Your Guide to Creating the Perfect Sourdough Starter

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Your Guide to Creating the Perfect Sourdough Starter

Who doesn’t love the taste of crispy, chewy sourdough bread? Imagine if you could bake it yourself with only a few ingredients and for a fraction of the price! Well, we’re here to tell you that you can!

The first, and very best place to start, is by creating your own sourdough starter. If you happen to know someone who makes sourdough you can skip this step by stealing some of their starter! Head to the end of this blog for tips on how to store and activate your starter.

We’ve set out how to make sourdough starter in a few easy steps. Just a note that this is a bit of a time-consuming process. But one of the great parts of making sourdough is learning to have a little bit of patience, so consider this your first lesson.


What ingredients and equipment do I need for my sourdough starter?

To make a sourdough starter you just need flour, water, a glass jar and a wooden spoon. Your Thermomix® will also come in handy for helping you to measure the flour and water accurately.

We’ve had best results with using a good quality wholegrain flour or rye flour. But you can use a good quality plain or baker’s flour if that’s all you have on hand. Stay away from bleached flours. For an immature starter we also find it easier to stick to using the same type of flour until your starter has matured.

Day 1: 

In a clean glass jar mix together 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of filtered water. Stir until well combined, cover loosely with a muslin or chux cloth, then set the jar aside in a warm place for 24 hours. If the water from your tap is very cold you can gently warm in your Thermomix® on 37C.

Day 2: 

You may not notice much activity yet, but that’s okay! Discard half of the mixture (about 50 grams) and add another 50 grams each of flour and water. Stir well, cover, and let it rest for another 24 hours.

Day 3 and beyond: 

By now you might start to see some bubbles forming and detect a slightly sour smell – that’s the magic happening! Each day, continue with the same feeding routine: discard half and add equal parts flour and water.

Repeat this process daily for 5-7 days or until your starter is lively, bubbly and has a pleasant tangy aroma. If after 5 days you’re not seeing much activity, check out some of the tips in our troubleshooting section.

You can place an elastic band around your jar to measure how much your starter is growing. Ideally you want it to double in size. Once it reaches its peak it will then fall, which means it’s time for another feed.


For step-by-step instructions, you can follow this Mother sourdough starter recipe on Cookidoo®.

Troubleshooting your sourdough starter

Developing a sourdough starter can be a wild process, so you may run into a few issues or questions along the way. Here are some common ones: 

My starter isn't bubbling

If it’s only been a few days it may be that your starter is just taking a little longer to develop. You can speed this process up by making sure that your environment is nice and warm. Some ideas to keep your starter warm are inside the oven with the light on, on top of the dishwasher, or in a cupboard next to your oven. You can also place your starter in the Varoma of your TM6 and place your TM6 onto fermentation mode at 50C.


Liquid is forming on top of your starter

Sometimes you may get some dark liquid forming on top of your starter. This is called hooch and it’s perfectly normal. You can either pour it off, or mix it back in, and feed as normal. Your starter develops hooch when it’s hungry so consider feeding your starter more often (every 12 hours instead of 24) or feeding your starter a higher amount of flour and water (like 100g of each).


My starter has grown mould 

If your starter develops anything that is orange, pink or furry, then it’s time to ditch it and start again. Make sure that your jar and utensils are clean and sterilised. 


When is my starter ready to bake with?

When your starter is regularly doubling in size, it's time to start baking! For best results, we recommend developing your starter for 10-14 days. The more mature your starter, the stronger it is, and the better your bread will be. 

Once your starter has matured, you can pop a lid on your jar and place your starter in the fridge if you need a break from feeding. When you're ready, take it out and start feeding it twice a day again for a few days until it's bubbly and doubling in size. 


What recipes can I create with my starter?

Head to our Sourdough collection for a recipe on how to make the mother of all starters from scratch and more delicious sourdough recipes. The Easy sourdough loaf is our pick for a beginners recipe. 


Haven't got everything you knead for the perfect loaf? Head to TheMix Shop for all your essential bread-baking needs!