There is something magical about the process of making bread from scratch. The combination of flour, water, and yeast creates a symphony of flavors and aromas that can transport us to a simpler time. One technique that has gained popularity in recent years is the use of masa madre receta, or sourdough starter, to leaven bread. In this article, we will explore the history and science behind masa madre receta, as well as provide a step-by-step guide on how to create your own sourdough starter.

The Origins of Masa Madre Receta

Sourdough bread has been a staple in many cultures for centuries. The use of wild yeast and lactobacilli bacteria to ferment dough dates back to ancient Egypt, where it was used to make leavened bread. The technique spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages and became particularly popular in France, where it was known as “levain” or “pain au levain.”

However, the true origins of sourdough bread can be traced back even further. Archaeologists have discovered evidence of sourdough bread-making in ancient Egypt, dating back over 4,000 years. The process of making sourdough bread was likely discovered by accident when dough was left out for an extended period and naturally fermented.

The Science Behind Masa Madre Receta

At the heart of masa madre receta is the symbiotic relationship between yeast and bacteria. Yeast is a single-celled fungus that consumes sugars and produces carbon dioxide gas and alcohol as byproducts. This gas is what causes the dough to rise. Lactobacilli bacteria, on the other hand, produce lactic acid, which gives sourdough bread its distinct tangy flavor.

When making masa madre receta, the wild yeast and bacteria present in the environment are captured and cultivated. The process begins by combining flour and water and allowing it to sit at room temperature. Over time, the mixture becomes populated with wild yeast and bacteria, which feed on the sugars in the flour and multiply. This creates a living ecosystem of microorganisms that can be used to leaven bread.

Creating Your Own Masa Madre Receta

Now that we understand the history and science behind masa madre receta, let’s dive into the process of creating your own sourdough starter. Follow these steps to embark on your sourdough journey:

  1. Gather your ingredients: You will need flour and water. It is recommended to use unbleached all-purpose or bread flour for best results.
  2. Day 1: In a clean glass jar or container, combine 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water. Mix well until there are no dry clumps of flour. Cover the jar loosely with a clean cloth or plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
  3. Day 2: Discard half of the mixture from Day 1 and add another 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water. Mix well and cover the jar again. Let it sit at room temperature for another 24 hours.
  4. Day 3: Repeat the process from Day 2, discarding half of the mixture and feeding it with 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water. By this point, you should start to see some activity in your sourdough starter. It may begin to bubble and rise slightly.
  5. Day 4 and beyond: Continue the feeding process from Day 3 every 24 hours. As your sourdough starter matures, it will become more active and develop a stronger aroma. After about a week of daily feedings, your sourdough starter should be ready to use.

It is important to note that the timeline for creating a sourdough starter can vary depending on the temperature and environment. Warmer temperatures can accelerate the fermentation process, while cooler temperatures can slow it down. Patience and observation are key to successfully creating and maintaining a healthy sourdough starter.


Q: Can I use whole wheat flour to create my sourdough starter?

A: Yes, you can use whole wheat flour to create your sourdough starter. Whole wheat flour contains more natural yeast and bacteria compared to refined flours, which can help jumpstart the fermentation process.

Q: How do I know if my sourdough starter is ready to use?

A: A mature sourdough starter should be bubbly and have a pleasant, slightly sour aroma. It should also double in size within a few hours of feeding. If your starter exhibits these characteristics, it is ready to be used in bread recipes.

Q: How often do I need to feed my sourdough starter?

A: Once your sourdough starter is mature, you can reduce the frequency of feedings to once every few days. However, it is important to maintain a regular feeding schedule to keep the yeast and bacteria active and healthy.

Q: Can I use my sourdough starter straight from the refrigerator?

A: It is recommended to bring your sourdough starter to room temperature before using it in bread recipes. This allows the yeast and bacteria to become more active and ensures better fermentation.

Q: Can I share my sourdough starter with others?

A: Absolutely! Sharing sourdough starter is a wonderful way to spread the joy of homemade bread. You can give a portion of your mature starter to a friend or family member, who can then use it to create their own sourdough bread.


Masa madre receta, or sourdough starter, is a fascinating and ancient technique for leavening bread. Its origins can be traced back thousands of years, and its science is based on the symbiotic relationship between yeast and bacteria. By following a simple process of combining flour and water and allowing it to ferment, you can create your own sourdough starter. With patience and practice, you can master the art of sourdough bread-making and enjoy the delicious flavors and aromas that come with it.


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