Carriers no longer guarantee delivery times. We suggest ordering by Dec. 15th for delivery by the 24th.

Sourdough Starter (Live)


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

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 delivery, or if you live outside of the US, please order our dried sourdough starter instead.

See instructions for reviving your starter HERE.

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(46 customer reviews)

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

You will receive a healthy chunk of live sourdough starter along with detailed instructions for how to quickly build up a sufficient quantity of active starter to begin baking. With regular feeding, your starter can be sustained indefinitely.

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

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

Guaranteed healthy delivery within USA.

Ingredients: Organic wheat flour and wild yeast culture.

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 delivery, or if you live outside of the US, please order our dried sourdough starter instead.


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!

Patti, verified owner

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.

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

I have been making sour dough bread for 50 years—best two starts I ever had: One that my pioneer ancestors brought across the plains and another that a friend from Alaska shared with me. We moved often—military! Three overseas moves would somehow result in the loss of these starts— The one that I ordered from you — a live wad of dough in a plastic bag— is GRAND! I love it. really strong from the moment I first fed it. Thanks so much—how I love making sour dough bread again.

Nancy P. Anderson
Lawton Ok



Our sourdough starter comes packaged in Biotre 2.0 pouches. Biotre is made from renewable plant based resources and is 60% compostable.

Sourdough Starter (Live)

  1. Sarah (verified owner)

    I just received this starter last night, and it seems extremely robust. Came in a small plastic bag as described, and maybe this is because it’s cold where I am, but it wasn’t very sticky and was easy to get out of the bag. I fed it right away on arrival and it easily doubled overnight. Fed it again late this morning, and as of just a few hours later, it’s getting nice and bubbly again. Really excited to see the final results, but I’m anticipating that it’ll perform better than my DIY starter did.

  2. Alejandro Leguizamo (verified owner)

    I got this sourdough starter a couple of days ago and I’m already baking. It’s so active it puts my puppy to shame and so mature it won’t laugh at my jokes.
    Highly recommended!

  3. Karra

    Bought through Amazon. No trouble reviving it. Classic sourdough smell, robust rising, and making great sourdough bread and pancakes now! Thanks for helping me get started!

  4. Patty P

    This 5 star rating is both for the starter and the customer service. True to what the directions say, 1 day 3 TB flour 2n TB water (not tap) and after 12 hours 1/3 flour and 1/4 cup water I have a very robust starter. Could not be easier. But others have covered that. My review is regarding the customer service. It is smack in the middle of the pandemic and yeast is tough to come by. I ordered the starter and it never arrived. Tracking showed that it was shipped as promised from Breadtopia and then got lost in transit. I gave it time, nothing. I reached out to Breadtopia to just find out if they contact the shipping company or if I do. Nope. They without missing a beat and without asking said they would immediatetly ship it out again. It arrived without incident. Absolutey awesome customer service at this place!

  5. Sherri

    Bought the starter on Amazon when it said sold out here. I ordered 4/9, it came 4/13! I baked my first loaf 2 days later (!) after feeding it a few times with Teresa Greenway’s recipe from her online Sourdough 101 course- which I highly recommend! Great crumb from this starter in a 1 day bake!

  6. Lisa

    I bought this starter in case my other pineapple starter with what was a fail. I made both and they’re alive!So I have 2 starters one is wheat and one is white! I did it! Im a total novice and now that I have mastered the starters Im getting ready to venture into actually baking sourdough bread. Fingers crossed.

  7. Lea

    I bought this starter in 2017 and it is still lively and bright. I’m not very attentive to it-just keep 2 oz in the fridge and then feed it one day and use it the next. Makes beautiful, delicious breads. A winner!

  8. bruce kruzel

    I received my live starter ordered from Amazon yesterday and after feeding it and placing it in my temperature controlled cabinet after feeding it the starter doubled in size in four hours at a temperature of 75 degrees. Very active culture! I purchased your starter to compare to my own starter which is a little bit inconsistent during the winter months. I will use next week on a Ken Forkish recipe.

  9. Dirk

    I ordered last week (16th). Saturday early afternoon (18th) the yeasties arrived. I fed them religiously, weighing and doubling the weight each time the starter doubled in size. By Sunday mid-morning (the next day) I was able to have enough starter for a 2.5 pound whole wheat sour dough loaf and was able to bake by 7pm Dinner, PLUS enough to dry for backup!!! I did not add any packaged baking yeast at all!
    The Sour taste is not overpowering, but LINGERS wonderfully on the taste buds. Oven Spring doubled the loaf.
    Very happy with my purchase.

  10. Kevin (verified owner)

    Since I moved six years ago and let my starter go to waste, I’ve struggled getting a decent starter in my new home. In fact I’d given up this past year until my kids started bugging me about making bread again. I purchased this starter and am very impressed with it’s vibrant activity. Been feeding it straight whole grain einkorn and it easily doubles in 3-4 hrs!!!!! Thanks so much for this!

