Super Simple Sourdough Starter

24 hours + 12 hours + 24 hours = a whole bunch of hours

Um. How many night’s sleep is that?

While you’re figuring that out, set your kids to making this sourdough starter from Nancy Blakey’s Lotions, Potions, and Slime Mudpies and More! Be amazed by the bubbles. Then the whole family can happily debate whether to make sourdough blueberry pancakes, sourdough bread, sourdough biscuits, sourdough waffles…..

(Psssst! If you really can’t wait 60 hours to make sourdough starter, politely ask your neighbors for a cup of theirs. Otherwise, sprint as fast as you can to the store to buy some. You’ll miss the bubbles and science part, but I completely understand that some cravings just can’t wait.)


1st Part: Combine 1 cup of flour and yeast in a medium non-metal bowl. Stir in 1½ cups hot water, and mix until smooth. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave the mixture alone for 24 hours at room temperature.

2nd Part: Stir the mixture, then leave it to think for another 12 hours.

3rd Part: Add 2 cups milk (room temperature) and 2 more cups flour. Mix well again and let it ponder worldly thoughts for a final 24 more hours. If the yeast has had enough to munch on, the batter should have bubbled nicely. This is called a sponge, which, according to this site, has also been used for healing burns and wounds and making a kind of juice not normally meant for little ones’ mouths.

Whew! Finished! You can keep the starter in the refrigerator, just not in a metal container. When you want to use it, you’ll need to let the starter warm to room temperature, so keep that in mind.


Now, you have to realize this starter is…alive. Mm, I don’t mean alive like Fluffy the Kitty. But those bubbles mean the starter is breathing. You need to stir your starter at least once a week to continue the breathing process.

After you’ve scooped out the amount you need for a recipe, you need to top it off: for every cup you’ve used, replace it with 1 cup flour and 1 cup warm water. Let it do the whole thinking thing (the bubbles forming), and then you can put your container back in the refrigerator.

Oh yes, I do have a terrific sourdough pancakes with blueberries recipe from this Williams Sonoma Kitchen Library cookbook. Email me if you want it, okay?

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