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Making Sourdough Starter from Scratch

Jump on the sourdough bandwagon and learn how to start your very own sourdough starter from scratch!

If you’re in the mood for a fun kitchen project and love sourdough bread, this is for you! I could wax poetic about the flavour and benefits of sourdough, long ferments and wild yeast. If you’re into that head over to my recipe post for the sourdough country loaf. But since you’re here, let’s jump into how to make your sourdough starter from scratch!

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4 organic unwashed apples*

organic whole wheat-rye flour*

unbleached organic AP flour

unchlorinated water

*both contain a lot of natural wild yeast and lactobacillus needed to make sourdough


Day 1

Using a press or juicer (I use this one- it’s a bit of a commitment, but is a workhorse that will last decades), juice 2 apples.

Weigh the juice and mix in equal part rye flour.

Transfer to a jar and loosely cover with the lid. Keep it in a warm spot in your home.

Day 2

Juice 2 apples, add equal parts rye flour and add to yesterdays mix.

Transfer to a jar, loosely cover and leave it in a warm area.

Day 3

You should start to see some little bubbles and the mixture should start to rise. It’s time to start feeding your starter.

Weigh out 100g of the apple juice-rye mix into a mixing bowl and discard the rest.

Add 100g of organic unbleached AP flour and 100g of lukewarm unchlorinated water.

Cover and leave it in a warm area.

Day 4

By now you should see more activity in the form of bubbles and a sweet tangy aroma. Repeat steps from Day 3 twice. Once in the morning and another in the evening.

Day 5 to 10…

(Depending on your environment you might need to feed twice a day for over a week in order to cultivate your active micro-organisms. You will start to notice a dramatic rise of your starter several hours after feeding).

In the morning, your starter should be ready to feed and used for bread making. To check, fill a small bowl with water. Wet your hands, grab a dollop of your starter and drop it in the water bowl.

A. Does it float? It’s ready!!

1) Congratulations you have successfully cultivated wild yeast and you are ready to start fermenting!

2) Head over to my sourdough country loaf post and start baking

B. Did it sink? That’s ok, don’t give up!

1) Repeat steps from Day 4 and make sure you are keeping it in a warm place. Try the floaty test again tomorrow.

2) You've been at it for two weeks and you don't have an active starter? Not sure what went wrong? You have options!

  • Ask your friend who makes sourdough for some of theirs.

  • Join a local FB sourdough community and find a new friend who will gladly share!

  • Sign up for my newsletter to find out when dehydrated sourdough starter will be available in my shop!

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