Sourdough Starter


This sourdough starter recipe with yeast, water, and flour is easy to make. After fermentation has occurred, keep the starter in a covered glass container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Sourdough starters improve with age — they used to be passed down from generation to generation!

Prep Time:
5 mins
Additional Time:
4 days
Total Time:
4 days 5 mins
3 cups


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

  • 2 cups warm water


  1. Gather all ingredients.

    All ingredients gathered to make sourdough starter.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Place flour into a large, non-metallic bowl. Sprinkle yeast over top, pour in warm water, and mix to combine.

    Flour and yeast in a large bowl.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

    Water poured over top, mixing until well combined.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Place the bowl on a cookie sheet; cover loosely and set in a warm place to ferment for 4 to 8 days. Depending on temperature and humidity, times may vary. The starter is ready when bubbly and pleasantly sour smelling. If it's colored at all (pink, orange, etc.), throw it out and start over.

    Bowl placed on a cookie sheet, covered loosely to ferment.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Close up on a jar of sourdough starter.

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios


When you use any of the starter, always replace it with equal amounts of flour and water, along with an optional pinch of sugar. For instance, if you remove 1 cup starter, add 1 cup water and 1 cup flour to the remaining starter mixture. Mix until well combined and leave out on the counter until bubbly again before returning to the refrigerator.

If a clear or light brown liquid accumulates on top of your refrigerated starter, don't worry. This is an alcohol-based liquid that occurs with fermentation. Just stir it back into the starter before using.

Editor's Note:

Use this starter to make this Sourdough Chocolate Cake.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

62 Calories
0g Fat
13g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 15
Calories 62
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 2g
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 28mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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