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How To Make Sourdough Starter (From Scratch)

If you’ve been making your own bread at home, Kudos to you! If you haven’t but it’s something you’ve always wanted to try, you’re in the right place!

You may have heard stories of sourdough starters being passed down from generation to generation. Even that these age-old starters can be closely guarded, and well taken care of secrets. Luckily learning how to make a sourdough starter from scratch requires neither a centuries-old ‘hand me down’, or any special ingredients.

I’ll show you not only how to make your own sourdough starter, but also how to properly take care of it, use it to make your own sourdough bread, as well as a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up from doing this myself over the past few years. 

This post contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated if a purchase is made through the links provided. For more information please read my affiliate disclosure.

A Quick History of Sourdough

Sourdough bread is essentially the ‘historical’ way of making leavened bread around the world. The very first loaves of bread where likely various forms of flatbread, which were made with whatever flour or grain was available in the region. At some point in history, an ‘unlucky’ (or very lucky depends on how you look at it), baker left his dough sitting in a warm spot for too long, and the water and flour mixture would have started to ferment. What a surprise he (or she) must have gotten when upon baking, a piece of soft fluffy bread was pulled out of the oven.

Sourdough bread was born.

This basic method of using naturally occurring yeasts to ferment flour products was the main method that would have been used up until the early 18th century for baking bread. Bakers would not really have had any control over the yeast itself, but strains ‘local’ to an area would have produced differing tastes and textures, especially when re-using old dough’s to start a new batch.

This eventually led to the creation of making slurry based yeast starters which often contained barley malt, and various flours. These were often referred to as ’emptins’ in old recipe books, and where essentially the scraps of the beer-making process (left-over wort), mixed with flour. It’s interesting that leavened bread and beer were usually produced in the same regions, as the fermentation process for yeast is similar in nature.

In time the ‘Vienna Process‘ for baking and making yeast was invented and bakers would have slowly started using press-yeast, a specially produced yeast meant for baking.

The Difference Between Sourdough and Regular Yeast Breads

As mentioned above, sourdough bread uses ‘wild yeasts’ to ferment a bread dough, while more modern yeast breads use what is knows as ‘bakers yeast’. Baking bread always requires a starter or yeast of some sort, and bakers yeast comes in easy to store, shelf-stable variations that require little work:

  • Fresh Yeast
  • Active Dry Yeast
  • Instant Yeast

Each have a different method of preparation, but in short: both fresh and active dry yeast need to be ‘bloomed’ or activated prior to use while instant yeast may be mixed right into the dry ingredients of the recipe.

a freshly sliced loaf of homemade sandwich bread

Modern breads leavened with bakers yeast (such as this white sandwhich bread) have a tendency to rise (or proof) fairly quickly in comparison to sourdough breads.

While this is convenient in a commercial setting, breads using bakers yeast often have less complex flavors and a lighter structure.

Sourdough breads are more complex in flavor due to differing wild yeasts, have a slightly ‘sour’ taste due to the fermentation process, and are usually a bit chewier then yeast breads.

Wild Yeasts

Naturally occurring wild yeasts, are present literally everywhere around us.  On fruit, in the air, on plants such as wheat, barley, and Einkorn, in dirt and in water. 

When flour is mixed with water and left in a warm environment these wild yeast will slowly start to multiply and ferment and turn natural carbohydrates present in the flour into carbon dioxide. This is the basis of how a sourdough is made possible.

The interesting thing is that, as a starter ferments and is ‘fed’, it picks up strains of yeast local to its surroundings and the flour used to feed it. This means that while you may receive a sourdough starter that is ‘so many years old’ and from a specific region, the starter will take on new local strains of yeast until the old ones have all but disappeared.

Using The Proper Ingredients For Your Sourdough Starter

When making your first batch of sourdough starter at home, it’s important to use good quality ingredients. This is the biggest secret to success.

The very first time I made my own sourdough starter from scratch, nothing happened. Literally. It went moldy on the counter, and I was left wondering how I could have screwed up something ‘so easy’.


