How To Make Sourdough Starter Part 1

DIY Sourdough Starter

I am very excited that I have actually taken pictures this time to share how to properly make my own sourdough starter also known as old dough method or natural yeast.

This is a very traditional method learned from the village women in the mountains of Lebanon.

The instructions in this post are for the initial first ball. Next in part 2, I will explain how to keep it going to use is as an “old dough” method or “natural yeast. This process is so simple but takes patients and a small amount of daily attention. It makes a fun science project for kids, then getting to bake the bread, all the more fun!

Don’t be concerned with the sugar it helps activate the yeast and  it will be converted. You will only add it the first time, and no need to add it again.


  • 1 Cup organic flour (spelt, whole wheat, or rye)
  • 1/2 Cup filtered water, or enough water to make the dough soft (not too dry, not too wet, see Day 1 in photo). It is very difficult to determine how much water because depending on what flour your using will be different each time.
  • 1 tsp. organic cane sugar


  1. Day 1– Mix all together with a spoon (preferably wooden) to form a sticky ball and place in a glass jar with a lid on and leave in a warm spot. If it’s too cold, it may not grow well so make sure it is rested in a warm spot.
  2. Day 3– If it’s rising add 1 more cup flour and just enough water to not let it dry out. *If no activity, wait another couple days and see if it starts to bubble.
  3. Day 5– If it’s rising add 1 more cup flour and just enough water to not let it dry out.
  4. Day 7– If it starter is fluffy and “active”, your done. If not, you may not have enough warmth.

*The days are arranged to “feed” the starter every 2-3 days, this may take less time or longer depending on the temperature of your house. It’s pretty hot now here where I am so it didn’t take long. In the winter months it may take up to 2 weeks. Just make sure there is warmth, attention, and patients 🙂

NOTE: When you make your first batch of dough as instructed in part 2, take a ball about the size of a tennis ball and place it in a glass jar with a lid and keep in a dark warm spot. You can use it as your starter the next time you want to make bread. Make sure it sits for about 3 days or until it begins to smell yeasty (no need to feed it). You will add it to your flour, water and salt, then after kneading well, leave the dough to rest for 24 hours (or longer, this is something you will have to play with depending on the kind of bread and amount you are making, you may need a bigger starter ball).

Now go to Part 2 to learn how to use it…..


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