Baking with sourdough has so many health benefits. Did you know you can make your own Nourishing Traditions sourdough starter with just flour, water, and air?
Once you have an active sourdough starter, you can make so many things. Breads, pancakes, biscuits, and so much more. Sourdough starter is really easy to care for. Before you know it, you’ll have it worked into your kitchen routine.
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Sourdough starter easy
The sourdough starter instructions in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon are really simple. It is really the best way to get started baking with sourdough. If you can mix flour and water together, you can make a sourdough starter.
There are yeasts and bacteria that float around in the air all around us. With the Nourishing Traditions sourdough starter, those airborne critters are what will turn ordinary flour and water into a live, bubbly sourdough starter.
Once you have your sourdough starter going and some Nourishing Traditions sourdough bread made, you can serve it alongside some homemade soup. Learn how to make my sourdough pasta recipe here. If you want to make healthy tortillas, get my sourdough tortillas recipe here, and also check out my sourdough pancakes.
I have a Nourishing Traditions chicken bone broth recipe, which you can check out here. I also have a delicious recipe for sourdough pizza crust, and for sourdough hamburger buns. Are you hungry yet?
Nourishing Traditions sourdough starter basics
You’ll start by mixing 2 cups of freshly ground rye flour with 2 cups of filtered water. Freshly ground flour is ideal, because no oxidization has happened. All of the beneficial vitamins are there for our body to use. But if you don’t have a grain grinder, buying ground rye flour will work just fine.
Rye flour is a really great option for a sourdough starter. Rye contains high amounts of an enzyme called phytase, which helps to neutralize phytic acid in fermented foods. I’ll talk some more about why this is so important in a future blog post.
Sourdough starter day 1
Enough talk about enzymes. Let’s get mixing our Nourishing Traditions sourdough starter.
Mix the flour and water well, and you’re done with the first step! Now you just have to cover the bowl with a breathable cloth, like a flour sack dish towel or some finely woven cheesecloth, and put it in a warm area. The top of the refrigerator or next to a Himalayan salt lamp can be good places for gentle heat during the cooler months.
Nourishing Traditions sourdough starter care
Every day for the next 7 days, you’ll need to feed the sourdough starter. Do this by putting the starter into another clean bowl, and adding one cup of rye flour and enough water to make a soupy mixture. Mix well.
During this stage, it’s best to try to feed the sourdough starter around 24 hours apart. It’s okay if it isn’t exactly 24 hours, but try to be as consistent as you can for the best results.
Follow the feeding directions for 7 days. After a few days, you’ll see the sourdough starter get bubbly. This bubbly action is from the yeasts and bacteria from the air starting to interact with the flour. Exciting, right?
After 7 days, the sourdough starter is ready for use. I’ll be sharing a Nourishing Traditions sourdough bread recipe soon, so stay tuned for that. You’ll need 2 quarts of sourdough starter for a batch of bread, and you’ll need to save one quart to start a future batch.
If you have extra sourdough starter accumulating, I have 12 delicious sourdough discard recipes here.
Sourdough starter brown liquid
If you have a sourdough starter of any kind, you might see a brown liquid develop on the top. This just means that the yeasts and bacteria are hungry and want to be fed. This happens more easily when the weather is warm and the sourdough starter is very active.
Definitely don’t throw away a sourdough starter that has liquid on it. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong. Just feed it like you normally would, and all should be well.
Sourdough starter fridge
If you want to bake frequently, like every week or more, you can keep your sourdough starter out on the counter and feed it every day. If you don’t want to bake that often, or if you will be gone on vacation, you’ll need to keep your sourdough starter in the refrigerator.
Keeping the sourdough starter in the refrigerator is like having the yeasts and bacteria go into hibernation. The cooler temperatures keep them alive, but they will be much slower and won’t need to be fed as often.
To do this, just feed the sourdough starter normally. Put it in a jar with an airtight lid, and stick it in the refrigerator. It can go for about a week or two at a time in the refrigerator without being fed. You will need to take it out and feed it every 1 to 2 weeks to keep it alive.
However… I’ve let mine go longer than that… shhh… don’t tell anyone. It has always bounced back fine after a few feedings, whew!
Sourdough starter buy
Making a sourdough starter yourself at home is great. It allows you to start baking with sourdough quickly and easily, for no cost. Homemade sourdough starters work well for baking with a variety of wheat flours.
A commercial sourdough starter can also be good if you want to bake with a certain type of flour. My favorite sourdough starter that I bought online is fed with rye flour, but I can use it to make baked goods with any type of wheat flour.
Nourishing Traditions sourdough starter directions
- 2 cups freshly ground rye flour
- 2 cups filtered water
- Measure flour and water into a bowl and mix well.
- Cover bowl with a breathable towel or cheesecloth.
- Let starter sit for 24 hours in a warm location.
- Once a day for 7 days, pour mixture into a clean bowl and add one cup rye flour plus enough water to make mixture a soupy consistency.
What are you excited to make with sourdough starter?
What are some of your favorite baked goods? Let me know in the comments!
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