Sourdough Starter

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield: approximately

    3 pounds

Appears in

If you do not use starter very often, replenishing may present a small problem, as the volume grows with each feeding. A way around this is to remove the starter from its container, discard half (or give it to a friend—one who will appreciate it and not think it is some kind of bad joke), wash and rinse the container, place the remaining starter back inside, and feed as directed.


  • ounces (40 g) fresh compressed yeast
  • 3 cups (720 ml) warm water (105° to 115°F/40° to 46°C)
  • 1 ounce (30 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 pound 8 ounces (680 g) unbleached bread flour


  1. In a plastic or crockery container with a large opening and plenty of room for expansion, dissolve the yeast in the water, then add the sugar. Stir in the flour using a wooden spoon; keep stirring until you have a smooth paste.
  2. Cover loosely to allow gases to escape and let stand at approximately 80°F (26°C) for at least 2 to 3 days, preferably a little longer. The mixture should bubble and have a strong sour smell. Stir down the starter once a day during the time it is fermenting, also stirring in any crust that forms on top. After that, the starter should be stored in the refrigerator (see Note). The starter, or part of it, may also be frozen; before using, allow it to slowly thaw and start to bubble again at room temperature.