Sourdough Starter Recipe

Living in Tennessee, sourdough bread was a staple. Often it was made with potatoes for a smoother flavour. This recipe was one I got from some ladies who lived in the area.

I just made it tonight, and the picture above is what it looks like after you mix all the ingredients together. It has to sit on the counter for 2-3 days before it’s ready to be used in any sourdough recipe. Then you place it into the fridge and each week you “feed it” by adding 1 cup flour and 1 cup of water.

The water I use for this is always spring water because I feel that city water has chemicals that may affect how it turns out. I also don’t use iodized salt. You will find in any bread recipe that by using non-iodized salt (like sea salt or kosher salt) the yeast will grow better and you will get a fluffier bread.

I always use to make my starter with whole wheat flour so I’m not sure this will turn out well. I will let you know.

*Make sure all utensils are perfectly clean or you will get mould in your starter. Also don’t use any metal while making this, it reacts. Stick to glass bowls and wooden spoons or spatulas.


2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups spring water (room temperature)

1 tbsp yeast

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp non iodized salt

Mix the first four ingredients in a large non metal bowl until well blended with a wooden spoon or spatula. The result should be smooth. Then blend in the salt and mix until completely incorporating it into the dough mixture.

Cover the bowl loosely with parchment paper (this will prevent the dough from sticking to your cloth) then place a clean tea towel or cheese cloth over the bowl. Place in a warm place on your kitchen counter on top of a cookie sheet because it may spill over while growing. Stir the mixture several times a day. The first three hours it will grow quickly, so watch it. By the end of the first day, a clear liquid should form much like you see on top of yogurt. Stir this in. The mixture should remain beige and bubbly. Continue to do this for 2-3 days, until you get a sweet smelling mixture. (almost like a beer smell). This is when it is ready for use in a sourdough recipe. Place what is remaining in the fridge, covered with Saran Wrap or place it in a mason jar. Each week, take it out and “feed it” with 1 cup flour and 1 cup water. Let sit on the counter overnight then return to fridge. Before you use the starter, always take it out overnight and test it the next day. If it floats in water, the starter is active.

Summer is a perfect time to start this project because the heat is conducive to fermenting the dough. You will have this starter forever if you feed it every week. If you see any strange colour on top of it, throw it out…it’s mould. That’s why you have to make sure that every utensil you use is perfectly clean. If you don’t use the starter enough, you can give some away. I’ve even seen it being sold online. Why? When you can make this yourself.

Have fun


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