I learned that since yeast is a living organism, giving it any old flour and water, will not exactly help it grow and multiply. Most often people have all-purpose flour at home which has been bleached and enriched. Freshly milled flour has a yellow appearance, and as such it is commercially bleached with a bleaching agent, (such as chlorine), to give the flour a white appearance. The bleaching process also makes it easier for the flour to develop gluten while kneading.

While this is fine and dandy, bleaching flour may kill the naturally present yeast and other beneficial bacteria. If it doesn’t, the chemical inhibits the growth of wild yeasts that may be introduced through other means (such as through the air or your hands.). For this reason, it is best to use organic unbleached all-purpose or bread flour when making a sourdough starter from scratch.

Whole wheat flour and other flours can in theory also be used, but they may produce of flavors in your starter. Using an un-bleached organic all-purpose flour is my recommendation. – Chef Markus Mueller


While most of us in North America have access to clean, potable tap water, if you live in any urban setting, you may not know that it is most likely treated with chlorine and fluoride for health and safety reasons. This is not a bad thing for us, just bad for the wild yeasts!

While this is done to kill any bad bacteria that can cause disease and other illnesses in humans, chlorinated water also happens to destroy the wild yeasts as soon as it’s mixed into the flour. The easy way around this is to use filtered water, or distilled water in your sourdough starter.

If you don’t have access to filtered or distilled water, you can leave the water sitting out on the counter for 30 minutes or so to allow the chlorine to evaporate. Alternatively, you can also use fruit juice as your liquid to feed the starter.

Making Sourdough Starter From Scratch

Let’s get to the knitty gritty and actually make a sourdough starter from scratch! Keep in mind this is not something you will make start to finish in one afternoon. You’ll need about 4 days to properly let the starter ferment and become active.

Over these four days, you’ll periodically feed the ‘sourdough starter’ (about every 12 hours) with more flour and water to encourage yeast production. you’ll notice the sourdough starter start to become gloopy, bubbly, and slightly sour smelling.

You’ll need:

  • A non-reactive container (such as a wide mouth glass jar or plastic container. Old yogurt containers work well for this)
  • A clean spoon and measuring cup set
  • a clean linen towel or cheesecloth
  • unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • warm filtered water or distilled water (fruit juice such as orange or pineapple juice may also be used for the first two feedings)


  • plain greek yogurt

Using Greek yogurt adds a sour flavour to your starter, but is considered to be ‘cheating’ by professional bakers. Yogurt does not help the starter ferment as is believed by some.

What adding yogurt may potentially do is lower the pH level very slightly of the starter (as would happen when using fruit juice instead of water)discouraging bad bacteria and mold growth and encouraging the growth of wild yeasts.

Day 1

Start by mixing 2/3 cups (85 grams) of the flour in your non-reactive container with 1/3 cup (80ml) of warm water. Vigorously stir the mixture with a spoon to incorporate air. Scrape down the sides of the container with the spoon, and cover the container with a clean linen cloth or cheesecloth. You want the starter to ‘breath’ and be able to expel the carbon dioxide it produces. If the mixture seems VERY dry add another 1btsp (14ml)  of water. The consistency should be paste-like, but not runny.

Set the container in a corner on your kitchen counter and forget about it for a day.

Optional: At this stage you may add 1 Tbsp of plain Greek yogurt to the starter, to help add sourness and decrease the ph level of the mixture decreasing the chances of mold growth. – Chef Markus Mueller

Mixing flour and water in a glass jar to make sourdough starter from scratch

Day 2

After 12 – 24 hours, it’s time to feed your starter again. Over the past hours, the yeast present in the flour/air/water will very slowly start to begin fermentation. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen (especially if your ambient room temperature is under 20C or 68F) this may be closer to the 24 hour mark. Essentially the warmer the temperature the faster the sourdough starter will ferment. You may notice one or two lone bubbles in the mixture.

Add 2/3 cup of flour and 1/3 cup of water to the starter. Mix vigorously with a clean spoon, and again scrape down the sides and replace the cloth. The sourdough starter should be fairly gloopy and may start to appear gluey.

