Need help with your sourdough starter? WSU’s bread lab is here to help


Homemade bread is becoming a quarantine food trend. It’s likely you have seen someone posting about their  sourdough starter or their heavenly bakes on social media in the past few weeks.

In fact, pandemic baking has caused yeast and flour to fly off shelves. Marketplace reports Red Star Yeast has had an unprecedented surge in sales and King Arthur Flour has seen their sales skyrocket three-fold.

If you are one of the lucky ones who has supplies on hand and may be looking to start your own sourdough starter, then all you need is this recipe from Washington State University’s Bread Lab.

Making your own sourdough starter

If you are starting your starter from scratch, follow these simple steps:

  1. Measure equal parts flour and water in a small bowl.
  2. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Leave the mixture out at room temperature covered with a loose-fitting lid or towel.
  4. Feed the starter with 1-2 Tbsp. each of flour and water every day in the morning and at night and stir until mixed.

The Bread Lab said you should start to see bubbles in the starter in about 3-5 days depending on your environment. After 5 days, your starter should be active and ready to use.

Maintaining your starter

The pros at the Bread Lab said keeping your sourdough starter alive is easier than you think.

Some starters can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks before needing some attention (and at that – it’s just some flour and water!) If you forgot to feed your starter, discard the dark, watery substance on top, take a teaspoon of what is left and add flour and water.

Sourdough recipes

If you are a bit intimidated about baking your first sourdough loaf, then – you guessed it – the Bread Lab has the perfect recipe for you! Click here for their “approachable loaf” recipe.

The Bread Lab has several other recipes for you to try, including crackers, cookies and porridge for a way to repurpose your stale bread.

Happy baking!

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