Apple Sourdough Starter

Do you know how simple it is to make a sourdough starter??! I made my sourdough starter from an apple in 2005. It is still going strong after nearly 7 years! All you need to do is feed it with some flour and water every 2-3 weeks – easier than looking after a goldfish!

Make wonderful sourdough bread with home made sourdough starter.

Sourdough starter are not only good for making sourdough bread. I add my sourdough starter to almost EVERY loaf of bread I make. I find it to be the best natural “flour conditioner” because it tends to stop the bread from drying out. I find a loaf of bread made with only commercial yeast tends to keep for around 3-4 days. With the addition of a small amount of sourdough starter, a loaf of bread can keep for at least an entire week!

To make this sourdough starter from apple, you’ll need:

  • 1 apple
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 6-8 tablespoons of boiled then cooled water
  • flour

Follow these steps:

  1. Core and chop the apple finely (use a food processor if you have one).
  2. Put chopped apple, sugar and water into a 1.5 liter or larger transparent container that has a lid.
  3. Open the lid every day for 3-7 days until lots of bubbles appear and the mixture smells strongly of ripe apple. (The time it takes will depend on the season and environment.)
  4. Note down the volume of your apple mixture. Add the same volume of high grade flour to the mixture and roughly stir to mix. Cover with a lid and leave for 24 hours.
  5. Add to the mixture, the same volume of flour you added the previous day. Also add the same volume of water and mix. Cover with lid and leave for 24 hours.
  6. Repeat step 5 until the mixture is full of bubbles.

Sourdough starter full of bubbles after feeding and ready for use.

The sourdough starter has the consistency of thick pancake batter. This is how it looks when I tilt the container.

When the mixture if full of bubbles, the sourdough starter is ready to be used. Keep feeding the starter with flour and water at a volume ratio of 2:1 (i.e. 1 cup flour to 1/2 cup water). When you feed the starter, don’t bother mixing it too much. The mixture only needs to be roughly stirred and lumpy. Note the time it takes for the volume of the starter to peak and this is your sourdough starter’s rise time. Keep feeding flour and water every rise time cycle or longer until you have enough for the recipe plus one cup left over. (Mine starter has a rise time of 6 hours but I don’t bother feeding it more than once a day.) Keep the left over sourdough in the fridge when you don’t use it*. Whenever you want to use it, take it out of the fridge to return to room temperature, feed it with 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water every rise time cycler longer until you have enough for your recipe plus one cup left over. Return the left over cup of starter to the fridge until you next want to use it.

* The sourdough can keep for 3 weeks in the fridge without feeding. If you do not use it for more than 3 weeks, take it out of the fridge at 3 weeks, feed with 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water. Let it raise till it peaks in volume and put it back in the fridge.


23 thoughts on “Apple Sourdough Starter

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    • Hi 🙂 I’m in Christchurch 🙂 Good thing Big Bill survived all the quakes! If you have a backyard I don’t see why you can’t build one?! (Sorry not familiar with council regulations up there.) You guys certainly have more abundance of firewood than here – trees and bushes grow so much faster up north!
      I heard of people making sourdough starter from raisins before but using fresh fruit is more appealing to me. And I see you found my kiwifruit starter too 🙂 I think you can pretty much make a starter from any fruit, or even just flour and water alone.

      • I am looking for information on a Kiwi (sourdough) starter, and saw your note about….”I see you found mt kiwifruit starter, too’, and would like to ask you about it. I’ve been told that I cannot make a successful kiwi starter. any info or links appreciated!! Thanks, Gloria

      • Hi, sorry for the very late reply. I just tried it and it worked. I don’t know anyone else who has done it or has shared their experience. Give it another go and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, after a while the original fruit flavour will be gone, and the flavour of the sourdough mostly depends on your flour and local condition.

  7. Wonderful, you are so right about adding in starter to other breads, it adds great depth of flavour and has a preservative affect. I have never tried an apple starter but I am guessing the extra sugar gives the yeasts from the flour something extra yummy to munch on and helps regulate the acidity in there. I have heard of people using pineapple juice to get one going as well. I once tried a wild plum one, it fizzed alarmingly after five days, exploded out of its jar and then developed some very nasty black fur, oops…. 🙂

    • Wow thanks. It’s wonderful to get such nice feedback from you – I think you are amazing with your breads! I’m also keeping a starter made from kiwifruit and a little honey without sugar. I’m feeding that one with wholemeal flour only. It doesn’t have the same oomph (I’m guessing it’s because of the wholemeal??) but gives a more sour flavour. I think pineapple would smell really nice – perhaps next time 🙂

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  9. I’d like to thank you for the energy you have put in writing this site. I am looking to see otherwebsite post from you in the future. please also excuse my poor english as its not my first language.

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  11. Hi Sourdolady,
    Thank you for sharing your recipes. Need your kind advice on some points on crafting the apple sourdough (SD) starter:-

    (1) Do I blitz the cored apple together with ithe apple skin intact?

    (2) Can I use all purpose flour (non-organic) from day 1 ?

    (3) If I were to craft a pineapple juice SD starter, follow the recipe exactly as in the apple starter, ie, SUGAR, is still one of the ingredients ?

    Thanking you in advance.

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