breadtopia live starter
5.00 out of 5 based on 24 customer ratings
(24 customer reviews)


This sourdough starter is taken directly from our batch in its live form and not dried.

In stock

Product Description

Live Sourdough Starter

This sourdough starter is taken directly from our batch in its live form and not dried. It is the starter we use in all our sourdough baking. A hearty strain of wild yeast that has served us well for years.

For thousands of years, sourdough starter has been used to healthily and naturally leaven bread. Containing naturally occurring yeast and friendly Lactobacillus bacteria, sourdough starter also adds its own unique flavor profile to baked goods.

Follow the simple instructions on the back of the starter label to quickly build up a sufficient quantity of active starter to begin baking.

With regular feeding, your starter can be sustained indefinitely.

You’ll find a selection of sourdough bread recipes here. For details on sourdough starter management, visit

Guaranteed healthy delivery within USA.

Note: As a living culture, your sourdough starter should be fed upon delivery. If this is purchased as a gift and may not be tended to within a day or two of deliver, or if you live outside of the US, please order the dried sourdough starter instead.

“Hello Eric, I just made my first loaf of no-knead sourdough, and you are right, your sourdough starter is very vigorous! I had a fantastic oven spring! I have a rye bread rising as we speak. Thanks again.Marty, Berkley, Michigan
Just a note to say a massive THANK YOU for the wonderful sourdough starter. With it, I made near-perfect SD loaves.I have struggled for a year to come up with a good from-scratch starter and had endless problems. Yours worked like a dream, the texture of the dough was fabulous, and the loaves delicious.Why did I wait so long??Thanks again.

Margaret McGurk

Sourdough Starter – Live

*Order $75 or More, & Shipping is Free! (applies to lower 48 States)

Additional Information

Weight 0.7 lbs
Dimensions .1 x .1 x .1 in

24 reviews for Sourdough Starter – Live

  1. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    This is a very healthy starter. It had no problems growing twice as big after following directions within the first 24 hours of arrival. Great aroma and bubbly… This is almost like food hacks it is so easy. I can’t wait to try some in my grandmother’s SD pancake recipe. Thanks!

  2. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I got your basic starter last week as my husband wanted a San Francisco style starter. I fed it with white spelt and a little whole rye, made a mother dough and then a levain with some sprouted spelt as per instructions in Peter Reinhart’s Bread Revolution. Made a take off on his sprouted whole wheat recipe using sprouted spelt…added some nuts and seeds…the most delicious bread I’ve ever tasted. I had been making it with a spelt starter from another ( and more expensive) source….am. Not going to maintain that starter anymore! we totally love this starter, thanks Eric!
    I just took a mini loaf out of oven so will post that

  3. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Received live starter yesterday at noon. Fed it immediately per package instructions. It was clear within 2 HOURS that it was alive and well! Now continuing to feed and build enough to bake with. Looks bubbly and smells fabulous! I’ve known alot of sourdough starters, folks and this one is exceptional……….Thank you, Breadtopia!

  4. 5 out of 5


    I bought my live sourdough starter almost two years ago and it remains fantastic! This is a superior sourdough starter with that sour tang I crave. It has set my sourdough expectations higher, and I was disappointed on my last trip to San Fran with store bought bread. The starter is so hardy, I like to think of it as a jade-varietal. I can leave it in the fridge and forget about it for a few weeks, and then take it out, feed it a few times, and it comes bubbling vigorously back out of hibernation. I am thrilled with this product, especially for the long-rise no knead bread in a covered cast iron pot. Every time I make it, I cannot believe how good it is or that I made it myself. Looking forward to making the rye next.

  5. 5 out of 5


    I bought your live starter YEARS ago when you were selling it on Amazon. I wrote an ‘excellent’ review there awhile after I had been making great sourdough bread. It was called ‘If you are not going to San Francisco’. Just this week my original mother sponge died, however for some reason a couple of months ago, for the first time I had split it and made a second mother sponge. I was looking online to see if I could find you in case this ever happens again and I am not prepared. After many many years of excellent sourdough bread, I can’t live without this product.

  6. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Beautiful, hard-working starter. I’m almost obsessed with turning out a great loaf (SD noob here). This starter made my foray into sourdough SO much easier. Highly recommend.

