Quick Sourdough Starter Recipe From Scratch

Updated on December 11, 2019
KCO profile image

Katy maintains a 3-year-old sourdough starter and uses it for as much bread, muffin, and pancake baking as she can!

A healthy, bubbly sourdough starter.
A healthy, bubbly sourdough starter. | Source

Quick Sourdough Starter Recipe

This is a simplified sourdough starter recipe that you can easily make at home. Learning about sourdough can be intimidating, so I've created this quick reference that will get you oriented in no time.

Although the process of making the starter is very easy, you do need several days (a minimum of four) before it's ready to use. Your wild yeast needs time to eat and grow.

Prep Time

Prep time: 20 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 1 starter


  • 100 grams whole wheat flour
  • 100 grams (100 mL) water


  1. Combine flour and water in a glass bowl. This is now your "starter."
  2. Loosely cover and let sit for 24 hours at room temperature or slightly warmer.
  3. Discard all starter except 100 grams. Add in the ingredients again (100 grams of flour and 100 grams of water).
  4. Repeat steps 2–3 until starter is frothy (typically 4–7 days).

Making a Starter From Scratch

Following this recipe will allow you to make a starter from scratch. You're starting with just flour and water—no commercial yeast.

How Can You Make a Starter Without Yeast?

The answer is that natural, wild yeast moves in on its own! Your starter provides the food (flour) and water to sustain it.

The yeast consumes the flour through fermentation. That's why this process takes many days, the yeast has to grow and get established.

Why Do You Discard Most of the Starter?

The yeast in your jar grows so much it needs to be cut back. The level will actually double in a happy starter after it's fed. Discarding the mixture reduces the amount of yeast to compete for resources and then you're adding in more food when you feed it.

It also makes room for the food you're adding in. Your starter would get huge if you didn't discard as much as you put in!

Important Tips

While the process of building your starter is very simple, there are some additional considerations that will make a big difference to healthy yeast:


Do not store in an airtight container. If it's in a jar, don't tighten the lid.

The yeast in your starter needs oxygen to continue to grow. Also, the gas produced by the yeast needs to be released. So you want to allow airflow but still protect the starter from dust and dirt in the air.

A good solution for covering a starter without cutting off airflow is to use a tea towel. Or simply place the jar's lid on it without screwing it down.


Cooler temperatures slow down yeast production. If your starter isn't happily bubbling, a cool room could be the cause.

Find an area in your kitchen that is consistently at least 75 degrees F. Try on top of the fridge or under a light.

Avoid Metal

Metal interacts with the yeast and stunts its growth. Don't use metal spoons or bowls when preparing or mixing your starter.

The flour you choose for your starter will affect the flavor.
The flour you choose for your starter will affect the flavor. | Source

What Kind of Flour?

I recommended whole wheat flour in my recipe for two reasons:

  1. Whole wheat has more nutrients for the yeast to start with.
  2. It gives a more complex taste.

Do you have to use whole wheat? Definitely not. You can use rye or even all-purpose flour.

Once your starter is established, you can always change to another type of flour. Just start feeding it with a new variety.

Storing Your Starter

Glass jars or crocks make great containers. Make sure the lid is loose.

When to Refrigerate

Remember when I mentioned temperature is related to yeast development? If we lower the temperature of an established starter, the yeast growth is slowed.

Purposefully lower the temperature of your starter by putting it in the fridge and you won't have to feed it as often!

Room temperature starters should be fed every 1–2 days, and refrigerated starters need it just once a week.

What to Make With the Discard?

Once your starter is established you'll realize you're throwing away a lot of starter every day! What can you do with it?

The discard is what bakers use to start sourdough bread. The amount you the recipe calls for might be more than you would normally discard. When that happens, feed your starter more the day before. Keep the water and flour weight ratio the same.

You can also use starter as a yeast alternative in anything. Anything you would bake with yeast, use your starter instead. It's filled with active, wild yeast. The flavor will be much richer!

4 stars from 4 ratings of Quick Sourdough Starter Recipe From Scratch

© 2019 Katy Medium


Submit a Comment
  • lizmalay profile image


    16 months ago from USA

    Your welcome.

  • KCO profile imageAUTHOR

    Katy Medium 

    16 months ago from Denver, CO

    Hi Liza, thanks for reading! I think if you get into it you'll really enjoy sourdough :)

  • lizmalay profile image


    16 months ago from USA

    Hi Katy,

    thanks for sharing on how making sourdough from a scratch! My husband has been wanting me to make a sourdough bread, I think your article has a perfect guide and tips.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)