Fido – Our Sourdough Starter

Our latest addition to the family is Fido, pronounced Fi-Dough. Hint, hint. Fido is not a dog. Fido is my new sourdough starter. One of my favourite websites, King Arthur Flour, had an excellent article on setting a new years resolution of starting your own sourdough starter. This is a resolution I could get into.

First I needed a home for Fido – a jar. You do not want an air tight lid. The jar needs to breath.  Many people use an open mouth jar and rubber band on a piece of cloth. I found this jar at the grocery store. The lid just sits on top. Looks like it is designed as a small cookie jar. Perfect. A good cleaning at home and we were ready.

To build a starter you need a flour and water. The water should not be chlorinated. I live in the country and used filtered water from our reverse osmosis system. The best first flour a whole grain. A friend brought me some heritage whole grain flour from Upper Canada Village. I took a cup (125 g) of the heritage flour and added about 150g water. Heritage flour needs more water. The rule of thumb for sourdough is equal weights of flour and water.

I had bubbling and growth from the next day. I fed Fido by adding 125 g all purpose flour and 125 g water. This is the only feeding where you just add to the jar.

The jar empty weighs 1,050 grams. I add 125 g flour and 125 g water. Then the next day added another 125+125 flour/water. Now the total is 1,050g + 250g + 250g for a total of 1,550 g. To feed you weight the jar, remove one half of the starter, add 125/125 flour/water and stir.

  • Jar before feeding: 1,550 g
  • Remove 1/2 of starter
  • 1,300 g (1,550 – 250)
  • Add 125 g flour and 125 g water
  • Final weight: 1,550 g

You can see from the Jan 7 photo, the dough is white now. While the original flour was heritage whole grain, all feedings have been with all purpose. The starter has a pleasant sweet odour. No hints of sournesses. I have been religious about my twice a day feedings to keep the sourness down.

Fido’s growth in one day after feeding. Notice it collapses by the evening.

After a week in the fridge

Jan 20 2017 1 week in fridge. The brown fluid is alcohol. Before mixing.

On Friday Jan 13 I fed Fido then put the jar in the fridge. One week later, Jan 20, I pulled out the jar. The starter had a sour smell as alcohol was visible on the edges. I stirred it up with a soft spatula then fed it by removing 250g and adding 125g flour and 125g water. Back to the fridge. Next Friday I am going to remove it in the morning, add 250g flour/water, then let it warm for 4 hours. Then I will pull off 250g and dry as described in the article Putting your sourdough starter on hold. The balance will go back in the fridge.

Breads made with Fido


  1. Andy Rogers January 9, 2017

    Never mind. I see you add the yeast later after the starter is ready to be used to make bread.

    • Baker Rich January 9, 2017

      Some recipes add yeast, some don’t. The wild yeast grows in the starter. Basic breads add some commercial yeast. Pure leaven bread uses just the wild yeast from the starter. It does require a long ferment as there is not as much yeast and it is not as aggressive as commercial yeast.

      My starter is only a week old so not very aggressive yet. I will do a leaven bread such as this one next week.

  2. Andy Rogers January 9, 2017

    No yeast? Doesn’t sound right to me.

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