Day 3

Wait another 12-24 hours. At this point you should start seeing noticeable bubbles trying to break the surface of the sourdough starter. Don’t worry if you don’t, as long as there is no mold, or ‘rotten smell’ everything should be ok.

Feed the starter again with 2/3 cups of flour and 1/3 cup of water. Scrape down the sides of the container, and replace the cloth.

Day 4

At this point another 12 – 24 hours will have passed, and you should be seeing the surface of the sourdough starter look bubbly. The starter may even start to grow in volume, and depending on the temperature may even have doubled in size.

An overhead view of from scratch sour dough starter in a glass jar

Feed the starter one more time with 2/3 cups of flour and a splash of water to maintain consistency. Sit back and wait another 24 hours.

Day 5

This is it! Your sourdough starter should have at least doubled in size by now and smell quite yeasty. If you are still not seeing any visible signs of fermentation or notice a ‘sour’ smell, it’s a good idea to start over and try keeping the starter in a warmer location to encourage yeast growth.

homemamde sour dough starter after fermenting for 4 days. Nice and bubbly!

At this point, your starter is ready to use in a bread or other sourdough recipe, but if you aren’t quite ready to bake, you can store it in the refrigerator.

Storing Your Sourdough Starter

Many people keep their sourdough starters on the counter, but unless you plan on baking every two or three days, I have found it best to keep it refrigerated and dormant to avoid the yeast from losing its strength.

If kept at a warm temperature the yeast will keep eating the carbs in the flour until all the food has been consumed(unless you keep feeding it). The yeast then starts to die and loses its potency.

To avoid this, store at least 1 cup of starter in the fridge in a non-reactive container. The cold temperatures will make the yeast go dormant. They are easily awakened by taking them out of the fridge and feeding again with another round of water and flour.

If the sourdough is left to sit for a long time, a brownish liquid may appear on the surface ( called hooch by some). This is normal, and usually a sign of a little to much water in the mixture. Simple pour it off and continue feeding as normal.

A close up shot of homemade sourdough starter in a glass jar

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How to make sourdough starter from scratch . A close up shot of homemade sourdough starter in a glass jar

How To Make Sourdough Starter

Chef Markus Mueller
Learn how to make sourdough starter from scratch using only natural, whole ingredients. Easy to follow steps for making fool-proof sourdough bread at home without any special equipment.
4.8 from 20 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Fermentation Time 2 d 12 hrs
Total Time 5 mins
Course Baking
Cuisine German
Servings 1 sourdough starter
Calories 303.3 kcal


Sourdough Starter Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup Un-Bleached All Purpose Flour Organic is best, but using un-bleached flour is most important.
  • 1/3 cup Filtered Spring Water Chlorine and Fluoride Free


  • 1 tbsp full fat plain greek yogurt


Day 1

  • Start by mixing 2/3 cups (85 grams) of the flour in your non-reactive container with 1/3 cup of warm water. Vigorously stir the mixture with a spoon to incorporate air. Scrape down the sides of the container with the spoon, and cover the container with a clean linen cloth or cheese cloth. You want the starter to ‘breath’ and be able to expel the carbon dioxide it produces.

Day 2

  • Add 2/3 cup of flour and 1/3 cup of water to the starter. Mix vigorously with a clean spoon, and again scrape down the sides and replace the cloth. The sourdough starter should be fairly gloopy and may start to appear gluey.

Day 3

  • Feed the starter again with 2/3 cups of flour and 1/3 cup of water. Scrape down the sides of the container, and replace the cloth.

Day 4

  • At this point You should be seeing the surface of the sourdough starter look quite bubbly, The starter may even start to grow in volume, and depending on the temperature may even have doubled in size.
    Feed the starter one more time with another 2/3 cups of flour and 1/3 cup of water. Sit back and wait another 24 hours.

Day 5

  • Your sourdough starter should have at least doubled in size by now.
    At this point your starter is ready to use in a bread recipe, but if you aren’t quite ready to bake, you can store it in the refrigerator.

