Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you may want to try creating your own sourdough starter from scratch. Baking bread from scratch is satisfying in its own right, but when you’ve also had a hand in the creation of one of the most fundamental components, the leavening agent itself, you’ll feel an even greater satisfaction and connectedness to the process.

Are there kids in your house? This little science project is ideally suited to sharing with any children you can convince to join in. Culture their budding scientific minds while creating your own bread culture.

This video outlines one simple method that worked for me the first time I tried it. In the video, I give credit for this technique to Peter Reinhart. It has since come to my attention that Debra Wink, a chemist and accomplished baker, is the mastermind and author of this Pineapple Juice Technique. A lot of research and testing went into developing and refining the technique. The choice of pineapple juice over other juices is from much trial and error. Debra was kind enough to email her essay on the Pineapple Juice Technique. Click here for a printable copy of it.

As I mention in the video, the wild yeast spores and lactic-acid bacteria that give your starter its leaving properties are all around you. You are simply creating the conditions ideally suited for them to thrive and multiply. I used whole wheat flour in this recipe because fresh whole wheat flour may harbor greater numbers of yeast spores than ordinary all-purpose flour and so increase your likelihood for success. It worked for me, so you might try the same. If, at any time, you wish to transition your whole wheat sourdough starter to a regular white flour starter, it’s super easy to do so.

I’ve listed the ingredients and approximate steps here to save you the note taking.

  • Step 1. Mix 3 ½ tbs. whole wheat flour with ¼ cup unsweetened pineapple juice. Cover and set aside for 48 hours at room temperature. Stir vigorously 2-3x/day. (“Unsweetened” in this case simply means no extra sugar added).
  • Step 2. Add to the above 2 tbs. whole wheat flour and 2 tbs. pineapple juice. Cover and set aside for a day or two. Stir vigorously 2-3x/day. You should see some activity of fermentation within 48 hours. If you don’t, you may want to toss this and start over (or go buy some!)
  • Step 3. Add to the above 5 ¼ tbs. whole wheat flour and 3 tbs. purified water. Cover and set aside for 24 hours.
  • Step 4. Add ½ cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 to 1/3 cup purified water. You should have a very healthy sourdough starter by now.

Notes: I do wonder if the fact that I bake all the time with a sourdough starter (and so theoretically have wild yeast floating around our house by the gazillions and covering everything we own) would increase the likelihood that I would have success creating my own sourdough culture from scratch. So I anxiously await feedback from anyone who attempts this process at home. (You’ll see a nifty little form below for comments and feedback. If you’re shy; you can use the Contact link at the top of the page. While I may report your (mis)adventures, I’ll keep your identity anonymous ;).

{ 1973 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeremy September 8, 2012 at 10:06 am

I bought yeast before but gave this a shot. I have great fermentation with the hint of pineapple. Should make awesome pancakes! Thanks for the recipe and advice!

Jeremy

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Kyt Eubanks September 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm

HI Eric,

Thanks for the excellent tutorials on the sourdough starter. My husband and I are interested in making bread with no wheat at all. Not because of any present health condition but because of recent information on the chemical make up of the available wheat in the USA.

I recently purchased spelt flour, oat flour, brown rice flour and buckwheat flour for experimentation. We’re looking for a good healthy everyday bread. And preferably one I can make in the bread machine. Do you have recommendations? We are not gluten intolerant so the spelt sounds like a good first option for us.

Best regards,
Kyt

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Breadtopia September 14, 2012 at 3:52 am

Spelt flour is probably going to be your best bet since it makes excellent bread by itself and it fairly easy to find and not too expensive. Other options for older variety of grain that are probably better for you than modern wheat are Kamut and Einkorn. Einkorn is fantastic but very expensive.

There is also Turkey Red wheat which we’ll be carrying soon in the Grains and Flours area of our store. It was a wheat grain the early pioneers planted here in the US and is being grown again. We’ll have it in a few days.

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Jane September 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm

What about using some of my fine fermented home-made kombucha to make a starter? What do you think?

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Breadtopia September 13, 2012 at 9:52 am

Give a try and see how it goes.