  7. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I bought this live starter last week; it’s January. Though it shipped from Breadtopia the next morning, it took 7 days to get here because of delays in ground shipping due to inclement weather. I was very worried that it would be (a) too cold between IN & NC on those freezing nights, and (b) it would be too starved to revive it when it got to me.

    Upon arrival, I immediately opened it and followed the directions for adding the flour and water. I put it in my Brod & Taylor proofing box, not realizing that wouldn’t suffice as the “plastic cover” the directions call for. The next morning it was about twice as big, but it was hard as a rock. I realized my foolish mistake.

    I figured nothing ventured, nothing gained and decided to follow the directions for the second day adding more flour and water. This time I covered it with plastic wrap and put it back in the proofing box. Within an hour, it had tripled in size. This is one HEARTY and VIGOROUS starter. I just could not be more pleased!

    Thank you!

  8. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Ordered this live sourdough starter, and then unexpectedly had to leave town before it arrived. I had asked the pet sitter to put the package in my fridge in the hope it would still be alive when I returned in a weeks’ time. Unfortunately the starter arrived in an envelope that was overlooked in the pile of other mail, so when I got home it was smashed flat under a crush of magazines and junk mail. Unlike the pretty plump bag in the web site photo, I found flattened mm-thick bag of mottled off yellow goo the consistency of hardened chewing gum run over by a truck. Gave it a go anyway … not much to lose. I could not “scoop” the hardened putty from the bag, so instead just pried the plastic sides apart and dropped it plastic and all into a bowl; then followed the rest of the directions as indicated. Too my great surprise now three days later I have a large happy bowl of bubbling sour dough. Just baked and finished off a large loaf of sourdough bread …. it was excellent!

  9. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    This Live Starter is Truly The Best! I am so glad I purchased this item. I’m now wondering why I didn’t get one of these Live Starters earlier! So vibrant and healthy! Makes my old “from scratch” sourdough starter (which I accidentally destroyed) look pathetic. No wonder I was having such problems with oven spring! Attached is a picture of my new starter. I got this starter late in the afternoon on Dec 15th and followed the instructions provided to a “T.” It’s now the evening of Dec 17th and look how much it’s grown already from the feeding I gave it earlier today. Fantastic! I’ve got my no-knead sourdough dough proofing right now and will bake it tomorrow. I expect great results….finally! Thanks, Eric, for such a wonderful product! :)

  10. 5 out of 5


    The best! I received your fresh starter a week or two ago and after feeding it a few times I’ve been baking the best sourdough bread I ever have. My husband told me last night “this is the best bread you’ve ever made! ” I totally agree! It already has a decent sour taste and the oven spring is very good. I wish I could figure out how to include a photo since I’ve just taken a beautiful boule out of the oven! Thank You!

  11. 5 out of 5


    Fantastic. Great price, fast shipping. Solid Starter. Amazing bread. This starter is very active compared to others I have tried. More than once I’ve had it bubble over the top of my jar by mistake. I’ve never once had my old starter bubble over.

  12. 5 out of 5


    Fantastic – I have received my started on Monday and baked my first bread this morning. The results were great! Thank you so much.

  13. 5 out of 5


    100% great product – I agree with everyone. Great live starter & is ready to use much sooner than the dried starter I bought elsewhere. I am in Canada so wasn’t sure how well it would do shipping this far but it was up & running in a few hours. Thanks so much for great product!

  14. 5 out of 5


    YEP, GREAT STUFF! tried several times unsuccessfully over 35 years to make my own starter and tried once with a dried powder from san francisco. this live starter is the way to go for easy, easy sourdough baking. i think it was ready to use within the first 24 hours, tho i waited 3 days. bread: soft crumb, chewy crust–and EXACTLY the taste and aroma of the bread i remember on the wharf in san francisco. i dried the goo stuck to the little plastic bag it arrived in and put it in the freezer–betcha if i ever need it, it will revive! and if not, i know where to find his brother–or is that the rest of himself? h-m-m.

  15. 5 out of 5


    Wonderful livliness. I had bubbling starter a few hours after the first feeding. If you want to get started baking quickly, this is a great choice.

