Sourdough can seem intimidating, but with this guide to making your own sourdough starter you'll be baking loaves in no time. We recommend to weigh out the ingredients instead of using the cup measurements for accuracy
What you will need:
To begin your starter
57g Lighthouse Wholemeal Bread, Pizza & Tortilla flour
57g Lighthouse Bread & Pizza flour
115g cold water
For feeding the starter
57g Lighthouse Premium All-purpose plain flour
57g Water (Lukewarm, if environment is cold; Cool, if environment if warm)
Day 1 – Combine Wholemeal flour with either lukewarm water or cool water in a non-reactive water i.e glassware, stainless steel or crockery. Stir everything thoroughly with no visible lumps of flour. Cover the container loosely and let the starter sit at a warm temperature for about 24 hours.
Day 2 – In most cases, there would not be any activities in the culture, however, there might be a little bit of growth or bubbling. Leave behind 57g of the starter, and discard the remaining amount. Add to the remaining starter, 57g of plain flour and 57g water. Mix well, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for another 24 hours.
Day 3 – By the third day, there might be some “fruity” aroma and evidences of growth. There will be an increase in the frequency of the feedings, to twice a day. For each feeding, leave behind 57g of the starter, and discard the remaining. To the remainder of the starter, add 57g of plain flour and 57g water. Mix well, cover and let it sit until the next scheduled feeding. Repeat this step for another time.
Day 4 & 5 – Repeat Step 3.
Day 6 – There will be a lot of bubbles that appear in the starter and it should have at least doubled in size. The starter will also have a “tangy”, fruity, pleasantly acidic aroma. Once the starter is ready, give it one last feeding. Discard all but leave behind 57g of the starter, and feed as per usual. Let the starter sit at room temperature for about 6 to 8 hours and it should become active, with bubbles breaking the surface.
Starter not ready- Do not worry if the starter does not have bubbles or has not risen as much, repeat Step 3 for another 2 days (Day 6 & Day 7)- as long as it takes to create a well risen and bubbly starter.
Smells unpleasant If the starter smells very unpleasant, it might be that undesirable bacteria might have been unintentionally introduced into the starter. Please discard the starter and start over.
Starter smells alcoholic This would indicate that the starter is underfed, and needs feeding. This is caused when the starter begins to consume discarded waste and its own waste. To rectify, start feeding the starter on a more regular basis and the smell will revert to normal.
Yellow “puddles” on the surface Most commonly called as hooch. It also indicates that the starter is underfed and needs to be fed.
Mould Discard if there is any off colouring or mould on the surface of the starter- it might be contaminated.
Is your starter bubbling and ready to go? Click through to the following Lighthouse recipes and learn how to make delicious loaves of sourdough bread.