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very bubbly homemade sourdough starter in glass jar
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5 from 3 votes

Homemade Sourdough Starter Recipe

A homemade sourdough starter made in your kitchen is seven days, using just flour and water.
Prep Time15 mins
Course: bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy sourdough starter recipe, how to bake bread without yeast, sourdough starter with just flour and water
Servings: 1 quart starter
Author: Katie Shaw


  • 5 cups of all purpose flour divided
  • 5 cups of filtered water divided


  • Combine 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup of water in a one quart jar and mix thoroughly.  Cover with a breathable fabric such as a cotton tea towel and secure with a rubber band.  Set in a draft free place.
  • The next day, stir the starter and add another 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cups water.  Stir to mix.  Re-cover and set aside again.
  • On the third day, the starter should look bubbly and may have separated into layers.  Stir everything back together, then pour 1/2 cup of the starter into a new, clean jar.  To this new jar, add 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of flour and stir well.  Cover with the same breathable fabric and set aside.
  • On day 4, increase the feedings to twice a day.  Feed 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of flour morning and night, stirring well each time.  Once a day, you will need to discard 1/2 cup of starter, maybe a bit more, depending on the size of your container.
  • Repeat step 4 on day 5, day 6, and day 7.
  • At the end of day 7, check to see if the starter is ready for baking.  It should be visibly bubbly and have a sour smell.  A few tablespoons should float in a glass of water, and/ or you should be the volume of the starter double 8 hours after a feeding. 


Sourdough starter can almost always be brought back to life with an extra feeding or two.  If you miss one here or there, it's not the end of the world.  Just keep feeding.
However, if the starter develops a black or green mold, it will need to thrown be out.  This is very unusual, but it does happen.