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Maria September 3, 2012 at 7:39 am

Hi
I may have missed it but do you keep the starter refridgerated with a lid on ie. air tight?
My first pineapple starter caught with container open, should i now screw lid on and place in fridge?
many thank
Maria

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Dan September 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I screw the lid on loosely when keeping the starter in the fridge to prevent pressure buildup. When I keep the starter out , I make sure the lid is really loose and put a dessert plate under underneath to catch any spillover. Starter tends to expand much more (almost double in volume sometimes) when kept at room temperature.

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Chet Bartels August 27, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Eric, I have used your pinwapple sourdough starter before with whole wheat, home ground flour. Today I started a new barch at 11 AM using dark rye flour. By 4 this afternoon it was already buling a bit. The fact that my wife baked a loaf of wholewheat breat in our bread machine may have contributed but i am still impressed. I will follow the whole recipe anyway as I really enjoy our sourdough pancakes in the morning. As fall is approaching it is again time to have my sourdough and an egg on the side. I am a diabetic and find that the rye does not bother my sugar as much as white bread. Thanks for the web site!! Chet

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Breadtopia August 27, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Sounds good, Chet!

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Karen August 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I tried your starter with pineapple juice and another one with potato water. The pineapple juice was a great success as was the potato water BUT, the potato water was VERY sour and I eventually discarded it.
The pineapple juice starter has been delightful and made many tasty sourdough recipes. I have fed it water and flour several times and the last feed was pineapple juice. I’m in love with sourdough bread and UNFORTUNATELY, I’ve gained 5 lbs. I going to have to be really careful now as I’m becoming a good baker, lol.
Many Thanks for your videos and suggestions!

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Mary August 22, 2012 at 10:46 am

Yea, after successfully making my SD starter the pineapple method, I made my first loaf using it in a recipe from KAF, called Clay’s Multi Grain SD Sandwich bread. Am so delighted with the starter and so many new recipes to try. Many thanks for the great instructional videos on your wonderful web site. Have enclosed a photo.

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Anna August 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Followed the recipe on making the starter, it worked from the first attempt. We never had any sourdough culture previously at home. Thank you so much!

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Nancy Bishop August 4, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Not to brag but my whole wheat starter is going great 1st time and I’m at the final 24 hours. So after it’s in the storing jar, how long can I keep it sitting out? Do you ever refrigerate it? I don’t know how much bread I’ll be baking. It’s 108 today in Goodyear, AZ. But luckily my home runs on solar energy so I do plan to start baking soon. Can’t wait to smell the sourdough spelt bread aroma! Thanks for your great tutorial!

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Dan August 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm

From what Eric said in his tutorial videos, I’d keep the starter in the fridge, feeding it once a week to keep it viable. If I want to make bread, I’d take the jar out and let it come to room temperature (4+ hours), then add 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup flour and some water. The starter would usually fluff up and increase volume by 70% to 100%. That’s when I would use 2/3 to 3/4 of the starter for baking, add 1/8 cup of flour plus water in the jar, stir it good and return it back to the fridge. Especially in our hot weather, if you don’t keep the starter in the fridge, you may starve the starter.

Just to maintain the acidic environment, I use pineapple juice instead of water one a week when I feed the left-over starter before I return it to the fridge. I figure if I add pineapple juice once a week, it would keep out the bacteria I don’t want in the starter.

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mint July 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Hi breadtopia,
I am new to baking bread and have been struggling to make a starter for 3 weeks now. Had to discard twice because the sides looked bad. Last 2 times I used the recipe from sourdom’s blog. I started with your recipe 5 days back but haven’t had any luck. I must be doing something wrong but can’t figure out what. I tried different things, whole wheat, unbleached AP, tried feeding 1-3 times a day, started a fresh one on the side using organic rye flour and fresh pineapple juice 3 days back, nothing. I get the alcohol like liquid in whole wheat but nothing in rye. No change in size, some bubbles at times on the wheat , nothing more. Current weather is pretty warm, 90 to 100. What should I do? I think I am close to giving up.

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Sevil July 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Hi, Mint,
I had the same problem you are having. Then somebody told me to ad 1 squeezed grape in the starter. I did – the results are amazing in less than 24 hours my starter grew so immensely that I had to start baking , and I put the starter in the fridge to cool it down! So, try it. Good luck.

