Affiliates note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. My content may contain affiliate links to products and services. If you click through and make a purchase, I'll receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay.

How to Make a Foolproof Sourdough Starter

Foolproof Sourdough Starter YouTube Video

Watch this video on YouTube

Hi Sweet Friends,

Making a Sourdough Starter is easier than you think.  The secret is to start with rye flour.  You can use freshly ground rye grain for best results.  Or, if rye grain isn’t available to you, use rye flour, but make sure it’s fresh and not passed its expiration date.

Now that I have a starter…

Once you get your starter going, you’ll want to make a sponge to make your sourdough bread.  At this point, you can use any flour you want to use to make bread—and you will not have any rye taste in your final product.

Mary's Nest How to Make a Foolproof Sourdough Starter

Step-by-step instructions

Watch this YouTube video as I walk you through the step-by-step process of making a foolproof sourdough starter.

Stay in Touch with Mary’s Nest

  1. Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for Traditional Foods Videos (Free) - When you subscribe, be sure to click on the notification bell that will let you know each time I upload a new video.
  2. Subscribe to Mary’s Traditional Foods Newsletter (Free) - Get a free 36-page eBook for signing up: How to Stock Your Essential Traditional Foods Four-Corners Pantry.
  3. Join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy (Optional Paid) - For more detailed videos, live streams, and exclusive members-only perks, join my YouTube membership community.
  4. Order The Modern Pioneer Cookbook (Optional Paid) - Get a printed book of Mary's nourishing recipes from a Traditional Foods Kitchen. This bestselling cookbook is published by Penguin Random House with their DK imprint.

I look forward to having you join me in my Texas Hill Country Kitchen!

You can print the recipe below.

How to Make a Foolproof Sourdough Starter

5 from 8 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 19 minutes
Yield: 1
Making a Sourdough Starter is easier than you think.  The secret is to start with rye flour.  You can use freshly ground rye grain for best results.  Or, if rye grain isn't available to you, use rye flour, but make sure it's fresh and not passed its expiration date.

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp Rye flour preferably freshly milled
  • 4 tbsp Filtered water preferably filtered, chlorine-free

Instructions 

  • Day 1 Mix 1 Tbsp. rye flour and 2 Tbsp. room temp/lukewarm water (preferably filtered chlorine-free water) in a small jar or bowl that holds approximately no more than 1 cup. Mix the two ingredients well, incorporating lots of air. Cover the jar or bowl loosely. Place in a warm spot in your kitchen at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit where it can rest undisturbed.
  • Day 2 Do nothing. The starter in the making will probably smell a little sweet - some say like honey. But if not, don’t worry.
  • Day 3 Now stir in 1 Tbsp. rye flour (no water) into your mixture and stir well, incorporating a lot of air. You may see a few bubbles starting but if not, don’t worry. Re-cover loosely and re-place in its undisturbed warm spot.
  • Day 4 Add 2 Tbsp. room temp/lukewarm water and 2 Tbsp. rye flour into your mixture and stir well, incorporating a lot of air. Re-cover loosely and re-place it back in its undisturbed warm spot.
  • Day 4 1/2 After 8 hours or up to 12 hours later check on your starter. It should be bubbly and foamy. If not, don’t worry. If it has not bubbled up and there is no foam, leave it for another 12 hours. Then repeat Day 4 - which is now Day 5 for you. Check it halfway through after 12 hours on Day 5. At this point, it should be ready. If not, rye grain/rye flour was probably very old. The key to success here is to have fresh rye flour.
  • If everything has gone well, and you have a thriving starter, you are now ready to make sourdough bread. Using your rye starter, you will first want to make a "sponge" which you will use to make your sourdough bread. I have included this information in the Recipe Notes below along with a recipe for a No-Knead Sourdough Bread.

Notes

Once you've got your starter, ready you can make your sponge and sour dough loaf of bread. You can find everything you need to know in my post and video on How to Make Sour Dough Bread with Fool Proof Starter.
Don't like the flavor of rye? While it's necessary to make the starter, it's ok to use any flour you want to use to make bread. This way you will not have any rye taste in your final product.
You know your starter is ready when it's bubbly and a foam forms on top of the flour and water mixture.
Be sure to start your starter with freshly milled rye flour. This is essential to creating a good sour dough starter.
If you do not have the option to mill you own, be sure to use milled rye flour purchased from a reputable source so that you know it is fresh. Hodgson Mills and Bob’s Red Mill are usually reliable sources unless you have a local option.
Course: Breads
Cuisine: Americana
Keyword: Breads, Nutrient Dense Foods, Rye Sourdough Starter, Sourdough Bread, Sourdough Starter
Watch Mary’s Nest on YouTube

Shop for items used in this blog post or video

  • Visit Mary's Nest Amazon Shop
  • Visit my Shopping Guide page
    Get up to 15% off for Stocking your Traditional Foods Pantry and Equipping your Modern Pioneer Kitchen, including discounts from US Wellness Meats, Mockmill Grain Mill, Masontops, Cultures for Health, Survival Garden Seeds, Redmond Real Salt, Plan to Eat, and more!

Pyrex Simply Store Glass Rectangular and Round Food Container Set (18-Piece, BPA-free)
Pyrex 4-Cup Measuring Cup
All-Clad Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
2-Cup Prep Bowl with Lid
Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Grain Rye Berries, 25 Pounds
Food to Live’s Organic Rye Berries by Food to Live, 3 Pound Bag
Bob’s Red Mill Organic Dark Rye Flour – 22 oz – 2 pk
Hodgson Mill Stone Ground Whole Grain Rye Flour – 5 lb. Bag (Pack of 6)
Arrowhead Mills Organic Rye Flour, 20 oz. Bag (Pack of 6)
Wine Colored Cotton Terry Dish Towels

Affiliates note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. My content may contain affiliate links to products and services. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay.

Disclaimer:I am not a medical doctor, a medical professional, a dietician, or a nutritionist. All content found on the MarysNest.com website, including text, images, videos, eBooks or eGuides, social media, or other formats, were created solely for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or proper nutritional advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have watched in a video or read on this website. Use caution when following the recipe in this video. The creator and publisher of this video and website will not be held responsible for any adverse effects that may arise from the use of this recipe and method or any other recipe and method on this website or corresponding video channel.

Posted in: ,

About the Author

Read More About Me

You may also like:

Comments

    1. Hi Susan,

      Thanks so much for your kind comment.

      I’m so glad we’re on this traditional foods journey together! 🙂

      Love and God bless,
      Mary

    1. Hi Frances,

      Thanks for your kind comment. I hope you enjoy many delicious sourdough breads in the future!

      Love and God bless,
      Mary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating