How to make the right amount of starter?


Hi all. I'm making my first sourdough starter based on these instructions and it seems to be growing well after a couple of days. I'm starting to plan which bread recipe to make first and have a question.

The recipe requests 500gm of starter. Following the starter instructions, I've been discarding most of the starter and adding 200gm of water and flour daily. Should I build up to 500gm over a few days in small increments, or simply add a tablespoon of my existing starter to 500gm of water and flour and leave it overnight?

316 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2014 February 3

Hi thornate,

Not sure which recipe you are referring to but I am pretty sure none of SourDom's recipes call for 500g of starter.

A good recipe to use is his pane francesa ( ) that calls for 180g of starter.

The recipe says use 1 teaspoon of your stock and  builds it in one stage to the required amount.  In another place he uses a progressive build with two feeds twelve hours apart.

The technique that I use is to take half the required amount from the stock (in this case 90g) and add 45g flour and 45g water and leave it to get active before making the dough.  The amount of time depends on temperature and can be overnight if it is cool or only a few hours if it is warm.

I have also used a technique of building  in three stages from a very small amount of stock but this is only if I want to have a virtually pure starter for the loaf.  I routinely add 10% rye flour to my stock of starter when I feed it (usually when I take some out to prepare for a loaf)

Good luck with your projects,


thornate 2014 February 3

Hi Farinam,

The bread recipe was from a book, but it didn't explain whether to produce the starter in one step or two.

Post Reply

Already a member? Login