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mint July 17, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Thanks Sevil,
I shall get grapes as soon as I can and try it. Shall let you know what happens.
Mint

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Sevil July 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Not many though – 1-2 is enough, just choose the ripe ones

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Brian July 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Following the pineapple starter instructions I used bread flour. I was slow to start. Finally I put the starter under the oven light in the oven. the little extra warmth made a difference. I was starting in the winter, but you still might try that. Also, a bit more patience…go a couple more days than you think you should. I was ready to scrap the project but did another feeding and that was the feeding where I noticed the magic. Hang on a little longer. This is not rocket science. It works. Don’t give up. This is nothing like having to rub your head and belly at the same time. Plus once it takes, you actually have to try to kill it…it doesn’t die so easily…you can neglect it, not feed it, keep it in the wrong temperature…but it revives very quickly.

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john currie July 27, 2012 at 10:28 am

hi mint, i am having the same problems as you,i have tried the pineapple juice and every permutation of flours i can find, but to no avail.
room temperature here in scotland is about 65. but i have tried it with a heater on at 75. and still no good.
jonlem.

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Mint July 27, 2012 at 10:42 am

I have finally given up. I tried 5 times, used pineapple juice tried grapes, peaches, nothing works. Finally ordered a starter online from breadtopia. Fantastic service, quick delivery. Received 2 days back. I took half of it and have been working on it. Kept remaining half in refrigerator as back up. I am not getting any outstanding results so far like other have got. In the first 24 hours, the starter looked spongy. Fed it again yesterday, kept it in the oven with light on, no bubbles yet . I am going to feed it again and see. Dont know what I am doing wrong.
Mint

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Karen July 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm

I had no seccess with the pineapple juice for the first 4 days but I just keep up the schedule of feeding in 48 hours and stirring a couple times a day. It finally paid off with a live culture this morning. I have tried bread and starter recipes from here and http://www.takebackthebread.com and I’ve been successful as a beginner. I love the videos and clear instructions. Even a beginner can make tasty bread. Some bread baking videos are VERY casual with the measuring and others are precise but GOTH work well.
Hang in there, it’s worth the time!

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Dave July 27, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Mint,
if the starter looked spongy after 24 hrs, you had an active starter or a “sponge” as it is referred to when building a no knead bread. don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. i never really use the juices when makingn the starter; some flour, sugar and ambient yeast and i had a prolofic starter from the first try.

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kikyago August 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Hello Mint,
I realize I am reading your post a bit late, but I hope you still see this. I am just now researching in preparation of making my own starter and I came across a page that explains why you are seeing an early start and then your starter seems to die. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/233/ Please take a moment to read it as I feel you will find your starters are not really dead and you can really do this!!

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Mint July 28, 2012 at 3:05 am

I am confused. After second feeding the starter has shown no signs of activity, just like my own starter attempts (this one was bought from breadtopia). Fed it a third time yesterday, still nothing. Its been about 16 hours since I last fed it. It looks like it was never alive. Should I stir it 2-3 times day and feed it when I see some hooch or bubbles? Or should I just keep feeding it, no matter what?

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Chris August 11, 2012 at 6:49 am

Hi! I may be too late to help, but do you live in an area with really highly chlorinated water? I had a bit of trouble getting my guys going because the water was so chemically treated. I switched to purified water purchased from the grocery store and it was up and running in no time!

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Sevil July 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I am doing the starter the second time and it is the same problem – the starter shows the signs of life in step 1, then with step 2 something goes wrong. It just slows down and doesn’t bubble anymore. Do I need to make step 1 longer than it is recommended?

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damla parkan July 15, 2012 at 9:35 am

I started making my own sourdough after I read in your site how to do it.
It went well for a while but now my sourdough starter will not rise after I try to prepare the amount I need for baking. It won’t rise at all or if it does and I let it wait a little longer befor I use, It deflates.
I am thinking that my sourdough should be very fluffy after a prep. And not deflate that easily..
Any thoughts?

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Christine Hunt July 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Hello,
I, too had trouble as you describe. What I finally figured out was that I needed to use more flour and water…equal amounts to the amount of starter I was reviving. I keep my starter in the refrigerator until I’m ready to bake.
I take the starter out the night before and let it get to room temp, then add enough flour and water to make equal the amount of starter. It always comes out light and fluffy and full of life. Then I use the starter down for pancakes or pizza dough. My family thinks this is a bonus! I haven’t tried the crumpet recipe yet. Next time.
Hope this helps.
Christine

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damla parkan July 15, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Thank you Christine. I will try that..

