Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sour Dough Starter

I often get emails or comments on Instagram regarding my sour doughs. So I though I would share some of my recipes with you. Firstly to make a sour dough you will need a 'starter' (also known as a sour dough 'sponge'), there are many different kinds and depending on what you 'feed' your starter, your sour dough will most likely be different to others.

If you can find someone who has had a starter going for quiet a while (There are starters in old bakeries that have been going for hundreds of years), then I recommend grabbing a bit of theirs (they have already done all the hard work) and feeding it up for yourself.

If your not lucky enough to find a good started to nab some from here is a simple recipe to make your own. 


Day 1
  • 5 tbsp fresh, live, full-fat, plain yoghurt
  • 175ml skimmed milk
Day 2
  • 120g white flour
Day 4
  • 180g white flour
  • 100ml water
  • 3 tbsp milk
Day 5
  • 150g white flour
  • 150ml water

  • Method

  1. On day one, heat the milk in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Place the yoghurt into a bowl and stir in the warmed milk. Cover and leave in a warm place for 12-24 hours until thickened. Stir in any liquids that may have separated.
  2. On day two, stir the flour into the yoghurt evenly. Cover and leave at room temperature for two days. The mixture should be full of bubbles and smell pleasantly sour.
  3. On day four, add the flour to the starter with the water and the milk. Cover and leave at warm room temperature for 12-24 hours.
  4. On day five the starter should be quite active now and be full of little bubbles. Remove half of the starter and discard. Add the flour and the water to the remaining starter and mix thoroughly. Cover and leave at warm room temperature for 24 hours.
  5. On day six the starter should be ready to use. You can keep the starter at room temperature, but you will need to feed it daily. Combine equal parts of the starter, water and flour and mix thoroughly. You may have to discard some of the starter so that you do not end up with too much. Keep covered and use as needed.
  6. If baking less often keep the starter covered in the fridge, feeding it once every five days or so by mixing equal parts of starter, flour and water. You can freeze some of your starter too, as a back-up in case you need to start again.

Enjoy making your starter! 

I will be back with my favourite sour dough recipe soon.


  1. I got some starter from a friend but it failed! Maybe I fed it the wrong things...or it just didn't like my kitchen.
    We also got a "Herman the German" friendship cake which is a sour dough cake passed to was a great success and I passed dough onto my friends...I wish I had thought to keep some for myself too!


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