Sourdough Starter

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This quick sourdough starter is a faster way to have your own healthy, thriving sourdough starter in 24 hours. This recipe leverages commercial yeast to jumpstart the fermentation process.

I prefer to think of myself as industrious. It’s definitely not that I’m kind of lazy and a little (a lot) impatient. I’m working smarter, not longer with this sourdough starter!

Last spring, you know the one – the March that kept the world at home- I started dabbling in sourdough. It was fortuitous, really, as my mom and I had gone shopping just before the ole shutdownerooni and found some dehydrated San Francisco sourdough starter at a store.

Being unable to resist the temptation of frittering in the kitchen, I had to buy it. Then spent months growing my little dough babies, caring for them, feeding them, transferring them between the fridge and the counter.

Unfortunately, I got way too sidetracked during the summer months and I lost my sourdough starter!

In the past few months, I’ve been longing for sourdough again. And after some experimentation, I have found a quick and easy sourdough starter!

This faster, easy sourdough starter is dedicated to industriousness.

Jump to:

Tips + Tricks

No. 1 –> Each day when it comes to feeding time, transfer your starter to a clean jar or container, add the water to the starter and stir until completely combined before adding the flour. This step is helpful in ensuring the starter is completely distributed!

No. 2 –> This process can seem finicky and like it’s too much work, but truly, it’s not. Once you get into a groove you’ll love having your own sourdough starter. Once you’ve got that starter going and your sourdough bread factory is in action, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start it years ago.

No. 3 –> If you’re intimidated by a 7 -10 day sourdough starter, this is a GREAT starting point. You’re going to see activity every day and can start baking by the second day, although the flavor, complexity and leavening power will only improve over time.

No. 4 –> It helps to get into a routine! If you’re a counter keeper, try to always feed your sourdough at the same time, I like to feed my babies while my morning coffee is brewing. If they’re in the fridge, I like to keep them front and center (so I don’t lose them in the back. RIP Fred) and feed them each Sunday!

No. 5 –> Keep your starter in a non-airtight container. If using a mason jar, place a piece of cheesecloth or woven cotton over the opening and use the rings to keep it in place, if using a plastic container, leave the lid somewhat open to allow airflow.

Sourdough starter full of bubbles and air pockets after feeding.

Key Ingredients

Flour: This recipe calls for unbleached all purpose flour. This can be substituted for organic unbleached flour or even unbleached bread flour.

Water: It’s important to use filtered water for this recipe, sometimes, treated municipal/city tap water can kill the yeast. It’s equally important to use the right temperature water, too cold and the starter will take too long, too hot and the yeast will be killed.

Yeast: I always have a jar of yeast in the fridge, and for this recipe, I use active dry yeast. The larger granules take longer to re-hydrate and are slower to propagate in the starter. This is ideal since we are leaving it for 24 hours.

Filtered water, unbleached all purpose flour and active dry yeast in measuring cups.

How To Make A Sourdough Starter Quicker

DAY 1:

  • In a large, non-metallic container, mix the flour, warm water, and yeast with a wooden or plastic spoon until completely combined.
  • Either cover the container with a clean kitchen towel or transfer it to a glass jar with at least 3 times the volume of the starter – it will grow!
  • Set the starter in a warm spot, free of temperature swings, and drafts to ferment for 24 hours.

DAY 2:

  • After 24 hours, stir down the bubbles and discard all but 50 g of starter and feed it with 50 g flour and 50 g warm water. If you notice a layer of liquid (hooch) on the bottom of the jar, stir this in before discarding.
  • Once the fed starter is fed, bubbly, and doubled in volume it’s ready to use! This will take about 6-12 hours depending on your kitchen and starter.

DAY 3 + ONWARD:

  • Discard all but 50 g of starter and feed it with 50 g flour and 50 g warm water, transfer to a clean jar. Or save any amount of starter you like, but it must be mixed at a 1:1:1 ratio of starer:water:flour to keep a 100% hydration starter.
  • Store as desired.

Sourdough Starter Feeding + Storage

This all depends on your baking proclivities!

Daily to bi-weekly baker

If you plan on baking daily or few times a week, you’ll want to keep your starter at room temperature. This will keep it warm and active whenever you’re ready for it!

To keep your starter alive, you’ll need to feed it every 24-36 hours. You can play with the feeding schedule a bit, once you get to know your starter and how hungry it is. The starter should be fed after the culture doubles in size and deflates, and ideally before hooch starts to form.