Using the starter in a recipe

  • After day 5, if your sourdough is bubbly, smells like sourdough, and isn’t mouldy, it’s ready to use in any sourdough recipe. Simply measure out the amount of starter the recipe calls for and proceed as is required.
  • If using a previously refrigerated starter, simply take the starter out of the fridge a day before you plan on baking. Feed the starter to re-activate it. Once bubbly and ‘active’ it’s ready for use.


If after 5 Days  are still not seeing any visible signs of fermentation or notice a ‘sour’ smell, it’s a good idea to start over and try keeping the starter in a warmer location to encourage yeast growth.
Keyword homemade sourdough, making sourdough bread, no knead bread, rustic bread

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  1. This is a great recipe and I’m eager to try it out. I have organic rye flour. Would that make a good starter? I would think the rye would be more tangy too.

    • Hi Iwona,

      You are correct, the rye flour would create a different flavor profile. Let me know how you like it with the rye!

      • Hi. Thanks for this! So once the starter is made, how do you use it to make sour dough bread?

        • Hi Jeff, so once the starter is ready to be used ( bubbly, doubles in size after feeding, smells sour, etc) you simply add it to your favorite bread recipe. Knowing how much to use can be a little tricky, but i generally try and use at least a cup worth of starter. If you search ‘no knead sourdough bread’ on our website here, you’ll find a recipe that uses the starter. I’ll be working on more sourdough recipes this fall!

  2. Karin Kozlowski

    5 stars
    This recipe is perfect! I used King Arthur unbleached whole wheat flour, I’m on day 4, and the starter looks (and smells) amazing! Thank you!

  3. This is my second time to try this starter. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I’m using spring water and unbleached flour. My starter has a good scent to it and has bubbles but it never grows. I’ve tried the float test and it doesn’t float. I’ve tried making bread with it and it doesn’t rise. I’m not really sure how to make it work. I live in Texas so my kitchen is on the warmer end. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Scottie, I’ve never had that happen. I would suggest trying it with distilled water? It could be that if it is really hot in Texas the heat may kill the bacteria before it can really get going? I would love to hear if you try it again and what happens!

  4. Hello Chef Markus,
    I’m on Day 4 of the process of making the sourdough starter and will soon be ready to make my bread. I have two relatively large pizza stones which I would like to use when baking my “Roggenbrot” (rye bread) rather than using the dutch oven method. Is this possible and, if so, would you please explain the directions to do this. (N.B. – I’m planning to place a small container of water in the lower part of the oven to create steam to make a nice crust.) Thanks, in advance, for your assistance in this matter. Terry

    • Hi Terry, Apologies for the delayed response. You could certainly use the pizza stones as a baking surface. The difference with the baking stone and regular baking sheet is that it needs to be pre-heated. So when you are shaping your dough and getting it ready for the final rise, I would suggest starting the oven and putting the stone in then. Let the bread rise on a well-floured surface or board. Once ready to go in the oven, gently slide a spatula underneath the loaves to make sure they don’t stick, then slide the loaves onto the hot stone. Bake as the recipe directs. Keep in mind the stone is fairly hot so the crust on the bottom of the loaf may bake faster/become thicker.

  5. Hi. This is my first time making a sourdough starter. I will probably make bread on day 5 or 6. Do I refrigerate the starter after day 5?

    • Hi Sarah, don’t refrigerate the starter before baking with it. Use what you need, and then refrigerate any leftover starter. To wake the starter up, simply take it from the fridge and feed it/let it sit for 24 hours. Then use it in a recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    Hi Markus! I had tried a starter before and it exploded all over my bookshelf! I used your method this time and it worked like a charm! I’m not very familiar with baking bread so I want to be better- the starter was incredibly sticky, is this how it should be? I tried baking a loaf using it this way (with your no knead sourdough recipe!) and it turned out fairly well! Very dense though, do I need to let it proof longer? Or do I need to feed the starter longer before using it in a recipe? Thank you for your great recipes!

    • Hi Julia, glad to hear the starter worked for you and didn’t explode this time! The starter is fairly gooy by nature yes this is normal.

      As for the bread being dense, there could be many reasons for it. One like you mentioned the starter may be week, and needs to be fed a few more days before being used in baking.

