The Ultimate Guide to Sourdough: From Starter to Slice (Made for the Indian Kitchen!)


Have you ever been captivated by the tangy aroma and beautiful crust of a freshly baked sourdough loaf? Sourdough bread, one of the oldest forms of leavened bread, is experiencing a major resurgence in India thanks to its incredible flavor and potential health benefits. But with the warm Indian climate, creating and maintaining a sourdough starter can be a bit trickier. Fear not! This ultimate guide is for you, with a basic sourdough recipe using Indian flours and tips for success in the Indian kitchen.

What is Sourdough?

Sourdough bread is made with a simple fermented mixture of flour and water called a ‘sourdough starter’. This starter contains wild yeast and bacteria that naturally leaven the dough, giving it a distinct sour flavor and complexity.

Benefits of Sourdough Bread

  • Improved Digestibility: The fermentation process in sourdough helps break down starches and gluten, potentially making it easier to digest compared to some commercial breads.
  • Nutrition: Sourdough may have a higher content of certain vitamins and minerals than some other breads due to the fermentation process.
  • Unique Flavor: The hallmark of sourdough is its satisfying tangy flavor, a result of the natural fermentation.

Creating Your Sourdough Starter

The warm Indian climate can make it challenging for a starter to establish the right balance of bacteria and yeast. Here’s how to create a starter that thrives in Indian conditions:

  1. Gather Your Supplies: You’ll need a clean jar, atta flour (whole wheat) or rye flour (if available), and filtered water.
  2. Day 1: Combine equal parts flour and water in your jar. Cover loosely with a breathable cloth (not airtight) and leave at room temperature (around 75°F – 80°F is ideal). Warmer temperatures can favor unfriendly bacteria, so consider placing the jar in a cooler spot in your kitchen if needed.
  3. Daily Feedings (Days 2-7): Discard half the starter each day. Feed with equal parts flour and water. You might see minimal bubbling initially. Be patient!
  4. The Ripeness Test: Unlike cooler climates, your starter might not double in size as noticeably. Look for small bubbles appearing throughout the starter and a pleasant, slightly sour aroma. It might take 7-10 days (or even longer) for your starter to be ready.

Tips for Maintaining Your Starter in the Indian Heat

  • Shorter Feedings: Consider feeding your starter twice a day during the warmer months to keep it active.
  • Refrigerate When Not in Use: If you’re not baking frequently, store your starter in the refrigerator. Feed it once a week to maintain its activity.

Basic Sourdough Recipe using Indian Flours

This recipe is a starting point. Adjust water and flour based on your dough’s consistency.


  • 100 gms active sourdough starter
  • 300 gms atta flour (whole wheat) or a combination of atta and bread flour (if available)
  • 180 gms lukewarm water
  • 10 gms salt


  1. In a large bowl, combine starter, flour, and water. Mix well to form a shaggy dough.
  2. Autolyse (rest) the dough for 30 minutes.
  3. Add salt and knead for 10 minutes by hand or with a stand mixer until the dough becomes smooth and slightly elastic.
  4. Bulk fermentation: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise at room temperature for 4-6 hours. You might see smaller and less frequent rises compared to cooler climates.
  5. Shaping and proofing: Once the dough has doubled in size (or shows significant expansion), shape it into a round loaf and place it in a floured banneton basket or bowl. Cover and let it proof for another 2-3 hours.
  6. Baking: Preheat your oven to 230°C (450°F) with a baking stone or Dutch oven inside. Carefully transfer the dough to the hot stone or Dutch oven (remove lid if using). Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on (to create steam), then reduce heat to 200°C (400°F) and bake for another 25-30 minutes with the lid off, or until the internal temperature reaches 98°C (208°F).
  7. Let the bread cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Enjoy your delicious homemade sourdough bread!

Feeling overwhelmed by the starter creation process? Miche Artisan Bakery offers a variety of sourdough breads made with the finest ingredients. Visit our website to explore our range of sourdough breads.

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