a sourdough starter didn’t need to panic. We had it all under control.
Secondly, the health benefits. Sourdough acts as a prebiotic, which helps feed the good bacteria in your stomach.
Many people who have digestive issues find that sourdough is easier on them and they can handle it.
Where to Find a Sourdough Starter
If you can get lucky enough, try to find someone local who is willing to give you some. You can ask on facebook marketplace and someone will usually know someone who is willing to help you out.
You can also buy a dehydrated sourdough starter. Cultures for Health is a great place to get this from!
How to feed a sourdough starter
You will need flour and filtered water. We love to use water from our Berkey. You will also need a mason jar and a lid.
There are many different types of flour you can use. Mine mostly gets feed hard white wheat flour.
If you are using all purpose flour, make sure you buy unbleached. Bleached flour has been stripped of its natural enzymes that are necessary to feed the wild yeast you are cultivating.
Make sure to keep it in a warm place. I keep mine next to my coffee pot. But, in the past, I have kept in on my stove and on top of my fridge. Pro-tip: Don’t keep it in direct sunlight. That sunlight ruins the wild yeast.
Someone gave me sourdough starter, what do I do now?
Awesome! This is great! To keep that starter alive and happy, simply feed the starter when you see it getting hungry.
To feed, I will just estimate how much sourdough starter is in the jar. Firstly, I grab that much flour (or more) and dump it in the jar. Secondly, I grab that much water and dump in in the jar. Lastly, I stir it. Sometimes I do this once a day, sometimes I do it every few days. You can also store the starter in your fridge. If you want less sour sourdough, feed your starter more often and keep it out of the fridge for a few days before baking.
You may notice for a day or two that things seem slow. Don’t worry, your starter is just adjusting to it’s new home!
The Brown Liquid
A brown liquid may start to accumulate on top of your sourdough starter. That is called hooch. It means that your starter is hungry. I choose to pour off the liquid as it is very sour, but you can just mix it right in too.
Where to Start With Sourdough
After you have a sourdough starter, it’s time to start baking! You’re about to reap the benefits of the maintenance of sourdough!
I love the easy recipes for sourdough. The fancy sourdough breads are not in my wheelhouse yet.
Look up sourdough discard recipes. Those are usually the easiest.
More Sourdough Resources
Enjoy your sourdough!
Get a free guide on how to start your sourdough starter here: