Making your own sourdough starter is easy and it’s the first step in baking delicious artisan bread. Baking bread from scratch is satisfying in its own right, but when you’ve also had a hand in the creation of one of the most fundamental components, the leavening agent itself, you’ll feel an even greater satisfaction and connectedness to the process.

Are there kids in your house? This little science project is ideally suited to sharing with any children you can convince to join in. Culture their budding scientific minds while creating your own bread culture.

The video below outlines one simple method that worked for me the first time I tried it. Further down the page, I’ve also included printable instructions with measurements for the ingredients.



In the video, I give credit for this technique to Peter Reinhart. It has since come to my attention that Debra Wink, a chemist and accomplished baker, is the mastermind and author of this Pineapple Juice Technique. A lot of research and testing went into developing and refining the technique. The choice of pineapple juice over other juices is from much trial and error. Debra was kind enough to email her essay on the Pineapple Juice Technique. Click here for a PDF.

As I mention in the video, the wild yeast spores and lactic-acid bacteria that give your starter its leavening properties are all around you. You are simply creating the conditions ideally suited for them to thrive and multiply. I used whole wheat flour in this recipe because fresh whole wheat flour may harbor greater numbers of yeast spores than ordinary all-purpose flour and so increase your likelihood for success. It worked for me, so you might try the same. If, at any time, you wish to transition your whole wheat sourdough starter to a regular white flour starter, it’s super easy to do so.

Make Your Own Sourdough Starter
Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

Create your own sourdough starter from the wild yeast floating all around you. The starting point for the ultimate in artisan bread DIY.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 96 hours


  • Whole wheat flour
  • Unsweetened pineapple juice
  • Purified water


Step 1. Mix 3 ½ tbs. whole wheat flour with ¼ cup unsweetened pineapple juice. Cover and set aside for 48 hours at room temperature. Stir vigorously 2-3x/day. (“Unsweetened” in this case simply means no extra sugar added).

Step 2. Add to the above 2 tbs. whole wheat flour and 2 tbs. pineapple juice. Cover and set aside for a day or two. Stir vigorously 2-3x/day. You should see some activity of fermentation within 48 hours. If you don’t, you may want to toss this and start over (or go buy some!)

Step 3. Add to the above 5 ¼ tbs. whole wheat flour and 3 tbs. purified water. Cover and set aside for 24 hours.

Step 4. Add ½ cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 to 1/3 cup purified water. You should have a very healthy sourdough starter by now.

I do wonder if the fact that I bake all the time with a sourdough starter (and so theoretically have wild yeast floating around our house by the gazillions and covering everything we own) would increase the likelihood that I would have success creating my own sourdough culture from scratch. So I anxiously await feedback from anyone who attempts this process at home. If you give this method a try, please let us know about your results in the lively discussion below.

How To Make Sourdough Starter

Comments from our Forum

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  1. txtita says:

    Eric, I am super impressed with your method for creating a sourdough starter. I live in Costa Rica and prior to moving here I dried my starter into flakes for transporting from Texas to Costa Rica. I was able to revive it successfully and have made some wonderful bread in the past few years.

    I stopped baking my own bread because we found a terrific baker in town making excellent artisan sourdough breads. I actually neglected my starter to the point I could no longer get a decent rise in a loaf of bread. Two months ago the baker retired and we have no longer have a source for sourdough bread. So, it was time for me to get back to baking and I needed to create a new starter from scratch. This it what lead me to your Breadtopia website.

    I am just now on step 3 of your method, and I added the flour and water about 3 hours ago. The volume has already doubled and it's bubbling and brewing just like a healthy starter should. (I should mention here that Costa Rica produces some of the finest pineapples, and we have an abundance of pure fresh pineapple juice.) Just 2 more days and we'll have fresh sourdough bread again.

    Thank you so much for publishing your starter recipe.

  2. Eric says:

    Excellent. Glad to hear it. smile

  3. Eric, I am new to sourdough starts and would like to better understand how and what to store my start in when its in the refrigerator. I have a large plastic bottle that was once used for coconut oil and would like to use it, but I'm afraid of the lid closing in the gasses or the plastic breaking down. Otherwise I have a home made crock bowl with no lid. Could you help me with that basic question?

  4. alanj1 says:


    I haven't made bread with starter for several years. When I did we were living in Florida and the bread was awesome!

    Now we are at 10,000 ft. altitude in Ecuador and I decided to make some starter. I have a flour I purchased from a mill in Penn. that is an ancient wheat and is basically a whole wheat flour. I made the starter at noon yesterday, using the typical 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup water, and by 10:30 today it had doubled and was very active.

    I stirred it down, removed half, and added flour and water. At this writing it is already increased in volume by half!

    I realize from having baked here for years the difference reduced atmospheric pressure makes on leavened products. So I'm wondering if the same applies in this case to starter? If that is the case, then what adjustments need to be made?

  5. Eric says:

    Hi Sue,

    Being at 5000' shouldn't make a big difference in how you do things. You can thin your starter by adding some water. Once the starter is going, all you need is flour and water to maintain it. When your starter rises well after feeding it and it's bubbly and spongy, you can bake with it.

  6. I'm a rank amateur baker, but I love sourdough bread, especially rye. Thanks to your instructions, I'm just about to transfer my first sourdough starter to a jar - after almost giving up on the process. I got as far as stage 3 on your list, with no signs of life at all. Then I moved the container out of the kitchen and into the den where it's a consistent couple of degrees warmer, and the next day the soupy mixture had tightened up and there were bubbles! I expect to try my first bake in a cast iron container the next few days. My question, though, is this: Do I need to match the starter with the bread I'll be making? It's a whole wheat starter; can this be used to produce a sourdough rye, or do I need to morph a bit of the whole wheat into a rye starter? Thanks so much for your hugely informative and entertaining site.

  7. fishmael says:

    Hi Eric! I had a decent-looking starter going, very elastic with some bubbles, but after the final step of adding more water and flour, the bubbling has ceased. I tried feeding it some more filtered water and flour but it hasn't helped. It's in my kitchen which ranges from temps 60-80 degrees fahrenheit. Any ideas as to what's gone wrong?

  8. Rowdee says:

    OK, please be patient with me here so I can solve this mystery. I have tried many times to make a starter so I can make sourdough bread. Im from San Francisco and living in Rio and I miss the stuff a lot. I cook for a living and host in my home in a group that cooks and chefs here use. Its really fun. I oove to bake and successfully make lots of bread. Heres my problem. I start my starter with "weighed" amounts of flour and water. I use bread flour because I cant get rye here, but theres no reason it shouldnt work. I mix in a glass bowl with a loos cover and always get a huge reaction within a few hours. I wait for 24 hrs and then weigh and add water and flour again. Its alwasy alive and really growing, but.... after that feeding it always fades and wont come back. Ive tried adding only flour and get a lot of bubbles, but never does it come back enough to be usable. I tried Chef Johns method and others many times. Quite often I get a bowl of liquid, thats why I dont add water. What is wrong and what am I looking for after that first or second feeding? Why do I never succeed with this? A mystery...

  9. chosun2hs says:

    Hello Eric,

    I am dying to make sourdough starter & I am on my second attempt. The first was with starter from a friend that never showed any signs of being alive. The second is using the method on your site. I have followed instructions perfectly. It smells nice and sour, yet there are very, very few bubbles. It is not doubling at all. I am on day 5. I decided to proceed into day 5 because of the sour smell alone. It seems slightly puffy & thick like pancake batter. I've kept it in my microwave (not while running) because my house temperature is only 67 and I hope that it is warm enough in my microwave. Could you please help me? I desperately want it to thrive soon so I can bake lots of goodies for my family 😊 ~H

  10. Lisa says:

    I am on my third attempt making my starter, I live in Chicago and my apartment appears to be too cool for the starter to take off at room temperature. The second attempt was in the oven with the light on, no success. Third attempt is in my yogurt maker, perfect environment, the starter is coming along nicely.

Earlier Comments

2,120 thoughts on “How To Make Sourdough Starter

  1. Karen

    I tried your starter with pineapple juice and another one with potato water. The pineapple juice was a great success as was the potato water BUT, the potato water was VERY sour and I eventually discarded it.
    The pineapple juice starter has been delightful and made many tasty sourdough recipes. I have fed it water and flour several times and the last feed was pineapple juice. I’m in love with sourdough bread and UNFORTUNATELY, I’ve gained 5 lbs. I going to have to be really careful now as I’m becoming a good baker, lol.
    Many Thanks for your videos and suggestions!

