How to: Make a Sourdough Starter

I love sourdough, always have. Growing up in Europe and the San Francisco Bay Area meant that I was always around delicious bread. Bread with a crispy crust and a soft interior. In Europe I loved the rolls and the crusty rye bread we’d buy from the grocery store. In the Bay Area we always made sure to pick up a loaf of San Francisco sourdough from my local grocery store. After moving away from these places it was hard for me to find “good bread”, and I realized that I would have to resort to making it myself.

In the years since, I’ve baked many, many loaves of bread. When I first discovered how to make a sourdough starter and then started baking with it, I knew I had finally found the bread that my dreams were made of. Airy, light, crunchy, crispy and utterly delicious. It is the perfect bread to dip in soup or to eat toasted with a schmear of butter.

As I’ve posted photos of the beautiful loaves of bread coming out of my home oven on social media, I’ve had many comments and questions regarding sourdough. Thanks to the cancellation of school, my trip to Morocco and the direction to self-quarantine for a few weeks, I figured it’s the perfect time to make a sourdough starter and share this process with you so you can make your own beautiful loaves and bread. Making a starter usually takes about 3 weeks (sometimes a little more or less) depending on the flour you use. Rye flour will react faster than whole wheat flour, but both will work well.

Download this worksheet below as a guide to making your own sourdough starter

I would love for you to follow along with us on Instagram the next few weeks as we make a starter together and then get ready to make a loaf of the most delicious bread!

To participate you will need:

1. A kitchen scale that uses metric system (grams)

2. 2.5 lbs whole wheat flour (or rye flour)

3. 2.5 lbs white all purpose flour

4. Distilled or bottled water

5. A jar with a mouth wide enough for you to stick your hand in and tall enough for your starter to rise a bit .

6. Optional: A rubber spatula

7. Download the sourdough starter worksheet for information and to make notes

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread for daily updates and troubleshooting. I will be sharing the process over the next few weeks and we will figure out how to grow our starters together – there’s no time like the present! We will begin on Monday, so get ready for a fun science experiment with your kids and to bake some delicious bread. I am so excited to get started!

Even if you don’t follow along starting Monday, you can use the worksheet below to get started on your own.


Please share this post if you enjoyed it or know someone who would love to learn to make their own sourdough starter! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see it.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread or like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook to participate and for more bread baking ideas.