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

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.
Course Baking
Cuisine German
Keyword homemade sourdough, making sourdough bread, no knead bread, rustic bread
Prep Time 5 minutes
Fermentation Time 2 days 12 hours
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 sourdough starter
Calories 303.3kcal
Author Chef Markus Mueller


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.