      No knead recipes will inherently be denser then a recipe which you knead as the gluten isn’t developed. When kneading a dough you develop gluten strands which stretch as the dough proofs.

      I would suggest kneading the dough with a little more flour (the dough should still be tacky but not wet) and see if that lightens it up at all.

      Chef Markus

  7. Hi,
    I’m on day 3 and my starter triple in size… I used a 1L mason jar and its pretty much full what should I do?

    • Hi Vicky, I would simply take some of the starter out of the jar and keep feeding it. Or move it to a larger container. Keep in mind that once you feed the starter again, the volume will decrease a little as you let the air out of it.

    • Megan Cartier

      I’m on day 4 following your starter recipe. I did decide to add a tablespoon of Greek yogurt because it appealed to me. My starter smells vibrantly of vanilla / bananas which doesn’t exactly sound normal but does make my whole kitchen smell pretty tasty.

      • Hahah that sounds great Megan, the smell could be from the yogurt,as long as there is no mold growing on the starter or the sides of the container, you can rest assured it has not ‘gone bad’. Happy baking!

  8. Sheree Rice

    After the 5th day any recipe recommendations? Do I just bake it like is? This it is my first time

  9. So once I start using the starter, how do I know how much flour and water to feed it to keep it growing?

    • Hey Sonia, so once you start using the starter, you simply refrigerate any leftover starter, and then when ready to use it again, pull it out, and feed as described in the post above. You basically just need to keep feeding it flour to keep it going. How much is irrelevant, you just need enough water to moisten the flour each time and keep it gloupy.

  10. Thanks for this. However, you should be more careful making statements you’re not quite sure about given the popularity of your site. Water treated in Canada and the US is the healthiest in the world. Your description of how treated water would harm the production of sourdough starter lacks a scientific backing and helps feed into the anti-science conspiracy. The water is not treated with “multiple” chemicals – you make it seem like something out of Chernobyl. It goes through particulate filters where anything heavier is removed, and is then chlorinated. That’s it. Chlorine will evaporate from the water almost right away, but you can leave the cup on the counter for 5 mins and it will be gone. If you’re that concerned, leave it for an hour and other than the fact it will be dirtier due to particulate in the air, it will be guaranteed to be chlorine free. “Spring” water goes through this same process except it seeps through sediment in the earth – ie layers of different clay and soot and rock meaning it is cleaned that way. The commercially sold spring water is in fact chlorinated for safety reasons so I have no idea what you get by recommending people to buy it – more plastic? Humans are ridiculous. Yes, it is possible that the water in your tap is better than the stuff inside plastic containers.

    Finally, yeast as a fungus and bacteria inhibit each other’s growth. So what do you get by adding a spoon of yogurt? The more bacteria the less yeast and vice versa – I can see how it might improve flavour but not what the point would be to “start” the process – bacteria are to yeast what water is to fire. Penicillin is a type of natural anti-bacterial defense mechanism developed by fungi.

    Finally, “plain Greek” yugurt – you probably mean Balkan-style yogurt. Greek yogurt is thicker and made in individually set cups, Balkan style is the natural yogurt that is made in a larger vat without stirring. Greek yogurt is stirred.

    • Hi Dan, thanks for your comment, I think there is a little mis-understanding. I don’t claim the water is treated with multiple chemicals as you state, only that it is treated with chlorine and flouride.

      The chlorine in city tap water will kill wild yeasts found in organic in bleached flour.

      I agree I did make an error in saying spring water (as bottled water also contains chlorine as you kindly pointed out). What I meant to write was to use distilled water. (I have edited this in the post).

      Alternatively as you also suggested you can leave the tap water out and let the chlorine evaporate. You could also use a fruit juice such as orange or pineapple juice which will lower the pH value and help discourage mold growth.

      In regards to the yogurt you are correct and I was mistaken. The yogurt does not actually help fermentation. What it may actually do is very slightly lower the pH value of the mix, reducing the chances of mold growth before the yeast takes hold.

      The yogurt will also add some sourness to the starter, though this is considered to be cheating by some.

      I did mean Greek yogurt and not balkin yogurt.

      I appreciate you taking the time to point out my error.

