Sourdough Starter FAQ

Q: Help - I forgot to do/missed day 4 - is my sourdough starter ruined?

A: No, it’s fine, just carry on where you left off.

Q: My sourdough starter isn’t bubbly like yours, it something wrong with it?

A: No, all starters look different and different flours and water produce different outcomes. Starters do not need to be bubbly, they just need to grow a few hours after they’ve been fed, that shows that they are working.

Q: I added 35g of flour instead of 30g, what should I do?

A: Add 35g water to even it out.

Q: My starter smells so bad it’s taking over my whole kitchen... What should I do?

A: Keep going, this is normal and it will pass.

Q: My starter has teeny tiny bubbles on the surface and isn’t growing... What's gone wrong?

A: Teeny tiny bubbles usually occur if the starter is also thin, which means it’s also weak. See our Starter Guide for more info.

Q: I’m on day 15 and nothing is happening... Is my sourdough starter dead?

A: No, keep going, always keep going.

Q: Is it ruined? Is it dead? Should I throw it out and start again?

A: These are the questions I am asked the most. I find that people often assume their starters are dead, and can be too ready to throw them away. This is such a shame. 99% of the time it's totally unnecessary. Sourdough starters are far more resilient than people realise, and are actually quite hard to kill. If in doubt, always persevere.

Meet Our New Sourdough Ambassador:

An Interview with Elaine Boddy - Matthews Cotswold Flour Bakers Q&A