Sourdough Starter

151 Reviews 14 Pics
Esther Nelson
Recipe by  Esther Nelson

“Make your starter in a glass container and store in the refrigerator after fermentation has occurred.”

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Adjust Servings

Original recipe yields 3 cups



  1. In large non-metallic bowl, mix together dry yeast, 2 cups warm water, and 2 cups all purpose flour and cover loosely.
  2. Leave in a warm place to ferment, 4 to 8 days. Depending on temperature and humidity of kitchen, times may vary. Place on cookie sheet in case of overflow. Check on occasionally.
  3. When mixture is bubbly and has a pleasant sour smell, it is ready to use. If mixture has a pink, orange, or any other strange color tinge to it, THROW IT OUT! and start over. Keep it in the refrigerator, covered until ready to bake.
  4. When you use starter to bake, always replace with equal amounts of a flour and water mixture with a pinch of sugar. So, if you remove 1 cup starter, replace with 1 cup water and 1 cup flour. Mix well and leave out on the counter until bubbly again, then refrigerate. If a clear to light brown liquid has accumulated on top, don't worry, this is an alcohol base liquid that occurs with fermentation. Just stir this back into the starter, the alcohol bakes off and that wonderful sourdough flavor remains! Sourdough starters improve with age, they used to be passed down generation to generation!
  5. Use this starter to make the Sourdough Chocolate Cranberry Cake, and the Sourdough Chocolate Cake.

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Reviews (151)

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This was my first successful sourdough starter! I made this on Friday, kept it in the oven with just the oven light on, and that made a nice warm little womb for this starter! :-) Today, day 5, I used 1.5c to make "San Francisco Sourdough Bread" from this website, and replaced what I took out with 1.5c flour & 1.5c water. The bread turned out great and had a definite sourdough taste, even on the first use, so I can't wait 'til it ages a little more for more of that great flavor. Thank you so much, Esther!

Valerie's Kitchen

Valerie's Kitchen

I let mine sit out for 4 days before transferring it to a mason jar and storing in the fridge. WARNING: Don't put an air tight lid on. If you are using a mason jar, just lightly close the lid allowing some air in. Otherwise you may have a problem! The starter is fermenting and has a tendency to "grow". Make sure there is some room at the top of the jar for this.



I wish I would have known I needed to "feed" the starter. My first loaf came out like a brick. I have since given the starter a pinch of suger and it seems to have livened up and is ready for the next go-round.

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Amount Per Serving (15 total)

  • Calories
  • 62 cal
  • 3%
  • Fat
  • 0.2 g
  • < 1%
  • Carbs
  • 12.9 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 1.9 g
  • 4%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Sodium
  • 2 mg
  • < 1%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet



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Sourdough Starter I


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Sourdough Drop Biscuits