  2. Mary

    Yea, after successfully making my SD starter the pineapple method, I made my first loaf using it in a recipe from KAF, called Clay’s Multi Grain SD Sandwich bread. Am so delighted with the starter and so many new recipes to try. Many thanks for the great instructional videos on your wonderful web site. Have enclosed a photo.

  3. Anna

    Followed the recipe on making the starter, it worked from the first attempt. We never had any sourdough culture previously at home. Thank you so much!

  4. Nancy Bishop

    Not to brag but my whole wheat starter is going great 1st time and I’m at the final 24 hours. So after it’s in the storing jar, how long can I keep it sitting out? Do you ever refrigerate it? I don’t know how much bread I’ll be baking. It’s 108 today in Goodyear, AZ. But luckily my home runs on solar energy so I do plan to start baking soon. Can’t wait to smell the sourdough spelt bread aroma! Thanks for your great tutorial!

    • Dan

      From what Eric said in his tutorial videos, I’d keep the starter in the fridge, feeding it once a week to keep it viable. If I want to make bread, I’d take the jar out and let it come to room temperature (4+ hours), then add 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup flour and some water. The starter would usually fluff up and increase volume by 70% to 100%. That’s when I would use 2/3 to 3/4 of the starter for baking, add 1/8 cup of flour plus water in the jar, stir it good and return it back to the fridge. Especially in our hot weather, if you don’t keep the starter in the fridge, you may starve the starter.

      Just to maintain the acidic environment, I use pineapple juice instead of water one a week when I feed the left-over starter before I return it to the fridge. I figure if I add pineapple juice once a week, it would keep out the bacteria I don’t want in the starter.

  5. mint

    Hi breadtopia,
    I am new to baking bread and have been struggling to make a starter for 3 weeks now. Had to discard twice because the sides looked bad. Last 2 times I used the recipe from sourdom’s blog. I started with your recipe 5 days back but haven’t had any luck. I must be doing something wrong but can’t figure out what. I tried different things, whole wheat, unbleached AP, tried feeding 1-3 times a day, started a fresh one on the side using organic rye flour and fresh pineapple juice 3 days back, nothing. I get the alcohol like liquid in whole wheat but nothing in rye. No change in size, some bubbles at times on the wheat , nothing more. Current weather is pretty warm, 90 to 100. What should I do? I think I am close to giving up.

    • Sevil

      Hi, Mint,
      I had the same problem you are having. Then somebody told me to ad 1 squeezed grape in the starter. I did – the results are amazing in less than 24 hours my starter grew so immensely that I had to start baking , and I put the starter in the fridge to cool it down! So, try it. Good luck.

      • mint

        Thanks Sevil,
        I shall get grapes as soon as I can and try it. Shall let you know what happens.

        • Sevil

          Not many though – 1-2 is enough, just choose the ripe ones

    • Brian

      Following the pineapple starter instructions I used bread flour. I was slow to start. Finally I put the starter under the oven light in the oven. the little extra warmth made a difference. I was starting in the winter, but you still might try that. Also, a bit more patience…go a couple more days than you think you should. I was ready to scrap the project but did another feeding and that was the feeding where I noticed the magic. Hang on a little longer. This is not rocket science. It works. Don’t give up. This is nothing like having to rub your head and belly at the same time. Plus once it takes, you actually have to try to kill it…it doesn’t die so easily…you can neglect it, not feed it, keep it in the wrong temperature…but it revives very quickly.

    • john currie

      hi mint, i am having the same problems as you,i have tried the pineapple juice and every permutation of flours i can find, but to no avail.
      room temperature here in scotland is about 65. but i have tried it with a heater on at 75. and still no good.

      • Mint

        I have finally given up. I tried 5 times, used pineapple juice tried grapes, peaches, nothing works. Finally ordered a starter online from breadtopia. Fantastic service, quick delivery. Received 2 days back. I took half of it and have been working on it. Kept remaining half in refrigerator as back up. I am not getting any outstanding results so far like other have got. In the first 24 hours, the starter looked spongy. Fed it again yesterday, kept it in the oven with light on, no bubbles yet . I am going to feed it again and see. Dont know what I am doing wrong.

