How to Start a Sourdough Starter

Ever wondered "How in the world to start my sourdough?"

Do you see all of the recipes calling for something called a "starter"?

Scared it looks like too much work?

Don't worry! It's surpisingly easy, and it only takes about 7 days. I'll show you exactly how to make your own starter!

What you'll need:

  • a kitchen scale (believe me, you'll be happy you bought this)
  • a Mason jar, or something similar
  • a loose fitting lid or a piece of fabric
  • filtered water (without chlorine- I use water from my Berkey system)
  • bread flour (you can try to use all-purpose flour, but in my opinion, bread flour makes all the difference!)
  • a rubber band (or 2, if using fabric as your lid)

DAY 1: In your clean mason jar, add 50g of flour and 50g of filtered water. Stir until well-combined, scraping the sides down to ensure all the mixture is at the bottom of the container. Place your lid on LOOSELY (if using a jar, just use the flat lid, without the lid ring- just place it on top). If using cheesecloth or fabric, use a rubber band to secure it onto your jar.

Next, place a rubber band around your jar, at the level of your mixture. I highly recommend getting in the habit of doing this. It is a great way to tell if your starter is active!

Leave the jar on your counter in a warm place (ideally 70 degrees F) away from sunlight, for 24 hours.

DAY 2: In a new jar, use a spatula to scrape 50g of the starter into it. Discard the rest. In the new starter jar, add 50g filtered water and stir well. Next add 50g of flour and stir. This process of adding water and flour is called "feeding your starter". Remember to scrape down the sides of the jar.

Gently place your lid on, and put your rubber band at the level of our mixture.

Leave again for 24 hours.


Day 6 & 7: Do as your normally would, with discard, adding to a new jar, and feeding, but do this every 12 hours insead of 24. Don't worry, you'll only have to do this for 2 days. After that, you can go back to feeding every 24 hours. 

After day 7, you should notice that your starter is nice and bubbly and "alive"!

To ensure your starter is ready, all you have to do is get a bowl or glass of water and drop in about a teaspoon of your starter. If your starter floats, Good news! Your fermentation is working, and you can now use in any sourdough recipe!

If your starter sinks, that is okay! It just isn't mature enough yet. Repeat steps or days 6/7 until your starter wins the "float test".


Congratulations! You now know how to make a successful sourdough starter. 


To keep you starter alive and healthy, keep it on your counter and discard and feed once every 24 hours. 

DON'T THROW AWAY YOUR DISCARD! As long as you starter passes the float test, your "discard" will be ready to use in any recipe! Make sourdough discard pancakes, cookies, and much more!

DON'T WANT TO FEED IT EVERY 24 HOURS? Simply place your jar in the refrigerator and discard/feed once a week!


Now go forth and make your sourdough!