Instructions for making a sourdough starter

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It seems to be a new trend, everywhere you read and hear about it- baking with sourdough. The Corona pandemic has given sourdough a new lease of life. And yet its history goes way back to the year 79 AD. As Claude Aubert writes in his work „Les Alimente Fermentes traditionnels“: „The history of bread baking is a good example of the industrialisation and standardisation of a formerly empirical technique…It was easier to replace natural leavening agents with ale yeast. There are numerous practical advantages: Fermentation is more even and faster and the bread rises better. But the fermentation is mainly an alcoholic fermentation and the souring is affected. The bread is less easily digestible, has less flavour and spoils more quickly.“  Terre vivante, 1985). Therefore, in this article, I would like to show you how you can easily grow your own sourdough starter, in order to bake fabulous bread!

People who are sensitive to gluten often tolerate sourdough breads well. However, if you suffer from manifest coeliac disease, all gluten-containing grains (rye, wheat, spelt, emmer, einkorn, barley, green spelt) should be avoided!

In the future I will present a few recipes for which you need sourdough, so I will first explain how to make a sourdough starter. Rye flour is best for this. You need a few minutes every day for a week to make it. So if you like baking and eating bread and want to do something good for yourself and your health, take the time to study the instructions for making a sourdough starter. 🙂

1. instructions for making a sourdough starter

  • Mix 100g of rye flour (preferably freshly ground) and 200ml of cold water in a bowl. Make sure the rim of the bowl stays clean, or wipe it with a kitchen towel after mixing. Cover the bowl with a loose lid or cloth. If you cover it with a cloth, secure it with a rubber band so that nothing slips. Leave the mixture for 24 hours in a reasonably warm place in the home (e.g. in a wardrobe or a warm corner of the living room).
  • After 12 hours, stir once, preferably with a wooden spoon.
  • After another 12 hours and for a total of 7 days, add 50g of rye flour and approx. 100ml of water and proceed as described above. It is advisable to pour the mixture into a second clean bowl. The mixture should have the consistency of a thick soup.
  • After a few days, you will notice that bubbles form on the surface and that the mixture smells somewhat wine-like and sourly fermented. If this is not the case and it smells bad, e.g. like rotten eggs, unfortunately the wrong bacteria have taken over and the mixture must be disposed of…
    The bubbling stage lasts for a few days and then gradually „calms down“.
  • On the 7th day you can bake with the sourdough!

This is what the whole thing looks like:


Note: Keep a portion (approx. 50g) for the next starter dough! The best way to do this is to use a canning jar with a wire clip lid, which you do not close, but just place loosely on top. You can store this in the fridge. Once a week, you should refresh the starter as follows:

2. refreshing the sourdough starter

Put 50g of water and 50g of (rye) flour in a clean jar and add 10g of the starter prepared above. Leave it in a warm place for 5-10 hours. Before you put it back in the fridge, the volume should have increased by about half. Or you can bake with it after the time mentioned above. Don’t forget to keep a small amount back.


I admit, the instructions for making a sourdough starter sound a bit complicated and cumbersome. However, it isn’t once you are a well-oiled team with your sourdough pet.

Until the sourdough starter is ready to go, you can bake some delicious wholemeal spelt waffles or quick healthy bagels to tide you over. 🙂

Have fun and good luck!

Your Alina





  • Word-of-mouth (the dear husband of a friend is a gifted sourdough baker).
  • He also gave me the hint about the Plötz principle by Lutz Geissler („Bread Baking in Perfection with Sourdough“).
  • the book „Nourishing Traditions“ by Sally Fallon



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