Saturday, November 19, 2016

Sourdough workshop

It was lovely to meet everyone from the Toowoomba Simple Living group today, where I conducted a workshop on making sourdough. For all those who took sourdough starter home with them, this is the care instructions promised:

Before you go to bed tonight:

  • feed your cup of starter with 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of bakers flour
  • stir well 
  • you can leave it on the counter for an hour, if you plan to bake the next day, otherwise, place back in fridge immediately.
  • you can bake at any point between tomorrow and day 4-5
  • keeps active for up to 4-5 days, before having to repeat the process of splitting and feeding again (so long as it's kept in the fridge.
  • You can push it to 5-7 days if you want, but it will decrease in activity over time. See what works for you

This is now your magic, 2-3 cups of sourdough starter (approximately) in which to make your own bread. It fluctuates, depending how much it's expanded.

Be sure to remove starter from the fridge, 2 hours before you split and feed the starter again. As it needs to be awake, in order to feed.

Always use half the contents of your starter jar, to 1 cup of bakers flour and 1 cup of room temperature water, to make one Restaurant size loaf of bread.

In winter, plan to have your starter jar out, 3 hours before feeding, if it's cooler in your house.

Notes on doubling amounts of starter for baking

If you want to double your starter for making 2 loaves
(after doing, above)

  • Split starter and feed each amount, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour each
  • Should be about 2-3 cups in total, for each bowl
  • Return one bowl to your starter jar and place back in fridge (as usual)
  • Keep the remaining bowl on the counter, and plan to split the remaining starter/sponge, in 8 -12 hours and feed again. Remember to stir regularly
  • Four hours after the last feed, you can make up your two loaves into dough

You can always increase your starter for 2 loaves on a permanent basis, by increasing your storage jar capacity, and placing both bowls in it, instead of holding one back to split and feed again. Bear in mind though, its better to bake every 4-5 days to refresh your starter again, with baking. So unless your family goes through 2 loaves in 4 days, the starter may eventually wane in activity, with the larger amounts of starter to feed, if you're not using it.

For my separate tutorial on how to make starter from scratch, see this post.
For how to make the sponge, or splitting and feeding, see this post.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, or contact me at:

 c dot d dot riley at optusnet dot com dot au

Happy Baking!


  1. Thank you Chris, I thoroughly enjoyed your workshop and the lovely treats. Will be trying my own bread in a few days. Love your website. Guida

    1. Great to hear you'll be experimenting with your starter soon. Have fun with it. Be sure to keep an eye on your oven temps too. It's 210-220 degrees Celcius. It was nice to meet you.

  2. Thanks for doing the workshop, Chris. We all enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and learned so much.

    1. Thanks for inviting me. It was nice to finally meet the lovely group at Toowoomba Simple Living.

  3. Chris I wish I lived closer so I could have attended your workshop. Thanks for this post and the links, to further my knowledge of sourdough baking. And thanks Nanna Chel for the links to Chris at Gully Grove.

    1. Thank you Sally. Sourdough can be confusing to start with, so when Chel invited me to do the workshop, my hope was to demonstrate the various steps to make it a little easier to grasp. I don't follow the traditional rules of making sourdough, but I still get reliable results. It's about learning what way of making it, best suits you.

  4. Thank you for a great workshop,I have ramped up my starter to 2 cups and am looking forward to baking early next week.
    Lovely to meet you and hope we will see you at some of our Saturday get togethers next year.

    1. Nice to meet you as well Margaret. If you have any questions during your process, feel free to drop me an email. I do hope to go to at least one of the groups meetings, in future. My husband generally works on Saturdays, so I need to get him to swap a day off. My 3 year old, as much as I love him, can't sit still for two seconds, lol. ;)

  5. Hey Chris, Thanks for the workshop. I got home, put my jar in the fridge and promptly forgot about it. I have fed it this morning after it almost jumped out of the jar at me! :) Looking forward to baking later today or tomorrow morning.

    1. Ha, yes, starters can do that! Really active ones, can redecorate the interior of your fridge, for you. ;)

      Have fun with your sourdough. And boy, you've got some wicked kneading skills there. Thanks for volunteering your elbow grease at the workshop.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love reading what you have to share. Gully Grove is a Spam free environment though, so new commenter’s only leaving hyperlinks, will be promptly composted.