Sourdough Starter Recipe To Make From Scratch

Before you can make sourdough bread you need a sourdough starter. This is known as a pre-ferment, or levain (French). The starter adds a unique sour flavour to the bread.

Sourdough Starter
Sourdough Starter
Head straight on to the recipe for Sourdough Starter ♥

Every time we go overseas I put Cordelia, my sourdough starter, into the freezer. When we get back I defrost her slowly in the fridge. As soon as she is ready to go I start my weekly cycle of bread baking. However, when we got back from Europe last September something went wrong. My sourdough grew mould. I had only a pinch of the dried starter left which was not enough to revive Cordelia. I was not too concerned as I had queries from readers’ wanting to start their own sourdough from scratch. To this end I had a few recipes to try out. The first one used grated apples and the first day was a huge success but after 3 days it had gone off. So that was binned.

Today’s inspiration ♥ Recipe For Sourdough Starter ♥ can be found on Lavender and Lime Share on X

The second method called for feeding slowly until the sourdough had doubled in size. I managed to get this one to start off well for the first 5 days. But the starter needs a constant temperature of over 28° Celsius and even though my weather app told me we were in for a lot of hot days, that didn’t happen. And so my second batch failed. The third attempt was a huge success. I took a recipe for Levain which is a super quick way to get a starter going and dragged it out to make my sourdough have that perfect smell and hydration. It is super easy to do and if you have a few hot days coming your way then get started. After I had successfully made this I added the pinch of Cordelia I had left over and my new starter is called Cordevain.

The First Sourdough Loaf
The First Sourdough Loaf

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5 from 1 vote

Sourdough Starter

This is the easiest method to make your own starter
Recipe Category: Bread


for the pre-ferment

  • 1 kg bread flour, divided
  • 1 l water, divided


for the pre-ferment

  • Place 250g flour and 250mls water into a plastic bowl
  • Mix together using a fork and cover with cling film
  • Make several holes in the cling film and place in a warm, draft free place
  • After 24 hours pour off 150g of your starter and set aside
  • Discard the rest in your dustbin
  • Feed by placing 250g flour and 250mls water into the plastic bowl
  • Add the starter, cover as above and set aside as above for 12 hours
  • Once again pour off 150g and feed as above
  • Set aside for 12 hours and then repeat the feeding process
  • Set aside for 24 hours by which time little bubbles should have formed

to create a 100% hydration

  • Weigh your starter *
  • Add equal amounts of flour and water
  • Mix well and store in a sterilised glass bottle


* I weighed off 200g starter and added 200g flour and 200g water.
I feed my starter each week by removing 125mls and adding 60mls flour and 60mls water
Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime March 13:

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26 thoughts on “Sourdough Starter Recipe To Make From Scratch

  1. 5 stars
    How wonderful that you bake your own bread Tandy, I’ve always wanted to make my own starter. Will come back here when I am ready.

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