It was the 22nd April 2022 when I finally succeeded making my own sourdough. It came a long way.
1-2 years ago I started dealing with this topic. A baking book with instructions was bought, a one-time course at the adult education center was taken and several attempts were started until it finally worked.
When I started baking bread, I did not want to start directly with the most difficult version and first used yeast. I started with a book guiding me through the process. At the beginning I simply used a baking sheet. But quickly I wanted more and got myself a proofing basket and a cast iron pot. Every week I made different breads for me and my fiancé, sometimes small baguettes or rolls.
Some time passed and slowly the thought came to me I could try out sourdough. So I ordered a suitable book with step by step instructions and started. Unfortunately with not very great success. The sourdough just did not want to succeed. Sometimes it got mold, other times it just didn’t rise. I did not even get to the baking part.
After the first few unsuccessful attempts, I focused on other topics for a while. Since I still wanted to eat my homemade bread I started going back to yeast versions.
Last fall I found a class at the adult education center and signed up right away. It was a lot of fun and we were even allowed to take some sourdough home with us. I took good care of it, a bread was baked and then the sourdough was frozen, because I didn’t have time to bake.
And again I focused on other topics for a while. With yeast I continued to bake my bread almost every week. And then came spring and I decided to give it another try.
I googled extensively what it takes to make your own sourdough. All the sites said basically the same thing, so I wrote my own little instructions. I had the ingredients at home: flour and water.
I was super enthusiastic and mixed up the 1st version. Unfortunately, it didn’t survive the 4th day. What I did wrong, I have no idea. The same thing happened to me again, unfortunately, and so the subject once again left my focus. This time, however, only briefly and I tried for the 3rd time. I had a few days off and enough time to get back into it.
And what shall I say, everything went well. No strange smell that does not belong to a sourdough, no mold. How happy I was. The first bread could be baked and was quite acceptable. I could work with it. The motivation remained. I put the sourdough in the refrigerator and feed it since then once a week. Since my bread doughs are allowed to rise for about 24 hours, the sourdough is fed again in the morning on the day of baking. It then goes into the fridge or on the kitchen counter to rise so I can use it in the evening.
I hope I give you some hope with this text. Not every attempt succeeds and especially not the first time. I have needed certainly 1-2 years until I finally got the sourdough to work. Keep trying, even if it is difficult sometime. But breaks are also okay. It should be fun and you just don’t always have that. As much as I like to cook and bake, there are times when I just don’t feel like it.
Here now for you my instructions for your own sourdough, the way it worked for me. Maybe it works for you as well.
I will post a bread recipe in which you can use your sourdough on in a few days. Until then, have fun and success trying it out.
Making wheat sourdough
What you need:
- A large jar – I use an old honey jar
- Whole wheat flour
How to make it:
You can find the instructions to print out again below 🙂 .
Put 50 g whole wheat flour and 50 g warm water in your jar. Stir well so that a creamy mass is formed.
Put the lid on your jar – but do not screw it down. Oxygen must get to your mixture. Put your sourdough in a warm room for about 24 hours.
Add 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour and a sip of warm water to your jar.
Stir well again. Your sourdough should have a slightly firmer creamy consistency. Add a little more flour or water if needed.
Put the lid on top and place it in a warm room for about 24 hours.
Add 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour and some water again.
Stir well and leave the jar again in a warm room for about 24 hours.
Now your sourdough should have risen a bit and form bubbles.
There are bubbles as in the following picture. You can see the before and after. If it looks like this or has risen even more, you can use it for baking. If not, repeat the step from the day before.
Can you bake your bread now or do you need to give your sourdough some more time?
Just follow the same procedure as day 4. Every sourdough is different, so don’t stress.
Taking care of your sourdough
Never use all of your sourdough for baking. I would recommend you to keep about 1-2 tablespoons. By feeding you increase this rest of your sourdough and you can use it for the next baking. The amount you save always depends on your jar size. I always keep about 1 or 2 tablespoons and discard what I don’t need for baking.
The sourdough, that is what you have saved, must now be fed regularly. To do this, I add a tablespoon of flour and a sip of water. It does not have to be whole wheat flour now. Normal all purpose flour will work just fine. Do not forget to stir well. Your sourdough should again have a slightly firmer, but creamy consistency. My sourdough now goes into the refrigerator. There it remains until I need it again for baking. By feeding your sourdough rises and gets small bubbles.
Once a week I feed it, regardless of baking. You can tell when your sourdough is hungry. It collapses and some liquid may settle on the surface. That’s not a big deal as long as it hasn’t formed mold or smells funny. If this is the case, you will have to start all over again. If you are still in time, you have to feed it quickly. Just add some flour and water to the jar and stir well. Remember not to close the jar completely. A sourdough needs oxygen.
Using your sourdough
If you now want to use the sourdough for baking, feed it normally. Since I feed in the morning and prepare the dough only in the evening or the next day, I can leave the sourdough in the refrigerator. If you want it to rise faster, it’s best to put it in a warmer place. As soon as it has risen and bubbles have formed, you can use it.
Print out and try please 🙂
- Whole wheat flour
Here’s how to do it
- Put 50 g whole wheat flour and 50 g warm water in your jar. Stir well so that a creamy mass is formed.Put the lid on your jar – but do not screw it down. Oxygen must get to your mixture.Put your sourdough in a warm room for about 24 hours.
- Add 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour and a sip of warm water to your jar.Stir well again. Your sourdough should have a slightly firmer creamy consistency. Add a little more flour or water if needed.Put the lid on top and place it in a warm room for about 24 hours.
- Add 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour and some water again.Stir well and leave the jar again in a warm room for about 24 hours.
- Now your sourdough should have risen a bit and form bubbles.There are bubbles as in the following picture. You can see the before and after. If it looks like this or has risen even more, you can use it for baking. If not, repeat the step from the day before.
- Can you bake your bread now or do you need to give your sourdough some more time?Just follow the same procedure as day 4. Every sourdough is different, so don't stress. Keep repeating the steps until your dough is ready to be used.