Apple Starter for Sourdough Bread

Apple Sour Dough Starter

I know there are all kinds of fancy names that bloggers and food writers are using right now for this process but at the end of the day I prefer to know exactly what it is without the high faluting language. Apple Starter for Sourdough Bread pretty much says all you need to know, except of course the how to’s and wherefore’s which will come later on.

Traditionally before the use of yeast in bread this was how it was done, well by the Brits anyway and across Europe anyway. Apples or even Pears were used to create a natural ferment that in turn was mixed with the flour to create a leaved bread also cakes and other yummy flour based products. To find out more about the history of sour dough feel free to follow this link History of Sour Dough

It is believed by some that changing the process of making our bread from sour dough methods to the much faster yeast rising method has caused alot of upset in peoples digestions. All I can say is this, the sour dough starter does chemically change the flour and gluten found in it. I personally find it much easier to digest. I get none of the usual bloating or sicky feeling or build up or mucus that I get if I’ve eaten too much yeast based wheat flour bread.

The other thing that most don’t take into consideration is that wheat flour is a relatively recent addition to our daily diet and up until then we survived on Barley, Oats, Acorns, and other wild nuts and grains that we used to create our flour. (*thinks to self* hmmm it’s ages since I made acorn flour*) The point is that wheat flour contains a much higher density of gluten in it than everything else so with that in mind creating a bread out of other types of grains and nuts isn’t such a bonkers idea and is probably going to do your body alot better in the long run.

I have to admit though I am not the most patient person in the world and having to wait a few days to be able to do this when I first started off left me pacing around like I’m waiting for test results or something. It has become a bit of a morning ritual now though to feed my “baby” and get dough going for bread. Not one I am dragging my feet over either which is a bonus.

Anyway enough of my waffling lets get on with it…. Now I will add another couple of pics later on down the track. I kinda got so excited I forgot a few….

First off grating 2 apples, yes definately green ones the red ones go, um, slimey and none of us want that.

Add the grated apple to 500ml of water and place in a jar or bowl or whatever you want but I chose a jar as it takes up less room.


Whatever you choose to put your apple and water mix in needs to be covered, it needs to be covered in such a way as it can breathe. Fermentation produces bubbles, bubbles produce gas, gas leads to exploding glass at 3am if it has nowhere to go. I’m just saying.

I chose to cover mine with a bit of calico and a brand new hair tie because that’s what I had at the time.


Check your apple every morning. Just because it’s fermenting doesn’t mean it won’t go off. I kept mine on my desk in the living room so I could keep an eye on it but I’m bonkers and a bit like a mad professor when it comes to these kinds of things so feel free to have yours in the kitchen on the bench or somewhere else that isn’t too cold but is out of the way.

When it is ready it will look something like this …


The apple floats to the top of the jar mostly due to the gas bubbles that are produced by the fermentation process. It’s quite cool. It does smell a little like cider vinegar at this stage, not an unreasonable smell and quite loverly really.

At this point you need to strain your apple into a measuring jug

Whatever amount of liquid you have you need to add the same of whatever flour you have chosen to use for this process. And mix well. Don’t be scared to mix it, unlike convention baking you can’t really knock the wind out of this because it will keep creating more, (a bit like the boys after eggs and beans) fermentation is like that.

Then place it in a container you wish to use as your starter bowl. I suggest giving it a clean out each week as it will get a bit grotty on the top with dried bits of starter and flour and stuff. I use an old ceramic crock from an old slow cooker we had.

Now I know you may freak out a bit when your starter first goes in that you’ve been too rough with it etc but worry not. Here is mine after first being put in its bowl and then an hour later. It’s so very happy in there it grew up the side of the crock an inch !!!

All that is left now is to keep feeding your starter every day. Adding a cup of flour and a cup of water. It doesn’t matter if it’s a measuring cup or your coffee cup as long as they match and it has room to grow.

This is mine after a couple of days, you can see how the flours texture is completely different and has turned into incredible elastic strands.


It takes less time this way and after an overnight of feeding your starter is ready to use. I use half of mine and then top it up.

All you have to remember about your starter are these small points…

If it has minimal bubbles on it, have you fed it or how cold is it ? 

Your starter needs to have a decent room temperature to keep feeding. It will go into hibernation if kept in the fridge or at a cooler temperature. Basically if you need to put on a jumper your starter needs one too.

Your starter will also slow down if you haven’t fed it enough. It needs the flour and water to keep up it’s fermentation, if you don’t give it enough to get it through it’s 24hours then it will absolutely starve.

Why has it got water on top of it? 

If your starter looks watery, kinda like porridge someone poured thier drink on, then it is best to either pour off the water or quickly add extra flour to the mix. Either way you choose to go with this it will need feeding straight away to being it back.

I haven’t fed mine for a couple of days and its frothy and smells funky.

Yeah ok, I’m really sorry but you might just have to start again. Your starter smelling like distilled vinegar is not a great sign. The next step it would go from there is getting a pink colour to it. You really really don’t want that happening a stay in hospital could be on the cards if you try to eat it once that happens and noone wants that to happen.

Just breathe and get your apple started again. Go from scratch. Better to be safe than sorry.


I’m just going to write my recipe here below for now until I can pull the pennies together to update my blog to get the recipe widget so you can print it off. Just copy and paste it old school for now and when I can I will update it. If you want to help this process move along more quickly feel free to join my Patreon community. You will be involved with all the weird and wonderful things that I get on with in my day including my artwork and all sorts of geeky weirdness.

Anyway enough of the shameless self promotion. Here’s yah recipe…


2 Large Green Apples

500ml Water

500g Whatever flour you choose is best for you

  1. Grate the apples including the skin
  2. Add the grated apple to the water in a glass container and cover with a piece of cloth or a very loose lid. Leave for 3 days.
  3. Seive the apples and water over a measuring jug. Discard the apple.
  4. Add the same amount of flour to the water and mix well.
  5. Place mix in a clean container with plenty of room for growth and feeding and cover.
  6. Each day “feed” your starter with equal amounts of flour and water.
  7. Keep your starter in a resonably warm room temperature environment.


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