  11. Greta Coalier

    By watching the video tutorials I grew a live starter and baked a perfect loaf of no knead sourdough bread on the first try!!!! I am NOT a cook or baker. My family ate the bread in less than 10 minutes and won’t stop asking for more. I’m a fan for life and its the first time I have ever been excited to do something in the kitchen. I find fermentation fascinating and can’t wait to pass my starter on to friends and family and to learn more about this amazing process. p.s. Thank you man in the videos, you are the coolest.

  12. Kathryn Ashe (verified owner)

    Every sourdough starter comes from a different strain of yeast., each with a different flavor profile. My personal preference is for or near, the San Francisco strain. Several years ago I ordered the live starter, and have been extremely happy with it. I highly recommend for anyone who loves San Francisco sourdough bread. I do store my starter in a plastic bread proofing tub I purchased elsewhere. It allows for perfect atmosphere when tightly closed.

  13. Erik (verified owner)

    I have tried making a few different versions of starters and they have always been marginal to the point that I eventually gave up on sourdough and used yeast. Then I borrowed a starter from a friend and it rose like the rest of my starters so I added yeast to salvage the bread. Then I tried this starter and it was a world apart! The 100% whole wheat bread rose 2-1/2 times the original volume and it did it quicker than expected. It is an excellent starter!

  14. Brian O’Neill (verified owner)

    This really put my old sourdough starter to shame. I received the Breadtopia starter Thursday evening and by Saturday morning I had a culture that more than doubled in size with each feeding. I baked a loaf on Saturday which turned out excellent. Really had a good sourdough flavor to it.

  15. Avner Skolnik (verified owner)

    Before I discovered Breadtopia I bought starter twice from KA, and decided that maybe sourdough wasn’t for me based on the poor results. Once I tried the Breadtopia starter everything changed for me, and the results are amazing. I never experienced anything like this before. Thank you Breadtopia!!!

  16. John der Kinderen (verified owner)

    The live starter was very vigorous, much more active than one I had purchased from another vendor several years ago. It performed very well in my first batch of bread.
    One suggestion regarding the packaging. It is difficult to get the dough out of the plastic bag. Perhaps you could wrap it in some waxed paper before bagging it. A little touch that would be appreciated on the receiving end.

  17. Kelley (verified owner)

    This starter arrived and immediately after first feeding was bubbling away and smelled fantastic! Getting ready to bake my first loaf and the bubbles on the rise are amazing. I was never able to get my own starter to work in my kitchen. So happy!

  18. Susan (verified owner)

    I fed my starter as soon as it arrived. It was clearly active within a couple of hours, and by the next morning, it was quite bubbly. I’ve tried to make my own starter in the past but haven’t had much luck. This was so inexpensive and easy! I can’t wait to make my first loaf. Thank you, Eric, for all the wonderful things you do for the bread-bakers of the world.

  19. Digitoes (verified owner)

    Hi! I am loving this site and community. I purchased some of this live starter and am wondering if anyone knows how old this starter is, or anything about it’s history. I’ve had it two days and it is very vigorous already! Thanks for a great product and all the information available here!

  20. Erin

    Erin- February 2017. I am in Alberta Canada. I received my sourdough breadtopia live starter on a Tuesday. I fed it around 2 pm Tuesday with 50/50 water and organic white flour. I was able to make a wet dough and ferment it overnight and bake a sourdough rye the next morning. The loaf had beautiful oven spring, nice crumb and a surprising sour taste. This starter has so far never failed me. I have made sourdough in my bread maker and it excelled here too. I made sourdough spelt buns and shared with my neighbors and they raved about them. This sourdough starter makes me feel like a professional baker. I am not but I can’t sing it’s praises enough. Thank you Eric for sharing your magnificent starter with me.

  21. Richard (verified owner)

    Great product! Had starter mailed to Canada in the middle of winter. Was concerned that it wasn’t going to work by the time it got here, but came right back to life after feeding it. Made pizza following your recipie and was great!

  22. Ray

    Excellent starter and directions. I’ve been making sourdough bread for 10 years or so but my old starter went bad so got this starter and it makes very good bread (at least for my tastes)

  23. Mike (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!

  24. Margot (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

  25. Kathleen Morey (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!

  26. Jennifer

    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.

  27. Sharon

    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.

  28. jane (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.

  29. Sarah (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!

  30. Brian (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!

  31. Patti (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! 🙂

  32. Trish

    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!

  33. Roger Hartwell

    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.

  34. Monika

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

  35. linda James

    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!

  36. tanya

    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.

  37. Hoobie

    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.

  38. Erika naegelin

    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!

  39. Doug

    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.

  40. Robert Ryan

    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.

  41. Dick Minor

    “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 !

  42. Teresa

    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+

  43. Charles Wilson

    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!

  44. Tom Y

    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.

  45. Tamara Robson

    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!

  46. Bob

    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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