        • Karen

          I had no seccess with the pineapple juice for the first 4 days but I just keep up the schedule of feeding in 48 hours and stirring a couple times a day. It finally paid off with a live culture this morning. I have tried bread and starter recipes from here and and I’ve been successful as a beginner. I love the videos and clear instructions. Even a beginner can make tasty bread. Some bread baking videos are VERY casual with the measuring and others are precise but GOTH work well.
          Hang in there, it’s worth the time!

        • Dave

          if the starter looked spongy after 24 hrs, you had an active starter or a “sponge” as it is referred to when building a no knead bread. don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. i never really use the juices when makingn the starter; some flour, sugar and ambient yeast and i had a prolofic starter from the first try.

        • kikyago

          Hello Mint,
          I realize I am reading your post a bit late, but I hope you still see this. I am just now researching in preparation of making my own starter and I came across a page that explains why you are seeing an early start and then your starter seems to die. Please take a moment to read it as I feel you will find your starters are not really dead and you can really do this!!

    • Mint

      I am confused. After second feeding the starter has shown no signs of activity, just like my own starter attempts (this one was bought from breadtopia). Fed it a third time yesterday, still nothing. Its been about 16 hours since I last fed it. It looks like it was never alive. Should I stir it 2-3 times day and feed it when I see some hooch or bubbles? Or should I just keep feeding it, no matter what?

      • Chris

        Hi! I may be too late to help, but do you live in an area with really highly chlorinated water? I had a bit of trouble getting my guys going because the water was so chemically treated. I switched to purified water purchased from the grocery store and it was up and running in no time!

  6. Sevil

    I am doing the starter the second time and it is the same problem – the starter shows the signs of life in step 1, then with step 2 something goes wrong. It just slows down and doesn’t bubble anymore. Do I need to make step 1 longer than it is recommended?

  7. damla parkan

    I started making my own sourdough after I read in your site how to do it.
    It went well for a while but now my sourdough starter will not rise after I try to prepare the amount I need for baking. It won’t rise at all or if it does and I let it wait a little longer befor I use, It deflates.
    I am thinking that my sourdough should be very fluffy after a prep. And not deflate that easily..
    Any thoughts?

    • Christine Hunt

      I, too had trouble as you describe. What I finally figured out was that I needed to use more flour and water…equal amounts to the amount of starter I was reviving. I keep my starter in the refrigerator until I’m ready to bake.
      I take the starter out the night before and let it get to room temp, then add enough flour and water to make equal the amount of starter. It always comes out light and fluffy and full of life. Then I use the starter down for pancakes or pizza dough. My family thinks this is a bonus! I haven’t tried the crumpet recipe yet. Next time.
      Hope this helps.

      • damla parkan

        Thank you Christine. I will try that..

  8. Bart

    Hi Eric,

    I’ve seen websites that sell sourdough starters from places all around the globe. Those websites advertise that all their sourdough starters have a unique taste. Is that true? Don’t sourdough starters eventually adjust to a new environment and thus all taste the same over time?


    • Hi Bart,

      I wonder if that question will ever be answered definitively. I think the flavors can be unique in many cases. In my experience, they don’t usually stay that way. But, as you can imagine, there are others who hold firmly to different opinions.

  9. Chuck Saint

    here is my pineapple juice starter after 4 days…totally been baking bread all weekend with the barm i made from it!

  10. Brian

    Starter is very forgiving. I made the pineapple juice starter suggested on this website over 6 months ago. I fed it and used it for a while till I forgot about it. 4 months passed without a feeding and when I found it, it was all dried out. I took out all the dry parts and found about a 1/4 cup of play dough textured starter. It smelled good. I mixed it with a good amount of flour and water for consistancy and let it do its thing under the oven pilot light over night. It was all bubbly and elastic like it always was in the morning. I’m amazed that I didn’t have to start over again.

    • Thanks for the input, Brian. It’s amazing to me too what starter can withstand often times.

