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Sourdough for Science

Main Project Information
Goal Learn how bread varies with different flour types and microbes.
Task Create a sourdough starter from scratch.
Where Global, anywhere on the planet

**This project can be completed at home or in the classroom.**
Humans have baked bread for over 10,000 years. All over the world, different cultures bake their own unique breads – and have for centuries. Yet we know almost nothing about the microbes that truly make a traditional sourdough bread. In this project, you can create your own sourdough starter from scratch,  just by mixing flour and water. Over the course of 10 days, you can take a series of simple measurements to track the growth of your own "microbial zoo". Your measurements will help solve the mystery of bread, by quantifying how different flours contribute to the growth of each "microbial zoo" – and how those microbes contribute to the taste and texture of bread.

Materials List pH strips, 1-quart, wide-mouth glass jars, additional flour types, rye flour
Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families, Seniors
Spend the Time indoors
Type of Activity At school, At home
Training Materials
Class Materials
Tags flour, microbiology, sourdough
Project Updated 01/24/2019