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Bart July 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Hi Eric,

I’ve seen websites that sell sourdough starters from places all around the globe. Those websites advertise that all their sourdough starters have a unique taste. Is that true? Don’t sourdough starters eventually adjust to a new environment and thus all taste the same over time?

Thanks,
Bart

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Breadtopia July 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Hi Bart,

I wonder if that question will ever be answered definitively. I think the flavors can be unique in many cases. In my experience, they don’t usually stay that way. But, as you can imagine, there are others who hold firmly to different opinions.

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Chuck Saint July 9, 2012 at 7:45 am

here is my pineapple juice starter after 4 days…totally been baking bread all weekend with the barm i made from it!

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Brian July 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Starter is very forgiving. I made the pineapple juice starter suggested on this website over 6 months ago. I fed it and used it for a while till I forgot about it. 4 months passed without a feeding and when I found it, it was all dried out. I took out all the dry parts and found about a 1/4 cup of play dough textured starter. It smelled good. I mixed it with a good amount of flour and water for consistancy and let it do its thing under the oven pilot light over night. It was all bubbly and elastic like it always was in the morning. I’m amazed that I didn’t have to start over again.

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Breadtopia July 8, 2012 at 5:28 am

Thanks for the input, Brian. It’s amazing to me too what starter can withstand often times.

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Julia July 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I am proud to say that I have had this starter for almost 2 years now. I made it on Thanksgiving Day 2010, and even though I have yet to find a REALLY good sourdough recipe, the starter always seems to pull through for me. I recently found I am gluten intolerant, and so have been playing a lot with long-fermentation processes to destroy the gluten with some pretty good success. I refer a lot of people to your site to get this starter recipe. I am following a mostly Paleo diet now, so my husband reaps the benefits of my tinkering and I get the occasional slice with a bunch of grass-fed butter on it. MMM-MMM.

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skein June 28, 2012 at 8:47 pm

If you do not want your proofs to dry out on top, spray them with some olive oil cooking spray and then cover with a damp cloth as they proof. (the olive oil keeps the proofs from sticking to your cloth)

Another trick to making soft bread instead of crusty bread is to cook at a lower temperature for longer. Instead of 45 minutes at 400 for a nice crusty loaf try 350 for an hour.

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Brian June 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm

While proofing 1/2 the flour and some starter for 8 hours for a recipe I was trying, I noticed the dough was crusty, dry, hard in places…should I pick these pieces off before mixing in the rest of the ingredients?

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Dawn June 28, 2012 at 9:52 am

Hi!
My first attempt at the pineapple juice solution worked! I’m up to step 4 today. After I add the 1/2 cup flour and purified water is my starter ready to use? Do I need to let it sit for a day or can I immediately remove what I need and start making bread?
Last question, after I remove some the first time I replace it with more flour and water, right? Hope I haven’t completely confused y’all!!!

Have a great day!

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Dan August 20, 2012 at 8:43 pm

After you add 1/2 cup of flour into your starter (for the 4th feeding), I’d wait until the starter has about doubled in volume. I make my starter in a 24 oz Mason Jar, use 12-oz to 16-oz for my bread, add a quarter cup of flour and some water back int he jar, stir it up a bit and stick it back in the fridge.

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Sarah Cole June 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Thank you for your advice Hannah. I will give it a try.

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Brian June 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Some recipes like Sour dough english muffins require you take about 1/2 the flour from the recipe and the starter, mix them together and let them proof for 8 hours.

When I do this my dough is crusty on the outside. Do I pick the crusty parts off, or do I mix it back in. Any advice?

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Sarah Cole June 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I’m not sure if I am in the forum for this, but if not, perhaps you can point me in the right direction.
I am two days away from my first batch of sour dough starter. I want my bread to be EXTRA sour. Do I increase the amount of starter to do that? If I add say, 1/2 cup instead of 1/4 cup, do I adjust other ingredients?
By the way, I don’t bake. I cook, but baking has never been my long suit. I have been making bread in your method for a almost two years, and I am still amazed, every time this beautiful, delicious loaf of bread comes out of my oven…..that I made! Thank you.