  11. I am proud to say that I have had this starter for almost 2 years now. I made it on Thanksgiving Day 2010, and even though I have yet to find a REALLY good sourdough recipe, the starter always seems to pull through for me. I recently found I am gluten intolerant, and so have been playing a lot with long-fermentation processes to destroy the gluten with some pretty good success. I refer a lot of people to your site to get this starter recipe. I am following a mostly Paleo diet now, so my husband reaps the benefits of my tinkering and I get the occasional slice with a bunch of grass-fed butter on it. MMM-MMM.

  12. skein

    If you do not want your proofs to dry out on top, spray them with some olive oil cooking spray and then cover with a damp cloth as they proof. (the olive oil keeps the proofs from sticking to your cloth)

    Another trick to making soft bread instead of crusty bread is to cook at a lower temperature for longer. Instead of 45 minutes at 400 for a nice crusty loaf try 350 for an hour.

  13. Brian

    While proofing 1/2 the flour and some starter for 8 hours for a recipe I was trying, I noticed the dough was crusty, dry, hard in places…should I pick these pieces off before mixing in the rest of the ingredients?

  14. Dawn

    My first attempt at the pineapple juice solution worked! I’m up to step 4 today. After I add the 1/2 cup flour and purified water is my starter ready to use? Do I need to let it sit for a day or can I immediately remove what I need and start making bread?
    Last question, after I remove some the first time I replace it with more flour and water, right? Hope I haven’t completely confused y’all!!!

    Have a great day!

    • Dan

      After you add 1/2 cup of flour into your starter (for the 4th feeding), I’d wait until the starter has about doubled in volume. I make my starter in a 24 oz Mason Jar, use 12-oz to 16-oz for my bread, add a quarter cup of flour and some water back int he jar, stir it up a bit and stick it back in the fridge.

  15. Sarah Cole

    Thank you for your advice Hannah. I will give it a try.

  16. Brian

    Some recipes like Sour dough english muffins require you take about 1/2 the flour from the recipe and the starter, mix them together and let them proof for 8 hours.

    When I do this my dough is crusty on the outside. Do I pick the crusty parts off, or do I mix it back in. Any advice?

  17. Sarah Cole

    I’m not sure if I am in the forum for this, but if not, perhaps you can point me in the right direction.
    I am two days away from my first batch of sour dough starter. I want my bread to be EXTRA sour. Do I increase the amount of starter to do that? If I add say, 1/2 cup instead of 1/4 cup, do I adjust other ingredients?
    By the way, I don’t bake. I cook, but baking has never been my long suit. I have been making bread in your method for a almost two years, and I am still amazed, every time this beautiful, delicious loaf of bread comes out of my oven…..that I made! Thank you.

    • Hannah

      Hi Sarah,
      The bread will be more sour the longer you proof it. In restaurants where I have worked the most usual method is to proof the dough in the fridge so it doesn’t over-proof, or depending on the recipe, knock it back repeatedly so it re-proofs a few times. French bakers keep some of the dough in the fridge to add to the next batch, this adds more flavour too

  18. Karen

    I have the same situation with my starter as Sevil. Step 1-3 (used Rye flour)worked wonderfully. After doing step 4(transitioning to white flour) not much action. There are no bubbles and the starter is not increasing in volume. It’s been 24 hours sinse step 4. Should I continue to feed my starter untill I see something happening or is it back to step 1?
    Thank you.

  19. Sevil

    I was very successful steps 1-3, then , after adding (same organic white whole flower) 5 and 1/2 tbs and 3 tbs of purified water, I noticed the fermentation slowed a little bit
    but I continued to ferment the starter for another day
    today I added 1/2 cup of flower and 1/3 cup of water, but I don’t see it bubbling like the starter in the video
    did I do anything wrong, or is it just the weak starter?

  20. Roy Levy

    Hi, this may be a silly question but I can’t work it out :
    Having followed the instructions above, what percentage hydration starter do I now have ?

  21. Javier

    Hi, I´m very sad, because it is my third intent to make “the starter” …I don´t want to give up, I´m very positive… And I will keep on trying until I succeed, thank you for this site it is very instructional and encouraging. I´ll keep you posted.

  22. Irene

    how do maintain the starter in between use? Irene

  23. Has anyone tried using whey? I make cheese and try to use up the whey. Wpuld that be a lactic fermentation thing like what you’re trying with the pineappljuice?

