Fully active sourdough starter - made with just water and flour

Basic Sourdough Starter

Here is an easy to make basic sourdough starter recipe. Flour and water are all it takes to make incredible starter from scratch. Once you master this vary the flour and liquid components to create more nuanced flavors.
Author Syama


  • Unbleached All-Purpose Flour preferably organic
  • Pure Drinking Water - not chlorinated.


  • Nonreactive Jar with lid, large enough to store the starter (1 qt or larger)
  • Nonreactive spoon (wood, plastic, silicone)
  • Kitchen scale (preferably) or measuring cups


  1. Till day 5 each feeding consists of 50 g flour and 50g water or a rough equivalent of ½ C sifted and leveled flour and ¼ C water.

Day 1

  1. Measure the 50g each of water and flour. Add this to the jar and stir to combine. The mix should be a thick paste. Cover the jar (do not close airtight) and set aside undisturbed in a warm area temperature for 24 hours (Note).

Day 2

  1. There may not be any bubbles in the starter. Add the same amount of flour and water as in the first day and mix well. Cover the jar and set aside for 24 hours as in Day 1.

Day 3

  1. You might see a few bubbles in the starter and it might begin to smell a little sour. Repeat the process of adding flour and water as the previous day. Cover and set aside for another 24 hours.

Day 4

  1. Chances are there are bubbles in the starter and the starter has visibly bulked up. Follow the feeding process as the previous days and set aside for 24 hours.

Day 5

  1. In most cases, the starter will be full of bubbles and doubled in volume. It will have a noticeable smell with light sour tinge. If not do not worry reduce the amount of feeding by half and repeat the process for 2 to 3 days until the starter is filled with bubbles. At t his stage the starter is ready to use. Check the blog for feeding and maintaining instructions and start baking sourdough bread!

Recipe Notes

Room temperature usually refers to 68°F to 72°F  and  warm  usually means  around 75°F or slightly more (about 25 to 25 °C).

Lower temperatures will slow down the growth of the starter while warmer temperatures will speed up the process.