Getting Started with Sourdough Starter

I posted in our local online Front Porch Forum asking people to let me know if they would like free sourdough starter. I have had wonderful responses and it is clear from quite a few that they are new to working with sourdough, and some are new to bread baking at all! I am delighted to get people started and want to be clear that I only started making sourdough when new Front Porch Forum friends Kathleen and Jamie shared some of their starter with me a month ago! The pictures speak for themselves (along with the extra pounds I am trying to keep off – No picture of that!)

So airy!
My first three sourdough boules baked in the dutch oven.

In case you aren’t very familiar with sourdough, I wanted to share a couple of tips to get you started. These directions begin with an established sourdough starter. Go to the Simple Sourdough Starter website for making sourdough starter from scratch.

  1. Transfer established sourdough starter to a quart mason jar.
  2. Mix it with ½ cup of water and 1 cup of all-purpose white flour. Stir until smooth and thick like peanut butter. Put a rubber band around the top of the starter so you can see how much it rises.
  3. Let it rise on your counter until at least doubled in size, typically 4-6 hours. The starter should now be twice as high as the rubber band.
  4. Skip to Step 6 in the Simple Sourdough Starter website  – DO THE FLOAT TEST. (This has been my go-to website to learn how to work with sourdough starter.)
  5. If you’re an experienced sourdough baker, you are ready to go! You should have 1 1/2 cups of starter to use in your recipe. If you need more, repeat steps 2-4 until you have enough.
  6. If you are new to baking bread, watch my video for making no-knead bread and follow the recipe for No-Knead Sourdough Bread.
  7. Email me at if after reading all the resources, you’re still unclear about something. I’m certainly not an expert and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned so far making bread, including sourdough, for my family, friends, and Bread Fairy “customers”!

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