How can a nation be great if their bread tastes like kleenex?

-Julia Child
Sourdough starter smells

Sourdough Starter Smells

Ever wonder why your starter has such a unique smell? The answer could be in the bacteria used to cultivate it. Sourdough starters are living organisms that ferment flour and water to create a wild yeast and lactobacilli-rich mixture that gives sourdough bread its distinctively tangy flavor. As these microbes consume the sugars in the flour, they produce various compounds that contribute to the unique aroma of sourdough. From vinegar to beer, from vomit to gym socks, I break down all the weird funky smells that may plague your starter.

Sourdough Bread FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

When I got started making my first sourdough starter boy did I have questions and finding answers online was pretty hit or miss. Tons of online forums were discussing the dos and don'ts but honestly, the information was contradictory and I struggled for a long time to establish my first starter. This page is my attempt to answer all the questions I get from friends and family and all those original questions I had when I got started. Hopefully, it's useful for you in your sourdough journey!

Sourdough Starter Tips

Sourdough Starter Tips and Tricks

Establishing and maintaining a sourdough starter is at once simple, but also something easy to screw up. The wrong flour, feeding schedule, room temperature, or even water can totally leave your starter looking lifeless. My first-ever starter didn't rise for weeks and I had no idea why, no resource online to refer to, and nobody to ask. Looking back, I wish I had this amazing list of starter tips because I would have realized my home temperature was a few degrees too cold and I would have had a vibrant starter much sooner.

Jennifer Clarke

Hi, my name is Jennifer Clarke and I’m a mother of two from Ohio. I’ve always loved cooking and baking, but it wasn’t until the spring of 2020 during the pandemic lockdown that I discovered my true passion: sourdough baking.

I had heard of sourdough before, but being stuck at home with my family gave me the time and opportunity to really dive in and learn everything I could. I spent hours researching, experimenting, and baking loaf after loaf until I finally achieved that perfect, tangy flavor and chewy texture that I love.

As I shared my creations with family and friends, I realized that there was a real demand for quality sourdough tips. That’s when I decided to start my own website,, to share my knowledge and experience with others.