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Sourdough Starter

by Jordan Bourke from his book Healthy Baking





Making your own sourdough starter is an easy process. You’ll only have to make it once as it will last a lifetime if looked after properly.

You’ll need a 500ml jar along with the ingredients listed below.


Day 1:

80g wholegrain spelt flour

20g white spelt flour

100ml water

2 tsp raisins

Add all the ingredients into a jar and thoroughly combine with a spoon. Cover loosely with the lid (so the air can circulate in and out of the jar) and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.


Day 2:

80g wholegrain spelt flour

20g white spelt flour

100ml water

Add the flours and water to the jar and combine. Cover loosely and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.


Day 3:

50g wholegrain spelt flour

50g white spelt flour

100ml water

Add the flours and water to the jar and combine. Cover loosely and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.


Day 4:

20g wholegrain spelt flour

80g white spelt flour

100ml water

Add the flours and water to the jar and combine. Cover loosely and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.


Day 5:

20g wholegrain spelt flour

80g white spelt flour

100ml water

Discard half the starter (otherwise it will become enormous and very difficult to manage. Add the flours and water to the jar and combine. Cover loosely and leave at room temperature for 24 hours. Use an elastic band to mark the level of the starter just after you have added in the flour and water. It is then easy to see how much it is rising and falling over the course of the next 24 hours.


Day 6: feeding and maintenance

100g white spelt flour

100ml water

From now on you will be maintaining the starter. Each day around the same time, discard at least half the starter making sure that there is always at least 4 tablespoons remaining. Feed this remaining starter with an equal amount of flour and water, roughly using 100g of each. Add this to the jar and combine thoroughly. Bear in mind that the amount of flour and water you add into your starter should always exceed the amount of starter you begin with. Cover loosely and leave at room temperature for 24 hours. Repeat this process of discarding and feeding every day to maintain the starter.

You will notice when your feed your starter that it doubles and sometime triples, in volume over the course of the following 8-12 hours. You want to use this starter when it’s close to the peak of its activity. This will vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen, so aim to feed about 6-10 hours before you make your bread and keep an eye on it.