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Demystifying Sourdough – Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Sourdough Starter – Why It’s Better For You – And How To Start One

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The ultimate sourdough guide with common terms and troubleshooting tips.
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This is your ultimate guide to sourdough starter and becoming a super healthy sourdough baker extraordinaire!

Sourdough can seem like a daunting and intimidating baking challenge but I’m writing this guide to show you how easy it is.

I will explain what sourdough is, how it works, and how to make it work for you. If you ever feel intimidated during the sourdough process just try to remember that up until less than two hundred years ago, all leavened bread was made traditionally with wild yeast and bacteria (sourdough)!

My sourdough is my pride and joy. I bake with it at least once a week and it’s become a part of my family and part of my history and evolution as a chef.

I’ve recently made a commitment to only eat soaked and fermented grains for the rest of my life.

I know, that’s a big commitment!

What that means is that I now make my own breads, crackers, pancakes, waffles, biscuits, muffins, tortillas, pasta, pastry crust, cookies, cakes, English muffins, and quickbreads all with my trusty and very happy mother starter.

It is my mission to transform every recipe that uses wheat flour into a sourdough recipe.

You can see all of my sourdough recipes here.


She of the beautiful Sourdough baked goods from Butter For All

Beautiful Sourdough Baked Goods
Copyright Butter For All

Page Guide

Page 1. Intro
Page 2. What Is Sourdough?
Page 3. Bread Terminology
Page 4. Why Eat Sourdough?
Page 5. Tools
Page 6. Starter Recipe
Page 7. Fresh Starter vs. Discard
Page 8. Starter Hydration & Feeding
Page 9. Favorite Recipes
Page 10. Troubleshooting Sourdough
Page 11.  Starter Insurance Policy
Page 12. Using Stale Bread
Page 13. Recipes You Don’t Want To Miss
Once you try this easy sourdough pie crust you will never go back. Fermented grains and real butter make this recipe a nourishing tradition.
Sweet And Buttery Sourdough Pie Crust - Traditionally Fermented For A Nourished Diet
Freshly fired, golden brown and crispy Parmesan and sourdough crusted chicken strips.
Parmesan And Sourdough Crusted Chicken Strips - Fried in Traditional Fat

Mary K Knapp

Wednesday 17th of February 2021

Can I use mystarter to make sourdough breadin my Zojirushi bread maker?

Mary K Knapp

Friday 12th of February 2021

I am also wondering if I can use rye flour mixed with white organic flour?

Butter For All

Saturday 13th of February 2021

Yes, of course! Rye works very well for sourdough.

Mary K Knapp

Friday 12th of February 2021

Do I always keep a lid on the starter jar? when do I not put a lid on it?

Butter For All

Saturday 13th of February 2021

Yes, you want to keep it covered so it doesn't dry out. I use a locking lid jar with the rubber ring removed to the starter can still breathe.


Saturday 6th of February 2021

Hi Courtney I have a few clarification questions. I am on day 5 of my sourdough start. all seems to be going good so far. *First question; when I finally get to bake some bread, when would my last feeding be for my baking day? hopefully that makes sense. *Second question; when keeping my start in the fridgerator how often do I feed it and do I still discard when I feed refrigerated start? *Third question; what is the minimum amount of start I should keep when storing it in the fridgerator? *Fourth question; can I refrigerate my discard to be used the next day? thank your for your help, I'm definitely having fun learning about sour dough. can't wait till I get to start making bread.

Butter For All

Monday 8th of February 2021

Hi Sarah!

Congratulations on joining the best club on earth!

1. You want to see your starter doubling in volume in the jar within 6 hours after feeding. That is how you know it's ready to bake with. It can take the full 14 days or sometimes a little longer. Once you start to see that constant doubling (indicating yeast activity) You can feed you starter up to around 300g total. That will give you plenty to start a loaf of bread. Most of my recipes call for a full cup (250 g) of starter. 2. You want to use a refrigerated starter at least once a week. I take mine out, use some discard in crackers or pancakes, feed it, use the freshly fed starter to make a loaf of bread. Then I feed it again and put it back in the fridge after a few hors of fermentation. 3. That totally depends on how you use it. You can keep 50 g and feed it up prior to baking, or alternatively keep up to 500 g and use the discard for a project. Its really personal preference. I prefer the latter as I love to work with fully fermented starter for things like crackers. 4. Yes, once the starter is active (at least 7-14 days old) you can keep a jar going in the fridge to save it up for a big project.

Hope that all helps you on your journey!


Sara Cotton

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

You have all this amazing information on your site but it's so hard to get to! I keep trying to find the directions for how to get a 100% hydration starter and it keeps sending me to this page. I've been through all these links about 4 times. I've tried to click on the link from other recipes. Nothing. Could you please just have a link to how to get your starter to 100%? otherwise I'm just going to throw it out and start with a 1:1 ratio. Why not just include the directions at the end of your starter instructions? Ta for listening.

Butter For All

Friday 5th of February 2021

Hi Sara,

I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble navigating the site. The directions for 100% hydration starter can be found on page 8 of this guide or click here.

The basics are as follows. 100% hydration is starter that is kept at equal weights flour to water. Every feeding is done using equal weights no matter what. It doesn't matter if you are making 50g or 500g. It is always equal weights flour to water.

Hope that helps!