Sourdough Starter Recipe

September 1, 2021 (Last Updated: September 2, 2021)
Sourdough Starter

Making a sourdough starter doesn’t have to be complicated. It took me several attempts to get it right when I first started. I found that using pineapple juice was the key to success. This is a foolproof sourdough starter recipe that will have you baking brag-worthy bread in no time.

One thing to remember is that it takes a lot of patience to get a sourdough starter going, but once you do, all you need is to do some easy maintenance and it will last forever!

NOTE: While sourdough is a better option for people with gluten intolerance, it should not be consumed by people who have Celiac Disease. But don’t be too bummed, gluten-free sourdough is possible. Check out my Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter recipe if gluten is a no-go for you.

Why Do I Need a Sourdough Starter?

Simply put, you cannot make sourdough bread without a starter. The long and slow process of making your starter builds up a strong, thriving colony of wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria that are responsible for creating that classic sour tang and active dough that sourdough bread is known for.

If making this sourdough starter recipe sounds too daunting, there is no shame in buying a starter. Cultures for Health has great products, and you can order with on Amazon Prime and have it at your door in just a couple of days.

How to Make a Sourdough Starter

Making this sourdough starter recipe is simple, but takes a little patience. I have found that using pineapple juice instead of water in the first 3 days prevents a lot of the issues that can occur when you are getting off the ground. The acidity of the juice drops the PH of the starter, ensuring that no unwanted spoilage takes over. It also adds a little extra sugar to get your sourdough starter going quicker.

Day 1: Add 1/4 C whole wheat flour and 1/4 C pineapple juice to a jar or glass container and combine. Cover with a clean towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Set in a warm area for 24 hours.

Day 2: Repeat Day 1. You should see a little activity starting, and the starter might have a few bubbles in it. If not, it’s okay, and it will start to pick up.

Day 3: Discard half of the starter, and repeat Day 1 again.

Days 4-10: Discard half of the starter and add 1/4 C non-chlorinated water and 1/4 C of whole wheat flour. Combine and cover, then set in a warm place and leave for 24 hours.

I like to place a rubber band around the jar to the jar as a marker to measure how much the starter rises.

When the starter begins to double in size within 24 hours after feeding, congratulations, it is ready to use.

Ways to Store and Maintain Your Starter

  • On the counter: I recommend this option if you are going to be baking almost everyday. Be sure to feed your starter every 24 hours with 1/4 C each of water and flour to keep it alive and healthy.
  • In the refrigerator: This is a great option if you are going to be baking bread every once in a awhile. Storing it in the refrigerator slows down the fermentation process and maintenance becomes much less demanding. Feed your starter once per week with 1/4 C each of flour and water when storing this way.
  • In the freezer: If baking is a rare thing for you, or you are going to be out of town and can’t maintain your starter, stick it in the freezer in a Zip-lock bag, airtight container, or vacuum-sealed bag for up to a year.

Once you have your starter active and ready to go, you’ll want to dive into making sourdough bread. Here’s a great recipe by Feasting at Home and one of the easiest and best I have run into.

I hope you found this post helpful, and I’d love to hear how your starters turn out. Please reach out if you have any questions.

Happy Fermenting!

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Sourdough Starter Recipe

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By Curie Ganio
Prep Time: 10 min

A fool-proof method for making a sourdough starter using pineapple juice.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 C 100% Pineapple Juice
  • 1 3/4 C Non-chlorinated Water
  • 2 1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour

Instructions

1

Day 1: Add 1/4 C whole wheat flour and 1/4 C pineapple juice to a jar or glass container and combine. Cover with a clean towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Set in a warm are for 24 hours.

2

Day 2: Repeat Day 1. You should see a little activity starting, and the starter might have a few bubbles in it. If not, it's okay, and it will start to pick up.

3

Day 3: Discard half of the starter, and repeat Day 1 again.

4

Days 4-10: Discard half of the starter and add 1/4 C non-chlorinated water and 1/4 C of whole wheat flour. Combine and cover, then set in a warm place and leave for 24 hours.

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