You’ll know your starter has begun to deflate by the slide marks left on your jar!

Weekly or less frequent

Not a huge baker? Don’t have a lot of time to devote to the sourdough? Don’t let this deter you. You can bake beautiful sourdoughs as frequently or infrequently as you like.

If you’re an infrequent baker, keep your sourdough in the fridge! This slows down the fermentation time considerably and allows you to feed your sourdough only once a week. Due to the length of time between feeds, the refrigerated starter will likely have hooch forming on the top, this is totally fine, stir it in and feed as required.

If keeping your starter in the fridge, simply remove it from the fridge, stir and feed, and rest for 12-24 hours before baking.

Sourdough starter in a plastic container.

Is My Starter Healthy?

Most likely. There are few things that can go wrong with a sourdough starter, and they are pretty resiliant!

To determine the health of your starter, first start by spending some time with it! Use your senses:

Smell:

Your stater will have a scent. This is normal! We are growing a community of yeast and bacteria, here. It’s gonna smell, and the smell isn’t necessarily indicative of the health of your starter as much as the types of yeasts growing in it.

These scents are normal:

  • Fed starter:
    • fruity
    • yeasty
    • cheesy
    • overripe fruit
  • Hungry starter:
    • vinegar
    • wine
    • nail polish remover
    • gym socks

Your starter may smell strongly, but it shouldn’t be offensive. If the starter smells like rotting meat or otherwise completely awful, it’s time to start over.

Bubbly ripe starter.

Appearance:

A happy starter will look different at different times of it’s feeding cycle.

  • Fed starter:
    • the starter will be thick, like peanut butter
  • Active starter:
    • dotted with large and small bubbles throughout
    • double in volume within 8-12 hours
  • Hungry starter:
    • deflated
    • thinner consistency than a freshly fed starter
    • may have a darkish liquid (hooch) on top
    • slide marks visible on the jar
A container of sourdough starter with slide marks.
The slide marks are evident on the jar, showing that this starter is deflated and hungry.

What’s Hooch?

No, we’re not talking about that relative brewing moonshine in the guest bathtub! We’re talking sourdough hooch!

Sourdough starters release a liquid while they’re eating away at the fresh flour they’ve been fed. This alcohol is given off by the yeast as it ferments. Hooch can range in color from clear to dark grey, and generally darkens more as it’s left longer.

Repeat after me “hooch is not bad!” Hooch is a sign that your sourdough is hungry! If you see your starter consistently giving off hooch, you’ll know it’s time to adjust your feeding schedule.

Now, the question is what do I do with the hooch? Some people recommend to pour it off, some people recommend to stir it in. I personally like to stir it in, this helps me keep my hydration levels consistent and can add a bit more tang to the starter.

Hooch gathering on the surface of the sourdough starter.
The liquid settling above the starter is called hooch.

Has My Starter Gone Bad?

As previously mentioned, there are few things that can go wrong with a sourdough starter.

Bad bacteria taking up residence:

Sometimes, the bad bacteria overwhelm the good bacteria and create a hostile environment for the good stuff! You’ll know this has happened to your starter when you see a faint orange or pink streak on the surface. Or actual fuzzy mold forms on top. Or it smells so foul you don’t think you could handle cooking with it.

Death of the yeast:

A strong starter is pretty hard to kill – even though I managed to kill mine, he got lost in the back of the fridge for 3 months. Yikes. {November 2021 update – I should not have given up on that starter so easily! I just revived a sourdough starter that had gone unfed in the fridge for over 4 months!}

Neglect can cause your wild yeast to die off, making it easier to be invaded by bad bacteria. Lack of feeding, or temperatures over 90f can have adverse effects on your starter.

If the starter is dead, you will likely have a large amount of dark hooch on the top, and the starter will not activate after feedings. It’s time to start over!

A jar of sourdough starter.
Hungry sourdough starter. The slide marks on the jar are a telltale sign.

Starter Vs. Discard

They both contain the same ingredients, and come from the same place, so what’s the difference?

Starter is fed and active sourdough starter, while discard is the unfed and inactive sourdough starter. Starter is generally harvested 4-6 hours after a feeding when the sourdough host is bubbly and at it’s most active, discard is harvested when the sourdough host is hungry and before it’s fed again.

A starter that has at least doubled in size and active is able to leaven bread, while a nearly inactive discard cannot. Discard can, however, be used in recipes that use a secondary leavening agent, like baking soda or baking powder.

How To Use Starter

  1. About 6 hours before you’re ready to bake, feed your starter according to the recipe below and set it in a comfortable place for it to activate.
  2. When prepared to bake, stir the starter down, knocking the air bubbles out of the starter before scooping it into a measuring cup.
  3. Follow your sourdough recipe as required.

Float test:

There’s a lot of talk about the float test on the internet. Some swear that it’s a great way to test the viability of your starter for use in bread making, others say it doesn’t matter.

Personally, I think it makes sense, once the yeast has activated and started to create bubbles in the starter, the starter will float due to added buoyancy from the trapped air.

To do the float test, simply drop a small amount of sourdough starter in a glass of water, if it floats, it’s all good! If it doesn’t float, might be time to feed your starter!

A loaf of sliced sourdough in a red cast iron pot.
Small batch sourdough loaf.

How To Use Discard

Discard can be used in many recipes, sweet or savoury. The fermented discard will add a layer of flavor and tenderness that a base recipe cannot achieve. Discard can also be used to start ANOTHER sourdough starter – this is great for gifting, starting a second starter with a different flour (and therefore, different flavour), or storing longer term if you’re particularly fond of your starter.

Discard can be used immediately, or kept at room temperature for approximately 24 hours, or stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 7 days before use.

Scooping sourdough chocolate chip cookies off a baking sheet.
Sourdough chocolate chip cookies made with discard.

Use Discard In Any Recipe

Your sourdough discard can ALSO be worked into nearly any recipe. It just requires a bit of math. (I know… SORRY!)

  1. Know the hydration of your starter. This is easy if you’re following my sourdough starter recipe, as my hydration is 100%.
  2. Weigh your discard. Let’s use 100 g for example, if we know our 100 g discard is 100% hydration, that means we can ascertain with pretty close confidence that the 100 g is made up of 50 g flour and 50 g water.
  3. Look at your recipe: Subtract 50 g from the total flour required and 50 g from the total water required in the finished recipe, and add the 100 g discard!

If your recipe is stated volumetric vs weights (cups v grams) you’ll need to do a BIT more figuring, and this math is less accurate, but should still work for most recipes.

Check out this handy dandy chart over at King Arthur Flour.

Using this chart, we know that 1 cup of all-purpose flour = 120g and 1 cup of water = 227g. 50 g of flour is approximately 1/3 cup of flour, and 50g of water is about 1/5 cup or 3 1/2 tablespoons. Reduce the final recipe by 1/3 cup of flour and 3 1/2 tablespoons of water.

My Favorite Sourdough Recipes!

If you love this recipe, please give it a star rating or leave a comment below! This helps me to create more content you enjoy!

📖 Printable Recipe

Fully risen sourdough starter.

Easy Sourdough Starter With Yeast –> Ready in 24 Hours!

Allyson Letal
Faster sourdough starter is for the impatient ones! This incredibly thorough guide will have you on your way to a healthy sourdough starter that's ready to bake with in just 24 hours.
4.57 from 71 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 5 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 371 kcal

Ingredients
  

day 1:

  • 50 g filtered water
  • 50 g unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

day 2:

  • 50 g filtered water
  • 50 g unbleached all purpose flour

Instructions
 

DAY 1:

  • In a non-metallic container, mix the flour, warm water, and yeast with a wooden or plastic spoon until completely combined.
  • Either cover the container with a clean kitchen towel or transfer it to a glass jar with at least 3 times the volume of the starter – it will grow!
  • Set the starter in a warm spot, free of temperature swings, and drafts to ferment for 24 hours.

DAY 2:

  • After 24 hours, stir down the bubbles and discard all but 50 g of starter and feed it with 50 g flour and 50 g warm water. If you notice a layer of liquid (hooch) on the bottom of the jar, stir this in before discarding.
  • Transfer fed starter to a clean jar.
  • Once the fed starter is fed, bubbly, and doubled in volume it’s ready to use! This will take about 6-12 hours depending on your kitchen and starter.

DAY 3 + ONWARD:

  • Discard all but 50 g of starter and feed it with 50 g flour and 50 g warm water, transfer to a clean jar. Or save any amount of starter you like, but it must be mixed at a 1:1:1 ratio of starter: water: flour to keep a 100% hydration starter.
  • Transfer to a clean jar and store in a NON-airtight container, as desired.

