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Sourdough starter in a jar on a counter.

Sourdough Starter

Melissa Norris
Homemade sourdough starter catches the wild yeasts in the air and enables you to bake healthy, delicious homemade bread and other baked goodies. Learn how to make a starter with these step by step instructions.
4.32 from 38 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Daily feedings 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Ingredient
Cuisine America
Servings 1 starter
Calories 114 kcal


  • 1/4 cup flour all-purpose, whole wheat, fresh ground, etc.
  • 2 tbsp water warm


  • Mix together flour and water in a pint mason jar, cover jar with cheese cloth or coffee filter and set in a warm area of your house for 12 hours.
  • After 12 hours, feed your starter the same amounts again, cover and let sit 12 hours.
  • On the second day, discard half the starter, then feed with 1/4 cup flour and 2 tbsp warm water. Cover jar and let sit another 12 hours.
  • After 12 hours, feed your starter the same amounts again, cover and let sit 12 hours.
  • Repeat these steps for 5 days, discarding half the starter once daily, but continuing with the twice daily feedings.
  • By about the 6th day you should have pretty bubbly starter that is great for baking pancakes, waffles and other pastries, but might not be ready to bake a loaf of bread.
  • On day 6 you can switch to feeding once per day (see instructions in the post), and keep using your starter in the sourdough starter recipes listed above.
  • By week 4 your starter should be ready to bake bread (see notes in the post on how to know if your starter is ready to bake a loaf of bread).


  • Be sure to feed with the same kind of flour (or the same combination of flours) throughout the whole first month.
  • On days 1-4 of your new starter, your discard won't be ready to use in sourdough recipes like pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc., but you can use it in the place of flour and water in recipes that call for it.
  • By day 5, you will finally have a sourdough starter, although it won't be strong enough for bread baking, you can use it in recipes like waffles, pancakes, muffins, and chocolate sourdough bread
  • On day 6, you can switch to once a day feedings, or continue feeding twice daily.


Calories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 2mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gIron: 1mg
Keyword sourdough, sourdough starter
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