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clear jar with sourdough starter in it

Sourdough Starter Recipe

This is how to make a new sourdough starter from scratch, using just filtered water and unbleached flour.

Course Basics
Cuisine American
Keyword how to make sourdough starter, sourdough starter recipe
Prep Time 8 days
Total Time 8 days
Author Marjorie @APinchOfHealthy


Making starter for the first time

  • 113 grams unbleached, all purpose flour (3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons if you are measuring without a scale, see blog post for additional flour options)
  • 113 grams water 1/2 cup, chlorine free, filtered or bottled (I am using filtered from my reverse osmosis, which filters out the chlorine that is present in most city tap water)

Feeding your starter

  • 4 ounces starter (discard the rest, see also discard recipes)
  • 113 grams unbleached, all purpose flour
  • 113 grams water


  1. Day 0: Mix 1/2 cup water (113 grams) with just under a cup (3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons or 113 grams) flour, stir and cover with a loose lid or cloth.

  2. Day 1 through 4: Feed once a day by discarding all but 4 ounces of starter and adding that 113 grams each of flour and water, stirring to combine, cover.

  3. Day 5 through 8 (or more, until bubbly and starter doubles in size): Begin twice a day feedings, keeping the same 4 ounces of starter, adding 113 grams of flour and water and stirring to combine, cover.

  4. Maintenance - transfer a bubbly starter (a few hours after feeding) to your refrigerator, and take out to feed once a week, using the same process as above. Keep 4 ounces of starter, discard the rest, stir together 113 grams each of flour and water.

Recipe Notes

Of you see a brownish liquid on top, this is called "hooch." This means it is time to feed your starter. You can either pour it off or stir it in, and then feed it.

Your starter may smell a little funky as you are establishing it. Just make sure you are feeding it regularly, and the smell should start to smell nicer. I noticed a weird smell around day 5. When I started two-a-day feeding, it went away.

Alternative flour options (for starting, or feeding existing starter):

  • Regular whole wheat
  • Unbleached all purposeĀ 
  • Wholemeal rye - a favorite by many artisan bread makers
  • Whole wheat pastry
  • Gluten free flour (1:1 mixes work best)
  • Buckwheat
  • Kamut
  • Eikorn