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Hannah June 27, 2012 at 10:53 am

Hi Sarah,
The bread will be more sour the longer you proof it. In restaurants where I have worked the most usual method is to proof the dough in the fridge so it doesn’t over-proof, or depending on the recipe, knock it back repeatedly so it re-proofs a few times. French bakers keep some of the dough in the fridge to add to the next batch, this adds more flavour too

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Karen June 18, 2012 at 7:58 am

Hi,
I have the same situation with my starter as Sevil. Step 1-3 (used Rye flour)worked wonderfully. After doing step 4(transitioning to white flour) not much action. There are no bubbles and the starter is not increasing in volume. It’s been 24 hours sinse step 4. Should I continue to feed my starter untill I see something happening or is it back to step 1?
Thank you.
Karen

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Sevil June 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Hi,
I was very successful steps 1-3, then , after adding (same organic white whole flower) 5 and 1/2 tbs and 3 tbs of purified water, I noticed the fermentation slowed a little bit
but I continued to ferment the starter for another day
today I added 1/2 cup of flower and 1/3 cup of water, but I don’t see it bubbling like the starter in the video
did I do anything wrong, or is it just the weak starter?

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Roy Levy June 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Hi, this may be a silly question but I can’t work it out :
Having followed the instructions above, what percentage hydration starter do I now have ?

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Javier June 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Hi, I´m very sad, because it is my third intent to make “the starter” …I don´t want to give up, I´m very positive… And I will keep on trying until I succeed, thank you for this site it is very instructional and encouraging. I´ll keep you posted.

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Irene June 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm

how do maintain the starter in between use? Irene

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Breadtopia June 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm
jessica June 3, 2012 at 8:09 am

Has anyone tried using whey? I make cheese and try to use up the whey. Wpuld that be a lactic fermentation thing like what you’re trying with the pineappljuice?

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Carlos May 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I just tried to make a starter and I have waited 48+ hours after following the instruction, but I found a lot of mold on the lid and sides of my container. What do you do to avoid this?? :(

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Shari May 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm

I prefer rye ….would rye flour generate the appropriate yeast as well as whole wheat? Or perhaps make the starter with wheat flour and then just use that to make rye bread?

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Breadtopia May 27, 2012 at 11:14 am

Hi Shari,

A rye based starter can work just as well as a wheat starter. I usually do just what you suggest – use my same wheat starter to make whatever kind of bread I’m making. The percentage of the recipe that is the starter is typically not big enough to change the results very much.

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Heidi May 21, 2012 at 9:33 am

I’ve been wanting to start sourdough and not wanting a sugary white flour starter from anyone (I prefer whole wheat), I decided to try to make my own. The first attempt failed. Why? I don’t know. I didn’t do anything different the second time, but it worked. It looks very nice, and I can’t wait to put it in a recipe. With no sourdough experience at all, I hope it turns out!

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Breadtopia May 27, 2012 at 11:19 am

Hi Heidi,

It’s often just a case of having to make multiple attempts. Sometimes the yeast doesn’t catch… or whatever.

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Athene May 19, 2012 at 8:27 am

Hi, I’ve just discovered your site, as a friend gave me a sweetened starter for a German ‘friendship’ cake recipe, which I am trying. What I am wondering is how I can use the starter I have used to bake non-sweet bread. Her recipe had me adding sugar a couple of times over a 10 day period, and I believe it started with sugar in it. The starter does taste sweet, but I am so inspired by your site I’d like to try it in breadmaking (I usually use store-bought yeast). Will the process of growing just eat the sugar away, or should I start from scratch, or could I take a small amount and grow it up gradually without sugar, and slowly loose the sweetness? Any advice would be most welcome.

Athene, Oxford, England

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Breadtopia May 20, 2012 at 7:32 am

Hi Athene,

Definitely no need to start over. You are absolutely correct about just feeding it flour and water and after a few feedings, you’ll have a “normal” non sweet starter.

