The Essential Sourdough Starter

The name is no mistake: Starter is the base for all sourdough bread. Creating a workable sourdough starter can take anywhere from 5 to 12 days depending on a variety of factors, like the temperature, and the availability of (good) bacteria in your kitchen. Take the time to get yours going, and it will pay off for years to come—we know people who have been feeding the same starter for over three decades! After creating this starter, you’ll be on your way to making a traditional Sourdough Boule, Sourdough Baguettes, and Sourdough Ciabatta.

What you need:

* A scale (highly recommended to measure both flour and water, but measuring cups will do in a pinch)

* A 2-quart container (glass or plastic) with a lid

* Flour (we use all-purpose, unbleached flour, but whole wheat also adds a nice depth of flavor to your final product)

* Water: We use tap water, but if your water at home is highly chlorinated, you can measure your water the night before using and let it sit on the counter overnight to allow the chlorine to dissipate. If your water simply tastes bad, or you are worried about it affecting the quality of your breads, try filtered or bottled water.

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