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Chef John's Sourdough Starter

Rated as 5 out of 5 Stars
57k

"Here's part 1 of my 2-part recipe for sourdough bread. It takes 4 days to make the starter, but there's really not much to it other than 'feeding' the starter once a day for about 10 days."
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Ingredients

10 d 15 m servings 316
Original recipe yields 8 servings

Directions

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  1. Day 1: Mix 70 grams flour and 70 grams water together in a container with a lid. Container needs to be large enough to accommodate another 70 grams water and flour. Cover loosely so gases can escape. Leave for 24 hours at 70 degrees F.
  2. Day 2: Add 70 grams flour and 70 grams water. Stir. Cover loosely and leave for 24 hours at 70 degrees.
  3. Day 3: Remove half (140 grams) of the starter. Add 70 grams flour and 70 grams water. Stir. Cover loosely and leave for 24 hours at 70 degrees.
  4. Day 4 through about Day 10: Repeat Step 3 each day until starter smells fruity, yeasty, and is beautifully fermented. You can test this by seeing if the mixture doubles within 2 to 3 hours of feeding.
  5. Refrigerate until needed. Most people recommend you feed the starter once a month or so (Step 3).
  6. To make bread using a refrigerated starter: feed it at room temperature for two days. Use your refreshed starter to make bread on the third day. Remember to set aside 140 grams of starter and feed it again before returning it to the fridge.

Footnotes

  • Chef's Notes:
  • The exact number of grams seen herein doesn't really matter, as long as you're using exactly the same amount of flour and water, by weight.
  • I use gram weights for flour and water to ensure I'm using exactly the same amount for each. 700 grams of flour equals about 3 cups; 70 grams equals about 1/3 cup. But I do recommend using a kitchen scale to measure grams.
  • For best results, use bottled water; chlorine can kill the yeast/bacteria.
  • You can use different kinds of flour. I like half spelt and half bread flour, but this recipe will work with pretty much any combination, including all wheat flour.
  • Get the recipe for Chef John's Sourdough Bread.

Nutrition Facts


Per Serving: 316 calories; 1.5 63.5 10.5 0 4 Full nutrition

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Reviews

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I named my starter "Abreadnego" because it's going in "the firey furnace. *Ba-dum-ching!*

My little pet is doing really well. Haven't named it yet. Very excited to make sourdough for my family. Thanks for the straightforward recipe/tutorial. I came across many on the internet but it...

Awesome video and no problem on the starter. On the 10th day said starter rose over double. I used bread flour and whole wheat flour and tap water. I baked a small loaf that was sooo good. My...

Today I have to make new starter because I messed up my initial one by adding BREAD MAKING ingredients to it. YIKES. This recipe is spot on. I used it to make so many loves of bread that I d...

I did all this and my sourdough starter is a champ. Named him Lievito Corleone. Unlike some of the drier starters, this takes on a really lovely lactic/acetic balance that makes a subtly sour b...

So far so good. I made bread on day 9 and refrigerated the rest of the starter. Prepping to make bread again in 2 days, so the starter is out of the refrig and will feed it for 2 days again.

Love this starter, great directions! Just one thing, mine never doubled in the 10 days.