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Jim Murphy May 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Eric, you said this recipe was from Peter Reinhart. I refer to his recipe in Artisan Breads Every Day. I see his directions and yours are the same on the phase 1 but in phase 2 he said to use 3-1/2 tbsp of flour and you say to use only 2 tbsp. In step 3 he said use 7 tbsp. flour, you say use 5-1/4 tbsp., he said use 2 tbsp. water, you say 3 tbsp. In step 4 he said use 10-1/2 tbsp. flour and 2 tbsp. water, you say 1/2 cup flour and 1/4-1/3 cup water. Why such differences and will either work?
Thanks for your help and love your website.

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Breadtopia May 14, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Hi Jim,

Either will work. Recipes for making sourdough starter are the most random and imprecise imaginable. The reality is – throw some flour and water together and wait. With just that info, one can make a fine starter.

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Scott May 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm

10 years ago I tried a trick from Nancy Silverton. I dunk whole organic grapes in my starter. The natural yeast kick started the whole process. I still have my starter to this day

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Molly May 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Hi Eric
thanks sooo much for posting these vids! they’re a great inspiration….:)

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Kevin May 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm

after a few failed attempts with the bread flower i switched to whole wheat in hopes of a better outcome, and it finally worked! I began to believe that the wild yeast in the valley where i live simply had no interest in cooperating so i started a new batch and took my wife to san francisco to catch the real thing. we drove around the wharf holding my opened container of water and flower out of the window for an hour at least. After stopping for lunch at the home of the worlds greatest pizza (Tony’s Neopolitana in North Beach) we headed back to the valley and 48 hours later BINGO! Cant wait to use it in our new pompeii oven we just built!! Thanks for all your help!! Ciao!!

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Breadtopia May 10, 2012 at 9:53 am

This is beautiful, Kevin. True passion. Thanks for making my day. I had to post this to our blog home page (scroll down http://www.breadtopia.com a bit). If you have any photos of you or your starter (or both) you’d like to have me add to the post, that would be great. Email it to eric at breadtopia dot com.

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SuperSmiley May 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Eric,

Many thanks for your video, I will try making the starter in the morning. Fingers crossed!

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zaza May 8, 2012 at 5:05 am

hello dear breadtopia,
i just made my first sourdough starter in life and i used orange juice instead of pineapple..i guess the citric acid is there and the fermentation process worked out just beautifully but i wonder about one thing: how do i recognise by the smell if only beneficial bacterias had multiplied? my starter smells sour but there is some kind of extra smell which is not so pleasant…how do i know that the started is ok and wont harm the bread? btw can a spoiled starter be harmfull to health?

greetings from slovakia,

zaza

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Esti Allina May 8, 2012 at 4:13 am

The only thing keeping me from attempting this is not having any natural pineapple juice available!! Where’s a good starter recipe that doesn’t require pineapple juice?

Thanks,
Esti

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Breadtopia May 8, 2012 at 4:36 am

Hi Esti,

Just skip the pineapple juice in this recipe. It’s only helpful in some uncommon situations, otherwise not necessary at all.

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Co May 7, 2012 at 1:30 am

Hi,

I wonder if I could use for his method also gluten-free flour? Have any experience wih that?

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Breadtopia May 7, 2012 at 5:40 am

Yes, you can. I’ve seen starters made with a number of gluten free flours, including rice. You won’t get anywhere near same rise as with gluten flours since there are no gluten strands to trap the bubbles. As is mostly the case with all thing gluten free, there are more challenges involved.

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Co May 7, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Thank’s! I will try it.

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Rime May 26, 2012 at 8:37 am

Oh, I’m craving a thick slice of sourdough bread slathered in butter yum! =) Thanks for sharing! I have been wanting to try the art of making sourdough, but haven’t gotten around ot trying it yet this post may just inspire me to do it soon! =) Blessings, Rachel Elizabeth

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Co May 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Thank’s, I will try it,

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amber May 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I use a glass half gallon mason jar and put cheese cloth on top and hold it down with the ring. The starter produces gas, it needs to escape.

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Michelle May 4, 2012 at 11:58 am

I am very excited to use my starter, I finished the starting process and it seems to be doing everything it is supposed to but I have have been keeping in it a plastic container and the lid keeps exploding off. Is this normal? Do I need to keep it in a glass jar that locks?