      Chef Markus

    • OMG that is a bit technical good on you for knowing all this but a bit irrelevant to making Sourdoughs. The explanation in the recipe is a guide line any how and I for one do not like the thought of chlorine in my body Now I am being a bit OTT. As you are with the yoghurt ??

  11. Hi,im on my 4th day today(friday),my 5th day is Tomo(Saturday) and im planning to make the bread by Monday…i understand i need to put it in the fridge,but after i take it out from the fridge on Monday,shall i feed it first before using on my bread or can i use it straight on my bread? So sorry,my question is complicated?

    • Hi Nova, If you plan on baking bread on Monday, I would suggest not refrigerating it, and instead simply keep feeding the starter until then, the same as you have been doing until now. Bake on monday, use whatever amount of sourdough you need, and then refrigerate any leftover starter. When you are ready to bake again, remove the starter from the fridge and feed it to re-activate it. It’s ready for use again when kit’s actively bubbly.

  12. So I’m on day 5 and my starter looks great but I have no idea what to do with it from here. Do I just leave it on the counter? How much and how often do I feed it? What do I do when I take a cup out for baking a loaf of bread?

    • Hi Hannah, I sent you a more detailed e-mail but I will also answer your question here.

      After day 5 of ‘starting’ your starter, you are basically ready to start using it in any sourdough recipe you like. Any leftover sourdough can simply be refrigerated for future use. When you are ready to use it again, take it out the day before, feed it ‘as normal’ and let it become active again before using. You can repeat this process as many times as you like. If you notice mould growing inside the container, you should throw it out and start over.

      Hope that helps!

      Chef Markus

  13. 5 stars
    Wow this is such a great tutorial. I wish I had it back when I was just starting out with my sour dough starter. You have made it so easy to understand!

  14. I’ve been making bread for a few years now and have been wanting to give the sourdough starter a go! Well I’ve finally done it! I’m about to feed it for the 2nd time and already saw a few bubbles! I just always came across different “recipes” and instructions for keeping and caring for the starter. This one seems easiest. I am eager to make my own sourdough bread as it is my favorite!

  15. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe. Your steps are very clear. I am on day 3 of my starter and it has almost doubled in size by the next day, but fell during the day…is this bad?

    • It’s not necessarily bad, it could be that the starter simply used up all the food you gave it, it goes faster and faster, the larger the starter gets, try feeding it again and see if it still bubbles and doubles up again! Make sure it isnt to liquidy either.

  16. moriah frazier

    Should I be throwing away any of the starter when I feed it? Or just adding to what I already have?

    • Hi Moriah, Don’t throw any of the starter out, just add to it each day as you initially get it going. If you throw any out you risk reducing the bacteria count, and then it will take even longer to become forthy and bubbly. Once the starter is going dtrong, you can take some ‘out’ for use in recipes, such as my no-knead sourdough bread, and simply refrigerate the rest. Once you plan on using the starter again, simply take it out , feed it, and then let it sit overnight to re-activate. I hope this helps!

  17. If I pull out two cups of starter to make pancakes, do I replace the starter w/1 cup flour and 1 cup water or the original amounts for making the starter. Or do I have to feed it before pulling any out to use? can you please email your response so I don’t have to wade through all the responses again – if possible

    thanks for the help.

    • If you are pulling the starter out of the fridge to use in pancakes, you’ll need to feed it first to activate it. I have never used sourdough starter in pancakes though!

      I would just take out two cups and feed it, and wait for it to become active again. Then measure out two cups of active starter to use in your recipe.

      To feed the two cups cold starter you would only need 2 or 3 tbsp of flour and a splash of water to get it back to the proper consistency.

  18. I’ve just tried this recipe for the first time. The dough is on the counter proofing for the night, we’ll see how it turns out tomorrow!
    I’m just curious to hear your thoughts on other sourdough starter recipes. Any other starter recipes I’ve read instruct you to throw away a portion of the fermented starter each day before adding more flour and water (this always seemed kind of wasteful and complicated to me). Do you know whats the reason behind the discarding each day? I was interested to try your recipe because it was the first one I’d come across that didn’t look like you needed to be a bread guru to have success with it.
    Thanks for your time!