  24. Carlos

    I just tried to make a starter and I have waited 48+ hours after following the instruction, but I found a lot of mold on the lid and sides of my container. What do you do to avoid this?? 🙁

  25. Shari

    I prefer rye ….would rye flour generate the appropriate yeast as well as whole wheat? Or perhaps make the starter with wheat flour and then just use that to make rye bread?

    • Hi Shari,

      A rye based starter can work just as well as a wheat starter. I usually do just what you suggest – use my same wheat starter to make whatever kind of bread I’m making. The percentage of the recipe that is the starter is typically not big enough to change the results very much.

  26. Heidi

    I’ve been wanting to start sourdough and not wanting a sugary white flour starter from anyone (I prefer whole wheat), I decided to try to make my own. The first attempt failed. Why? I don’t know. I didn’t do anything different the second time, but it worked. It looks very nice, and I can’t wait to put it in a recipe. With no sourdough experience at all, I hope it turns out!

    • Hi Heidi,

      It’s often just a case of having to make multiple attempts. Sometimes the yeast doesn’t catch… or whatever.

  27. Athene

    Hi, I’ve just discovered your site, as a friend gave me a sweetened starter for a German ‘friendship’ cake recipe, which I am trying. What I am wondering is how I can use the starter I have used to bake non-sweet bread. Her recipe had me adding sugar a couple of times over a 10 day period, and I believe it started with sugar in it. The starter does taste sweet, but I am so inspired by your site I’d like to try it in breadmaking (I usually use store-bought yeast). Will the process of growing just eat the sugar away, or should I start from scratch, or could I take a small amount and grow it up gradually without sugar, and slowly loose the sweetness? Any advice would be most welcome.

    Athene, Oxford, England

    • Hi Athene,

      Definitely no need to start over. You are absolutely correct about just feeding it flour and water and after a few feedings, you’ll have a “normal” non sweet starter.

  28. Jim Murphy

    Eric, you said this recipe was from Peter Reinhart. I refer to his recipe in Artisan Breads Every Day. I see his directions and yours are the same on the phase 1 but in phase 2 he said to use 3-1/2 tbsp of flour and you say to use only 2 tbsp. In step 3 he said use 7 tbsp. flour, you say use 5-1/4 tbsp., he said use 2 tbsp. water, you say 3 tbsp. In step 4 he said use 10-1/2 tbsp. flour and 2 tbsp. water, you say 1/2 cup flour and 1/4-1/3 cup water. Why such differences and will either work?
    Thanks for your help and love your website.

    • Hi Jim,

      Either will work. Recipes for making sourdough starter are the most random and imprecise imaginable. The reality is – throw some flour and water together and wait. With just that info, one can make a fine starter.

  29. Scott

    10 years ago I tried a trick from Nancy Silverton. I dunk whole organic grapes in my starter. The natural yeast kick started the whole process. I still have my starter to this day

  30. Molly

    Hi Eric
    thanks sooo much for posting these vids! they’re a great inspiration….:)

  31. Kevin

    after a few failed attempts with the bread flower i switched to whole wheat in hopes of a better outcome, and it finally worked! I began to believe that the wild yeast in the valley where i live simply had no interest in cooperating so i started a new batch and took my wife to san francisco to catch the real thing. we drove around the wharf holding my opened container of water and flower out of the window for an hour at least. After stopping for lunch at the home of the worlds greatest pizza (Tony’s Neopolitana in North Beach) we headed back to the valley and 48 hours later BINGO! Cant wait to use it in our new pompeii oven we just built!! Thanks for all your help!! Ciao!!

    • This is beautiful, Kevin. True passion. Thanks for making my day. I had to post this to our blog home page (scroll down a bit). If you have any photos of you or your starter (or both) you’d like to have me add to the post, that would be great. Email it to eric at breadtopia dot com.

  32. SuperSmiley


    Many thanks for your video, I will try making the starter in the morning. Fingers crossed!

  33. zaza

    hello dear breadtopia,
    i just made my first sourdough starter in life and i used orange juice instead of pineapple..i guess the citric acid is there and the fermentation process worked out just beautifully but i wonder about one thing: how do i recognise by the smell if only beneficial bacterias had multiplied? my starter smells sour but there is some kind of extra smell which is not so pleasant…how do i know that the started is ok and wont harm the bread? btw can a spoiled starter be harmfull to health?

    greetings from slovakia,


  34. The only thing keeping me from attempting this is not having any natural pineapple juice available!! Where’s a good starter recipe that doesn’t require pineapple juice?


