Sourdough starter

Sourdough starter

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  • Makes 4 cups
  • Easy
  • 5 days


  • 30 g Eureka Mills white bread flour
  • 30 g warm water
  • To feed the starter, mix:
  • 30 g initial starter mixture
  • 30 g Eureka Mills white bread flour
  • 30 g water

Cooking Instructions

To make the initial starter, place the flour and water into a glass bowl and stir vigorously until combined into a smooth batter. Scrape down the sides and loosely cover the bowl with clingwrap. Place in a warm area in the kitchen and allow to stand for 24 hours.

To feed the starter, mix 30g of the initial starter mixture with 30g flour and 30g water, at the same time of day, for the next 5 days. Be sure to mix until smooth. Cover and place in a warm area for 24 hours. Repeat this process for 5 days.

The starter should be bubbly, even frothy. It should also smell quite sour and pungent. It’s now ready to use.

Cook's tip: While bread flour and wholewheat flour makes delicious sourdough, you can also use cake flour for this, or rye flour. If you're using rye flour, use double the amount of water. Gluten-free flour will unfortunately not produce a classic sourdough loaf, though you may get an edible bread. If dark spots of mould form on top of your starter, discard it and start again.

Think making your own sourdough starter is too difficult? Think again. Okay, it takes a while, but the result is totally worth it. Plus, your friends will be seriously impressed.
Wild yeast is present in all our; you simply have to “activate” it to make your own starter so that you don’t have to use commercially produced yeast when baking. All you need is flour and water. After a day or two, bubbles will start to form in the starter, indicating that the yeast is becoming active and multiplying. Feed it with more our and water for about five days (depending on the conditions in your kitchen) until it becomes frothy and ready to use.

Discover more bread recipes here.

Abigail Donnelly Recipe by: Abigail Donnelly
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Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Director quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.

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  • Boitumelo
    June 6, 2022

    I have always been fascinated by the idea of making my own bread, kind of like fresh from my oven type of vibes. And lo and behold, today’s thee day. I’ve just started cultivating mine and fingers crossed I don’t mess it up.

    Thanks a bunch!

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    John de Kock
    May 20, 2020

    Really great process. My only question is that your ingredients call for “30 g initial starter mixture”. This may be confusing to people trying this for the first time.
    Secondly, you have not addressed the following issues:
    1. Equipment sterility. You need to make sure that your equipment is clean and sterile.. Your note “If dark spots of mould form on top of your starter” means that your environment is not as sterile as you need it to be.
    2. Use spring or bottled water. You want to avoid clorinated and florinated municipal water.
    3. Make sure that you use Eureka flour. Their Rye flour gets an amazing sourdough starter going. NEVER use bleached flour.
    If you are going to bake frequently you can store your starter in a cool dark place. If you are going to use it infrequently (once a week,maybe) you should store it in your fridge to slow down yeast reproduction. You can also take some of your active starter and dry it out. Once dry, you can store it in a dry air-tight jar. You can store this almost indefinitely and use it to kick-start a new starter by re-hydrating it. This way you can avoid the week-long process.
    Thanks for your instructions!
    Thank you!

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    Wayne Sylvester
    April 8, 2020

    This is great just started mine now. When all all is done and ready in a few days, where do you store it in between making breads?

    Thanks agin