Sourdough: create & feed procedure

This page should help all bakers who want to create a new sourdough starter or would like to get it really active, to bake the best breads ever. I will explain you how to create and the feeding procedure for 3 different sourdough starters.

Spelt sourdough starter (80% hydration)

Create a new sourdough starter

If you want to have a mild sourdough starter, I would recommend to first create a Lievito Madre (this is a solid sourdough starter with 40-50% hydration). Once you have a Lievito Madre, I would recommend you transform some of it to your liquid sourdough starter. You can also transform some of it to a sweet sourdough starter, in cas you are interested in it.

The best Instruction to create a Lievito Madre (German only) can be found on the Facebook-Page of Marlene Lang.

Activate your sourdough

To make a really active sourdough starter and to have the minimum discard, I recommend you feed small amounts to your sourdough starter. This is how I feed mine:

  1. mix 20g sourdough starter from the fridge with 16g water (30°C).
  2. add 20g flour.
  3. Let proof 3 hours at 28°C.

If the starter has still not doubled in size after the 5 hours, wait a little bit until it doubles. Then feed again and repeat until it doubles in the 5 hours.

To feed my spelt sourdough starter I use a mix of 10% whole and 90% white spelt flour.

With the ripe sourdough starter you can direclty bake a delicious Sourdough bread or you can place it in the fridge after doubling in size for another moment to bake with it. In my experience you need to feed your spelt (also wheat) sourdough starter regularly to get a good crumb. I feed mine latest every 2 days.

With the discard you can bake something delicious from the category Breads with sourdough discard.

Spelt sourdough starter after feeding it

Spelt sourdough starter after 3 hours at 28°C

Rye sourdough starter (100% hydration)

Create a new sourdough starter

The best Instruction to create a rye sourdough starter (German only) can be found at the Facebook-Page from Marlene Lang.

Activate your sourdough

To make a really active sourdough starter and to have the minimum discard, I recommend you feed small amounts to your sourdough starter. This is how I feed mine:

  1. mix 20g sourdough starter from the fridge with 20g water (30°C).
  2. add 20g whole rye flour.
  3. Let proof 3 hours at 28°C.

If the starter has still not doubled in size after the 5 hours, wait a little bit until it doubles. Then feed again and repeat until it doubles in the 5 hours.

With the ripe sourdough starter you can direclty bake a delicious Sourdough bread or you can place it in the fridge after doubling in size for another moment to bake with it. In my experience rye sourdough starters are more robust. I feed mine 1-2 times per week. When I want to bake with it I tend to feed it 2-3 times before.

With the discard you can bake something delicious from the category Breads with sourdough discard.

Rye sourdough starter immediately after feeding it

Rye sourdough starter after 3 hours at 28°C

Lievito Madre (40% hydration)

Create a new Lievito Madre

The best Instruction to create a Lievito Madre (German only) can be found on the Facebook-Page of Marlene Lang.

Activate your Lievito Madre

I feed my Lievito Madre as follows:

  1. mix 20g Lievito Madre with 8g water (30°C).
  2. add 20g white spelt flour.
  3. Let proof 3 hours at 28°C.

If the starter has still not doubled in size after the 5 hours, wait a little bit until it doubles. Then feed again and repeat until it doubles in the 5 hours. Feed your Lievito Madre at least once a week. When I want to bake with it I tend to feed it 2-3 times before.

To bake Panettone I feed my Lievito Madre as follows:

  1. Warm feeding: 20g LM + 16g water + 40g white spelt flour (6-8h at 28°C)
  2. Cold feeding: 20g LM + 8g water + 20g white spelt flour (14-18h at 18°C)

With the ripe sweet sourdough starter you can directly bake something from the category Enriched & Toast Breads or place it in the fridge for future bakes.

With the discard you can bake something delicious from the category Breads with sourdough discard.

Lievito Madre just fed

Ripe Lievito Madre

Sweet sourdough starter (46% hydration)

My sweet sourdough starter is not active currently. I made it to crumbs so I can reactivate it whenever I want it. You can read about how to make sourdough crumbs in my FAQs.

Create a new sourdough starter

The sweet sourdough starter is usually made out of a Lievito Madre. Using the Instruction to Transform a LM into a sweet sourdough starter from Brotpoet a lot of people have successfully transformed their LM into a sweet sourdough starter.

Activate your sourdough

To make a really active sourdough starter and to have the minimum discard, I recommend you feed small amounts to your sourdough starter. This is how I feed mine:

  1. mix 25g sweet sourdough starter from the fridge with 12g water (30°C) and 5g sugar.
  2. ad 25g white spelt flour.
  3. Let proof 5 hours at 28°C.

If the starter has still not doubled in size after the 5 hours, wait a little bit until it doubles. Then feed again and repeat until it doubles in the 5 hours.

With the ripe sweet sourdough starter you can directly bake something from the category Enriched & Toast Breads or place it in the fridge for future bakes. In my experience, sweet sourdough starters are pretty robust. I feed mine 1-2 times per week. When I want to bake with it I tend to feed it 2-3 times before.

With the discard you can bake something delicious from the category Breads with sourdough discard.

Sweet sourdough starter immediately after feeding it

Sweet sourdough starter after 5 hours at 28°C

Knowledge area

FAQ

Frequently asked questions regarding bread baking, baking with ancient grains and without eggs.

Sourdough: creation & feed procedure

Information regarding the creation and feeding procedure of 3 different sourdoughs.

Sourdough calculator

Calculate fast and easy what you need to mix, to reach the required amount of sourdough in a recipe.