    • Thanks Myra, I’m glad you found the instructions easy to use.

      I’m not sure why other recipes tell you to discard part of it. To me this also seems wasteful. The only reason I can think of is that it’s meant to prevent you ending up with a huge amount of starter.

      I’ve also seen other recipes use yeast to help kickstart the process but this seems counter intuitive to me. As I mentioned though its important to use unbleached flour and un chlorinated water to be successful in breeding the bacteria.

      Basically once your starter is ready to use, use what you need and put the rest in the fridge to put its growth on hold. Next time you go to bake, take the starter out and feed as you did here. After 2 feedings it should be ready to go.

      • Thank you for the reply back! The throwing out seeming really wasteful and complicated to me as well. I was just always curious what the reasoning behind it was…
        Anywho, happy baking! I always enjoy reading the bits of history/extra information on recipes that you include in yours.

  19. holly wall

    5 stars
    hi Mark – excited to try this recipe, but not sure if I am supposed to mix the entire 1 1/2 cups starter with the sourdough ingredients, or hold back 1/2 cup for future use and feed it, and use just 1 cup of the bubbly starter. (i might have missed something in the instructions, but i’m confused) Thanks!!!!!

    • Hi Holly,
      Use the entire 1.5 cups of the starter! My error, thanks for pointing it out!

      • I’ve never done a sourdough starter before. I am starting this for a fund raiser breakfast for dinner and was wondering if I can continue adding to the starter to make sure I have enough. If not could you please give me some pointers!
        Thanks Linda

        • Hi Linda, if you are just trying to make a bigger batch of starter, yes just keep feeding the starter with more flour, add enough water to make it floppy and then let the starter get to work. Eventually the entire mass will turn into a starter once the bacteria has had a chance to multiply.

  20. Can whole wheat pastry flour be used? After mixing the first 2/3rds flour and 1/3 cup water should it be doughy or more liquid like? Mine is doughy

    • You can yes , though for your first sourdough starter I would suggest using all purpose instead of whole wheat as whole wheat an create weird tasting starters due to a bigger variety of wild yeasts.

      After mixing the first 2/3rds flour and 1/3 cup water the mix should be fairly doughy and thick. Almost like a thick pancake batter. As the yeast start to eat the carbohydrates and bubbles start to appear it will thin out a little. It should not be watery.

  21. 5 stars
    This is great information. I tried making a sour dough starter before but it exploded on me the first night. What a mess! I kept my starter in my microwave, since we rarely use it. Your step by step instructions are great! Can’t wait to try again.

  22. What a good post Markus! You explained so well that I think I’m going to put my fear away and try to make sourdough bread. I baked traditional bread but never try sourdough. As I’ m gluten intolerant I make bread for my family… But I love bread! Could it be possible to make sourdough without gluten? Or at least make bread with a flour with less gluten like kamut using your sourdough recipe?

    • I am not sure if a ‘sourdough’ style starter would work with kamut. It’s worth a try! I know that my mother is sensitive to processed flours, but my parents make bread with an organic whole white flour from Spearville Mills. While it still contains gluten, it’s a heritage breed, not as processed as grocery store flour, and it seems to not bother her at all.If you do try it with a gluten free flour I would love to know if it works!

  23. 5 stars
    Wonderful post! Many years ago, I made my own starter but stopped and have been wanting to get back at it ever since! Wild yeast are so good and much better than commercially made yeasts (which nowadays is often GMO). This wild fermentation is exactly what our bodies need. Thank you for explaining all this information!

    • Hi I’m on day four with my starter it has alot of bubbles and has grown in size but there isn’t a smell it still just smells like flour am I doing it right or do I need to start over?

  24. 5 stars
    I am SO doing this Markus! I love sourdough bread and have thought of making it myself so many times. These detailed instructions and tips for success are exactly what I need to give me the confidence. Pinned for my next baking project!

  25. 4 stars
    I have always wanted to make bread and even took a class once, but I have aril been to nervous to try. Your recipe is very thorough and clear and I look forward to giving it a go!

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