Sourdough Starter

June 17, 2016

Sourdough starters are one of the more common household uses of wild yeast. You can buy sourdough starter, but where’s the fun in that? We’ll go over how to create a starter that reflects your kitchen’s unique micro-ecosystem. Like all yeast starters, you can use a small sample to build up a second batch, so if you know someone who keeps a starter, you can ask nicely for a sample.

This recipe is modeled after those found at Tartine Bakery and the Kitchn. You can use all-purpose flour or a mixture of half whole wheat half all-purpose.

Sourdough starter


  • 100g flour
  • 100g  filtered water
  • (If you prefer ounces, use 4 oz. each)


  1. Mix flour and water in a glass container, cover with cheesecloth and let ferment 2-3 days until bubbly (aim for low light and room temperature).
  2. After 1-2 days, once bubbles are appearing, discard half the starter and mix in 50g (~2 oz) each flour and water.
  3. Continue “feeding” the started daily until it is very bubbly, full of wispy air pockets, and smells quite sour—about 5-7 days.


No bubbles? Be patient, some yeast populations may be slower than others.

Layer of water on top of the mixture? This indicates that there is too much water in your mixture. Scoop of the water and carefully weigh the flour and water for your next feeding. Try adding a full 100g (4oz) of each just to bulk up the mix with the correct ratio of ingredients.

Forgot to feed the starter? It’s probably fine, just resume feeding as instructed.