Sourdough Starter Day-By-Day Guide: Easy Beginners Tutorial

Sourdough Starter Day-By-Day Guide for Beginners


In this comprehensive tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a sourdough starter from scratch using just flour and water. This step-by-step guide, complete with day stamps and feeding amounts, helps beginners navigate the process seamlessly. By the end of the week, you’ll have a healthy, active starter ready for baking sourdough bread. I will explain the importance of temperature, choice of flour, and proper equipment, making it easy to follow along and achieve success even if you’re new to sourdough baking.

Introduction to Sourdough Starter

A sourdough starter is a fermented mixture of flour and water that uses wild yeast and bacteria to naturally leaven bread. With this guide, you’ll be able to make your very own starter to use for baking delicious, naturally leavened bread.

Day 1: Mixing the Starter

Ingredients and Initial Mix: Combine 50 grams of water and 50 grams of flour in a jar. Stir it with a spatula until well combined, ensuring the sides of the jar are clean.

Equipment: Use a scale for accuracy, a spatula for thorough mixing, and a jar with a loose lid to allow air circulation. Specific jars like the ‘sour house’ are recommended for ease of use and cleaning.

Temperature Considerations: Temperature plays a crucial role in the fermentation process. If your house is cold (below 18°C or 65°F), use warm water. If it’s hot (above 27°C or 80°F), use cold water. The ideal temperature range allows for once-a-day feeding, maintaining the starter’s health and acidity levels.

Day 2: Stirring Without Feeding

Observation: No significant activity is expected yet. Stir the mixture now and again in 12 hours.

Patience: The starter needs time to develop, so no feeding is required on this day.

Day 3: First Feeding

Signs of Activity: By day three, you should see slight rises and air bubbles. This is a good sign that it’s time for the first feeding.

Feeding Process: Remove 50 grams of the starter, then add 50 grams of water and 50 grams of flour. Stir and let it sit.

Day 4: Continued Feeding

Increased Activity: The starter shows more bubbles and rises, indicating healthy activity.

Routine: Feed the starter again with the same ratio (50 grams each of starter, water, and flour). You can clean the jar if desired for better observation.

Day 5: Adjusting the Feeding Ratio

Peak Observation: The starter doubles and begins to sink, indicating it’s time to adjust the feeding ratio.

Rationale: Reduce the starter amount to 25 grams and add 50 grams of flour and water. This slows fermentation, preventing over-acidity. Balancing yeast and lactic acid bacteria is crucial for flavor and activity.

Day 6: Slowing Down the Process

Further Adjustment: Due to increased activity, change the ratio to 10 grams of starter with 50 grams of water and 50 grams of flour. This will slow down the starter, so feeding is needed only once every 24 hours.

Observation: The starter remains active without peaking too quickly, indicating a balanced feeding schedule.

Day 7: Ready for Baking

Final Assessment: The starter has doubled and started to sink, showing it’s ready for use.

Maintenance Tips: Continue feeding for a few more days for optimal strength. A more detailed guide on maintaining and using the starter will follow in another tutorial.


Creating a sourdough starter involves careful observation, patience, and adjustments based on the starter’s activity and your environment. By following this day-by-day guide, even beginners can develop a robust starter ready for baking delicious sourdough bread. Stay tuned for more tips on maintaining and using your starter in future tutorials.

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