    • Hi Esti,

      Just skip the pineapple juice in this recipe. It’s only helpful in some uncommon situations, otherwise not necessary at all.

  35. Co


    I wonder if I could use for his method also gluten-free flour? Have any experience wih that?

    • Yes, you can. I’ve seen starters made with a number of gluten free flours, including rice. You won’t get anywhere near same rise as with gluten flours since there are no gluten strands to trap the bubbles. As is mostly the case with all thing gluten free, there are more challenges involved.

    • Co

      Thank’s! I will try it.

      • Rime

        Oh, I’m craving a thick slice of sourdough bread slathered in butter yum! =) Thanks for sharing! I have been wanting to try the art of making sourdough, but haven’t gotten around ot trying it yet this post may just inspire me to do it soon! =) Blessings, Rachel Elizabeth

    • Co

      Thank’s, I will try it,

  36. amber

    I use a glass half gallon mason jar and put cheese cloth on top and hold it down with the ring. The starter produces gas, it needs to escape.

  37. Michelle

    I am very excited to use my starter, I finished the starting process and it seems to be doing everything it is supposed to but I have have been keeping in it a plastic container and the lid keeps exploding off. Is this normal? Do I need to keep it in a glass jar that locks?

    • Christine Hunt

      It’s important to keep it in a container with a loose fitting lid, not one that screws down or seals. The starter needs to breathe and it’s properties require expansion.

  38. Eleanor

    Hi Joey.
    7 days ago i started my own sourdough starter using freshly ground rye flour, it always bubbles lots and everyday i fed it a cup flour and cup water for 7 days. I then proceeded to make pumpernickle bread, the dough does not double in size like the recipe stated it should. is it because of the rye flour being so heavy??

    • Christine Hunt

      How long did you let it rise? It takes longer with starter than it does with yeast.

  39. Ella

    hi, ive been feeding my starter once or twice a day and it’s been about 10 days since I started my sourdough starter.
    It becomes really bubbly and doubles few hours after feeding.
    so i thought it’s ready to be used, and i tried making sourdough bagles yesterday. I dont know what’s wrong but it didn’t seem to work well… the dough didn’t rise as much as it should.
    Do you think I should feed my starter for few more days?
    or can I now put it into the fridge and feed it weekly?

    • Hi Ella,

      I think whenever your starter is bubbly and doubles within a few hours of feeding, it’s ready for baking and ready to store in the fridge with less frequent feedings if you want. I don’t know what the bagel dough issue is, but it doesn’t sound like it’s from lack of starter readiness.

  40. LaNae Lewis

    I started a sourdough starter six days ago, following a recipy in a book. I use Rye four, as the recipy sugested, and this morning when I went to make the bread, there was a dry powdery film on the top… is this normal? Or should I start over?

    • Christine Hunt

      I just stir it in with the next feeding. You can pour off the liquid if you want to though. I wouldn’t start over…feed it….pop it in the frig for a week or so to get a good “sour” on it (or not)….take it out, feed and bake!

  41. Joey Brown

    I just wanted to thank you for the starter recipe and video, I just finished step 4 using white flour instead of wheat flour and it is bubbling wonderfully and smells delicious!! how do I need to keep it fed and how long now do I need to wait before I can start cooking with it?

    • Hi Joey,

      Check out this page on managing your sourdough starter. But basically, when your starter volume increases significantly after feeding, then it’s ready to use for baking.