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Christine Hunt May 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm

It’s important to keep it in a container with a loose fitting lid, not one that screws down or seals. The starter needs to breathe and it’s properties require expansion.

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Eleanor May 3, 2012 at 7:24 am

Hi Joey.
7 days ago i started my own sourdough starter using freshly ground rye flour, it always bubbles lots and everyday i fed it a cup flour and cup water for 7 days. I then proceeded to make pumpernickle bread, the dough does not double in size like the recipe stated it should. is it because of the rye flour being so heavy??

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Christine Hunt May 3, 2012 at 8:23 am

How long did you let it rise? It takes longer with starter than it does with yeast.

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Ella April 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm

hi, ive been feeding my starter once or twice a day and it’s been about 10 days since I started my sourdough starter.
It becomes really bubbly and doubles few hours after feeding.
so i thought it’s ready to be used, and i tried making sourdough bagles yesterday. I dont know what’s wrong but it didn’t seem to work well… the dough didn’t rise as much as it should.
Do you think I should feed my starter for few more days?
or can I now put it into the fridge and feed it weekly?

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Breadtopia April 23, 2012 at 5:03 am

Hi Ella,

I think whenever your starter is bubbly and doubles within a few hours of feeding, it’s ready for baking and ready to store in the fridge with less frequent feedings if you want. I don’t know what the bagel dough issue is, but it doesn’t sound like it’s from lack of starter readiness.

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LaNae Lewis April 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I started a sourdough starter six days ago, following a recipy in a book. I use Rye four, as the recipy sugested, and this morning when I went to make the bread, there was a dry powdery film on the top… is this normal? Or should I start over?

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Christine Hunt May 3, 2012 at 8:26 am

I just stir it in with the next feeding. You can pour off the liquid if you want to though. I wouldn’t start over…feed it….pop it in the frig for a week or so to get a good “sour” on it (or not)….take it out, feed and bake!

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Joey Brown April 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I just wanted to thank you for the starter recipe and video, I just finished step 4 using white flour instead of wheat flour and it is bubbling wonderfully and smells delicious!! how do I need to keep it fed and how long now do I need to wait before I can start cooking with it?

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Breadtopia April 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Hi Joey,

Check out this page on managing your sourdough starter. But basically, when your starter volume increases significantly after feeding, then it’s ready to use for baking.

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carol wharton April 20, 2012 at 8:52 am

Hi Vickie and others….I want to make a correction to a comment I posted re recipe for English muffins….the website I posted should be http://www.freshloaf.com or just google English muffins and the site will come up.
Thanks Vickie for the correction…good muffins and a good use for that extra starter…
carol in Landaff

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carol wharton April 20, 2012 at 8:52 am

Hi Vickie and others….I want to make a correction to a comment I posted re recipe for English muffins….the website I posted should be http://www.freshloaf.com or just google English muffins and the site will come up.
Thanks Vickie for the correction…good muffins and a good use for that extra starter…
carol in Lamdaff

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Vickie April 19, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Well almost 2 months ago I googled sourdough starter and found your site. I have watched quite a few of your videos on starter, campfire bread, and pizza dough. My mom use to make sourdough pancakes all the time so now it was my time to get a starter going. I am quite pleased with your site and how I have learned to maintain my wonderful starter. I have made pizza, pancakes, bread and tonight for the first time I made sourdough english muffins. I don’t think I will ever buy pizza dough in a bag again nor will I ever buy english muffins. Thank you for all the tips. By the way my husband bought me a dutch oven and a pizza pan both of lodge cast iron. I love all my other irons and these are wonderful additions. Now I need a peel. That will be next. Again thanks for this site and all the comments allowed here.

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carol wharton April 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm

If you have more starter than you are using…no need to throw it out…just make English muffins with the extra…on the stove top in a griddle…so easy….found the recipe on http://www.freshloaf.com. Have made them several times and passed on the recipe…Everyone loves the result…excellent right off the stove with or without butter…can also freeze them..
carol

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Vickie April 19, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Carol, I clicked on the posted website but it did not send me to a “bread” website. Then I just googled and came up with http://www.thefreshloaf.com I found the english muffin recipe there and made them today. Excellent! Thank you for the tip. Off the grill or in the toaster either way is wonderful and much better than store bought.

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