    One hint: Instead of trying to spoon the starter out, I just ripped the little ziplock bag open at the seams, pealed the starter off the plastic – it’s sticky enough to stay together in 1 piece – and dropped it in my starter jar. Voila.

  16. 5 out of 5


    Fantastic starter – I bought this and then went on vacation, stored in the fridge while I was out. I returned and started the process of feeding. Less than 24 hours after my first feeding it was already bubbling. I can’t wait to make me some bread!

  17. 5 out of 5


    Great stuff! I’m a big fan of San Fransisco sourdough bread. I revived the starter and made probably the best loaf of bread I’ve ever made a week later. I’ve been baking bread on and off for over 25 years and I could never get the crumb/crust/taste like I wanted. I’ve been making a loaf a week for almost 6 months. The bread lasts almost a week (if no one eats it up) because of the sour culture- never any mold – and I don’t refrigerate. Don’t bother trying to make a starter- you may get something but who knows what? It probably won’t be very good. The price and shipping at Breadtopia is very reasonable. Highly recommended. The book- 52 Loaves- very helpful also.

  18. 5 out of 5


    I was absolutely amazed by how vigorous this starter is. I fed it the evening that I received it using the provided instructions. After 24 hours, the starter was beautifully foamy and had the wonderful aroma I have come to expect from a great starter. It is so alive that it nearly doubled on its third feeding, for which I used equal weights of water and bread flour. Two more feedings, and I will bake bread!

    I usually make my own starter, but when we moved to our current property, my starter was destroyed in the move. Buying live starter was a great way to get up and baking again quickly.

  19. 5 out of 5


    “Congratulations ***. Dick is really the one who started this bread making frenzy and order the first portion of starter. My kids are making it, I’m making it, and now we have it spreading to California. Great.”

    This is note from my brother to a CA cousin. This starter is really moving around the country !

  20. 5 out of 5


    I purchased this from Breadtopia and it arrived quickly. It looks smushed but I carefully squeezed the thick sour smelling dough out and followed the directions on the package. Day 3: it is so clear to see, that this dough is alive…. bubbly and clearly on a path to becoming delicious bread, pizza dough and other delicious things in the future.

    I think this dough is much better than the dried granular starter that is offered at stores and online. I would recommend this product to friends and family. Making sourdough starter is easy. I am looking forward to becoming a really good bread baker AND serving fresh from the oven – warm bread topped with real butter —- to my family and friends.

    OVERALL RATING of seller and product: A+

  21. 5 out of 5


    Live is the way to go! Being overly cautious, I bought this live starter, and a dry starter from elsewhere. Continuing to be overly cautious, I used only half of the live starter to build up both a white and whole wheat “mother”. Within less than a week both batches were quite vigorous. (No longer needing to keep the other half of the original live starter, I threw caution into the wind and discarded it.)

    The dry yeast, from elsewhere, took almost a week to show any signs of life. After more than two weeks, it became usable in recipes, and only after three weeks did it become vigorous.

    Live yeast will get you up and running much sooner!

  22. 5 out of 5


    Excellent..! My first try at sourdough, and within 2 weeks, I’ve made excellent sourdough bread with your starter. Just wish I could be available during the week to make more without tossing out some of the excess starter…seems such a waste for such good basis..! And even using the no-knead process..WOW! Seems like I’m cheating, but won’t tell the wife ‘n kids, until I can convince them to take over the duty! Thanks Eric for your work and videos – makes it really easy!
    Best, Tom.

  23. 5 out of 5


    Very Happy – Thank you for making this starter available. I received it about 2 weeks ago and it came to life almost immediately. I am now making the best bread I’ve ever tasted thanks to Breadtopia (videos), the sourdough starter and my Romertopf. I’ve not worked with sourdough much before because I never had the kind of success I was looking for. Now I am having amazing success!

  24. 5 out of 5


    Makes Great Sourdough – Recieved about 10 days ago, fed it per the instructions , baked first loaf today. Excellent taste, tangy but not too sour. Probably the best sourdough I have had.
    One suggestion; the starter arrives in a small ziplock and is very sticky. Instructions are to spoon it out. Instead I added the water to the bag, kneaded it a while, snipped off a corner and squeezed it out like a pastry bag into a crock, then fed it the flour. I believe I wasted a lot less starter that way and avoided a gooey mess.

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