Notes

Feeding + Storage

frequent baker
Keep your starter at room temperature in a NON-airtight container. To keep it alive, you’ll need to feed it every 24 -36 hours, depending on the rate of fermentation.
infrequent baker:
Keep your starter in a loosely covered container in the fridge. To keep a refrigerated starter alive, it must be removed from the fridge, allowed to warm up slightly before feeding, then returned to the fridge. To bake with a refrigerated starter, remove the starter from the fridge 12 hours before baking, feed it as normal and allow it to activate before using.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 371kcalCarbohydrates: 77gProtein: 11gFat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 7mgFiber: 3g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Can’t Miss Sourdough Guides

Pin this easy sourdough starter recipe!

24 hour sourdough starter pinterest graphic.

Similar Posts

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

56 Comments

  1. Hi, I love your recipes and am just trying this one now, I was wondering – I couldn’t tell from the photos, does it matter if the sourdough is in an air tight container or not during the first 3 days? Thanks

    1. That is so great to hear, thank you! Great question, It should not be airtight. When it’s in the mason jar, I place a piece of woven cotton on top to keep things out but allow airflow. The plastic containers are not airtight, either, I will amend the post to add this information!

  2. My starter has not resin as high as yours. At our Walmart there is petrified, spring, distilled, and drinking water. I am using spring water hoping that is the closest to filtered water. Is that killing my yeast?

    1. Any of those should work, I use water from my reverse osmosis when I’m starting a new starter, but after that I just use my well water.

      Did your starter double in size? It should have, but if not, your yeast might be a bit older. You can always feed it again once it deflates and watch to see what happens!

  3. Hi,
    I am so excited to try this recipe. Is it ok to use whole wheat flour for the starter? I started mine yesterday and it looks a little limp and sad right now. It looks like there is a layer of hooch (I guess) on the bottom. Its time for me to feed again, but Im wondering did the whole wheat flour sabotage my starter???

    1. It shouldn’t have. There is more food in the whole wheat flour than all purpose or bread flour! I’d just stir it all together feed it again to see what happens!

  4. This is THE best description/tutorial on sourdough starter that I have read anywhere! You explain every little nuance and the reason behind why you do everything. The pictures help so much, too. I’m very good at reading and following instructions (I was a career grant writer), but most people’s instructions are vague and incomplete. Yours are brilliant! A million thank yous. I now feel confident about creating my own sourdough starter. 🙂

  5. I’m a little confused. On your easy sourdough starter with yeast ready in 24 hours. Do you include step one in day 2 before using starter or do you just stir and use at spent 3 on day one and add nothing else. Thanks

    1. You will be feeding a portion of your starter, 50g of the total from the first day with 50g of water and 50g of flour. Once that mixture from the feed doubles in volume and becomes airy, you’ll be using the required amount of that for your recipe. If you use my small loaf sourdough recipe, you’ll be using 60g of the fed, doubled starter. There will be starter remaining, which you can allow to deflate and then feed again the next day.

  6. Can you freeze a part of this? I always freeze a part of my friendship starter and I never have a problem with reviving it can I do that with this? Thank you it looks like a blast

    1. Hi Shirley, sourdough should really be made by weights (eg 50g vs volume 2 oz or 1/4 cup). Metric weights seem intimidating but most or all kitchen scales should weigh things in grams for you. The reason for this is that the 1/4 cup of flour you scoop and the 1/4 cup of flour I scoop can be two wildly different weights based on the type of flour, humidity, scooping method etc. So the best bet to achieve consistent results is by weighing all the ingredients. The easiest way is to place your mixing bowl on the scale and use the tare function on your scale to zero out or ignore the weight of the bowl. Then add the starter, again tare to zero out the weight, water, tare, and finally flour.

      I hope that’s helpful!

  7. Ally, I’m a long time sourdough baker but haven’t in a few years so I read through a number of your articles to refresh my methods. Thanks so much for them as they have been a great read. In reading through the comments, I notice what I remembered from other sources. People often seem to expect instant results, more especially when you introduce the commercial yeast. Perhaps you might give duration ranges and comment on how things always come around with patience. The best line I read written by you was about feeding your starter again if you don’t get the results you expected, that’s always a great suggestion.

    1. Ah I’m so glad to have helped jog your memory. It’s like riding a bike, if your bike had a lot of rules and needs, am I right?! haha! That’s a great idea, I will take some time to add a little note about timeframes and tempering expectations based on time!

