Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Starting a Sourdough

technique, BreadTove Balle-PedersenComment

I often use sourdough in my baking. Personally I think that a young sourdough gives bread a nice delicate taste, and a chewy  crumb. You might think that sourdough breads are very acidic, and the San Francisco kind is very acidic. Too acidic to my taste. But after tasting Basic country bread from Tartine, I knew, I had to bake this mild sourdough bread. My relationship with sourdough started there and then.
Initially I bought a sourdough online to get started right away. Maybe because I thought it would be difficult to make your own. But now I do believe, that I need a recipe for sourdough here on my blog. 

I started up a new sourdough after Claus Meyers recipe. Meyer has been a pioneer in the Danish kitchen. And right now he is trying to build up a Danish/Nordic style bakery restaurant at Grand Central Station i New York. His bakery is already among the 12 best bakeries in NY according to Zagat. 

Here is how to start a sourdough from scratch.


  • 350 ml (1½ cup) water
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup dark rye flour


Mix all the ingredients in a plastic jar, make sure you don't have any lumps in the "batter." Let the sourdough sit on the kitchen counter for 4-5 days, with the lid loosely placed on top. Whisk the "batter" 1-2 times every day. 

After the 4 days the batter is starting to bubble and get an acidic smell, this means that the sourdough is ready to use. If the batter isn't sour yet, let it sit on the counter for another 1-2 days. 

Now you have a few options. Do you want to have your sourdough living on the kitchen counter? This is recommended if you bake every day or every other day. You need to feed the sourdough every 5-6 days, and you need to bake with the sourdough the first 8-24 hours after the feeding*.

You can keep your sourdough in the refrigerator in between feeding, this is recommended if you do not bake with it all the time. Read more about keeping and feeding a sourdough here: Sourdough - Keeping and Feeding.

* Feeding: take ½ cup sourdough (discard the rest), ½ cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup water. Mix it well and let it sit covered on the kitchen counter for minimum 8 hour before using.