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Recipe: Simple Sourdough Starter

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on RachelKhoo.com and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***


Sometimes we wonder if a simple sourdough starter recipe really, truly exists. We’ve got to be honest, of all the bakes and breads out there, sourdough is the recipe which most often eludes our efforts.

That being said, if ever there was a starter recipe to take you to sourdough success, this starter is it. As the base point for a lot of recipes in The Modern Baker, it’s worth perfecting.

If not for the pure joy of finally being able to say you can, then to make this multiseed sourdough. As it takes a whopping five days to perfect, it’s also worth noting this recipe isn’t for the faint hearted.

Happy baking khoollectors!

Modern Baker by Melissa Sharp with Lindsay Stark, photography by Laura Edwards (Ebury Press, £26)

Simple Sourdough Starter Recipe:

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Maria Bell

Maria Bell is a photographer and editor from the Isle of Wight. Talk to her about food and/or photography and she'll always be listening.


Preparation Time5 days MINUTES

Cooking Time0 MINUTES

Resting Time4 days MINUTES




Day 1:

1 tsp strong white flour
1 tsp water, at hand warm temp (32–37°C)

Day 2:

wheat starter made on Day 1
1 tsp strong white flour
1 tsp water, at hand warm temp (32–37°C)


Photography: Laura Edwards

A container with a lid or a clean jam jar.


Day 1 – Mix together the flour and the water in a container with a lid. We recommend mixing with your hands rather than a spoon. As disgusting as it might sound, we all have naturally occurring yeasts on our hands, so this can give your starter a real boost. Leave the mixture overnight at room temperature. Cover it with the lid but do not make it airtight. A screw-top jar with the lid partly done up is perfect. You want the yeasts in the air to get in, but you also want to stop the mixture drying out.


Day 2- Throw away half of the mixture from Day 1. This is because you want to almost overwhelm the bacteria/yeast in the starter with food, by adding more flour than the weight of the original mixture. You could do this by adding more flour and warm water and not throwing any away, but you would very quickly end up with an excessively large amount of starter.
Stir the flour and water into the remaining mix and leave again at room temperature overnight.


Days 3 and 4 – Repeat Day 2.


Day 5 – By now you should notice your starter has bubbles in it. This means it is ready! Don’t worry if it smells acidic or cheesy, this is completely normal and each starter will create its own unique fragrance. Now you have your own living, bubbling jar of healthy microbes that you’ll be using for years to come.


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Ashfa Harris 4 years ago

Hi Khoolect

Can you then after day 5 keep the jar in the fridge or u have to use the whole sourdough for your bread?


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