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Vanessa Kimbell’s Sourdough Starter Recipe

Makes One starter


A measuring jug

A thermometer


Clean jam jars with loose fitting lids

A spoon



Warm water


Gilchesters Wholegrain flour or rye flour



Combine the flour and water in a clean jar.

Day 1

Mix this mixture well; this adds oxygen, which yeast thrives on. Cover with a loose lid. Allow the mixture to sit in a warm place for 12-24hours. Between the 12 and 24hour mark you might see a few bubbles.

Day 2 – 8am

Discard 120g of the mixture and replace it with 60g wholegrain flour and wog warm water at 28C (82F). Stir vigorously, cover and wait another 12-24hours.

Day 2 – 8pm

Repeat the refreshment

Day 3

For the next 3-4 days you will need to repeat the refreshment above twice a day.

Day 4-6

If it is warm and your flour is microbial active , you will see activity quickly, after about 3-4 days. When ready, the sourdough starter should be bubbly and have enough yeasts and bacteria to be active enough to bake with.

How do I know my starter is ready?

It is ready to use when it doubles in size about 5 hours after feeding. It is now time to stop the creation process and move onto maintaining your sourdough starter. To find out about this click here. 

Refreshing your starter is a different procedure once your starter is ready to bake with. See Vanessa’s video for a step to step refreshment process here. 

Tip: you can use up the discard in pancakes or waffles.

Click here for The Sourdough School basic sourdough recipe in a tin recipe. Or to try their basic sourdough boule recipe click here. 

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