  42. Hi Vickie and others….I want to make a correction to a comment I posted re recipe for English muffins….the website I posted should be or just google English muffins and the site will come up.
    Thanks Vickie for the correction…good muffins and a good use for that extra starter…
    carol in Landaff

  43. Hi Vickie and others….I want to make a correction to a comment I posted re recipe for English muffins….the website I posted should be or just google English muffins and the site will come up.
    Thanks Vickie for the correction…good muffins and a good use for that extra starter…
    carol in Lamdaff

  44. Vickie

    Well almost 2 months ago I googled sourdough starter and found your site. I have watched quite a few of your videos on starter, campfire bread, and pizza dough. My mom use to make sourdough pancakes all the time so now it was my time to get a starter going. I am quite pleased with your site and how I have learned to maintain my wonderful starter. I have made pizza, pancakes, bread and tonight for the first time I made sourdough english muffins. I don’t think I will ever buy pizza dough in a bag again nor will I ever buy english muffins. Thank you for all the tips. By the way my husband bought me a dutch oven and a pizza pan both of lodge cast iron. I love all my other irons and these are wonderful additions. Now I need a peel. That will be next. Again thanks for this site and all the comments allowed here.

  45. If you have more starter than you are using…no need to throw it out…just make English muffins with the extra…on the stove top in a griddle…so easy….found the recipe on Have made them several times and passed on the recipe…Everyone loves the result…excellent right off the stove with or without butter…can also freeze them..

    • Vickie

      Carol, I clicked on the posted website but it did not send me to a “bread” website. Then I just googled and came up with I found the english muffin recipe there and made them today. Excellent! Thank you for the tip. Off the grill or in the toaster either way is wonderful and much better than store bought.

  46. Pamela

    This process has been so much fun! I baked my first two loaves and, boy, they were way too sour! I poured off the hootch before using the starter. Also, if I’m baking once a week or biweekly, should I let it sit out? Any suggestions as to how to decrease the sourness? Thanks for all your help.

    • Hi Pamela.

      I would only let it sit out if I were baking daily. Otherwise keep in the fridge between feedings and baking. The more often you feed it, the less sour you will have. If it’s getting to the point where hootch is forming, it’s going too long between feedings and will be more sour. Fresh = less sour. Old = sour. That’s where the expression “old sourpuss” comes from. You never hear anyone say “fresh sourpuss”. 😉

      • Pamela

        Thanks for your quick reply! Okay; so now I’m confused. If I’m baking weekly/biweekly, what should be my feeding schedule? When I feed it I should leave it out in order for it to bubble and expand, right? Then back into the refrigerator? Should I feed it the day before baking?

        • Feeding weekly is usually sufficient. Yea, leave it out for a couple hours after feeding, then back in the fridge. Feeding the day before baking is good too.

          • Pamela

            Okay, I’ll do that and let you know how it goes! Thank you!!!

  47. Ella

    Hi, it’s a first time i tried to make my own sourdough!
    i started mine on 14/04 and im on the third step
    I think it’s going pretty good….
    but its really bubbly and has doubled up already few hours after i added 3tbsp of water and 5 1/4tbsp flour.
    should I wait for 24hours or just go on to next step?

    • Hi Ella,

      You can definitely go on to the next step when it’s doubled already. When starter doubles after feeding, it’s probably ready to use, but I guess I’d feed it once more for good measure when it’s brand new like yours.

  48. Denise

    Thanks for the great video! This is my first time trying sourdough. I started my starter on Friday following this method. I fed it for the first time this morning (48hrs) it seems to have taken off, it has a lot of bubbles. My question is, Should I wait another 48hrs to feed it or should I feed it in 24hrs?

    • Wow, that’s fast. I would go with the 24 hours.

      • Denise

        Thanks! My first attempt at sourdough bread, a success. After my starter was done(last night) I mixed up a batch of no-knead dough following your instruction video, baked it this afternoon and just cut into it. Delicious! Thanks again, this is a great site!

  49. I’ve never baked sourdough before and I used this recipe to make a starter and give it a go. After about 6 weeks of care and feeding, I made my first bread yesterday and…it’s the best loaf of bread I’ve ever made.

    There was a last minute adjustment to the rising time (I left it in the pans another 12 hours after I originally intended to put it in the oven) and I hope with time the sour flavor gets stronger, but the smell, consistency and taste are all beyond anything I thought I could hope for.

    Thanks for telling me how to do it!

    • That’s great to hear, Tim. Thanks for the nice post.

  50. David

    I tried doing this and half way through step 2 I found a lot of white furry mold along the side of the container. I assumed this was not yeast growing so I threw it out; can you confirm this for me?

    • Dianna Solmes

      I am curious about the answer to this question. I think I might have just stirred it down without thinking “danger”!

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