    1. This starter uses commercial yeast to kickstart the sourdough starter process. Commercial yeast is developed to give consistent results within a consistent time frame – in this process, we are training that same yeast to behave how we want them to.

      We can argue semantics, but both store-bought yeast and sourdough starter use yeast to leaven bread. Is it a shortcut? Yes. Does it work? Also yes, I have been rocking the same starter for years now!

  8. Great starter recipe! The first day my starter was bubbling. I followed your directions for day two. Today is day three and I didn’t see any growth except hooch! I am weighing the ingredients, what am I doing wrong? Thanks

    1. You’re not doing anything wrong, sometimes starters are finicky at the beginning. If your starter is developing hooch within 24 hours, that means it’s active but going through its food too quickly. You can slow down the activity on your starter by feeding it with cold water or even placing it somewhere cooler. If there is a lot of hooch or a marked lack of rise, you can give it a double feed. Use 50g starter and 100g water with 100g flour, then set it aside for 24 hours. That should really fire it up. I find a double feed can be a good boost to a sluggish starter!

    1. Hi Catmk, I have not tried sourdough baking with gluten free flour, and I’m afraid that I would NOT be a good resource! So sorry :<

  9. Hello! I’m using this recipe for a school project (Thank you so much for the recipe, I really needed something quick an easy!), but I was wondering if I can use the discard to make an extra starter to give to my teacher?

    1. So happy you found it helpful! Yes, you can certainly use the discard to propagate a new starter! The easiest way would be to feed some of the discard in a separate container and then hand off the other container 🙂

  10. Hey there! I just started this sourdough starter recipe and with in the first couple of hours it has already risen 3x its size and fallen half its size. It also has some clear liquid (hooch I think) at the bottom of the jar. Could I have had it in too warm of a spot? What should I do slow down the rising time?
    Thanks!!

    1. Hey Shelby – sorry for the slow reply – we took our kids on a vacation!

      I’m sure you’re well past this spot in your starter journey, but to answer your question, yes, if you find your yeast is activating too quickly, you can slow it down in a cooler spot! When I leave my starter at room temp ~70 degrees, I feed it every 24 hours. Hope that helps!

  11. This cleared up a lot of questions I had. I’ve been reading so many different blogs and watching YouTube videos and was still confused. Thank you so much for just putting it simple straight forward.

  12. After the first 24 hours my starter didn’t really seem any bigger and got a hard shell over the whole thing? I had it in a bowl and had a towel around it. Did I do something wrong??

    1. Hey Morgan, I don’t think you did anything wrong! It’s hard to measure rise in a bowl, so I do recommend using a straight sided container for your starter, as for the shell, because the towel allows airflow, the top layer just dried out. You can peel off the top layer and salvage the stuff underneath – after the next feed, put a less porus cover over the starter. I like to use mason jars and rest the jar lid on top, or a deli take out container that’s not airtight and place the lid on top. It’s important that the cover isn’t airtight, but prevents some airflow. Hope that helps!

    2. @Ally, I had the same thing happen and I mixed the shell in. It absorbed right in and kept on trucking. Is there a caution about doing that often? Thanks I really enjoyed this tutorial and I agree with others about being confused before reading your explanation. I am on day 2 but I started mine before I found you. So no yeast but it a growing and bubbling way more than I expected for the first day. My suspicion is that there’s a lot of yeast in the air because I’ve been baking bread the past few days and resting it over night on the counter. Thanks for taking the time to explain this process!!

      1. Hi Tatum,

        No, I can’t see it being a problem to mix it in! It’s probably easier to just discard it, though – much harder to mix a semi solid blob lol. I’m glad you enjoyed the read <3 Keep me posted on your starter's progress - I'm interested to hear how it goes because I'm pretty sure you're right about the yeast rich environment you started it in!

  13. Hi, I have been trying to get a starter up and working. I will have bubbling after 24 hours but after the first feeding it does nothing and the bubbles do not return. I do get the liquid either on top or beneath and have tried pouring it off or mixing it in. What am I doing wrong?

    1. You’re not doing anything wrong! Sourdough starters are picky critters!

      So to clarify you’re feeding it every 24 hours and it’s not inflating or deflating at all? There’s no way that you could be missing the rise? or a slight rise? Are you marking the starter jar? Another way to know for sure is to mix it then transfer to a clean jar where the slide marks and rise would be very evident. What are you using as a container?

      I prefer a clear, straight sided sourdough starter jar, it makes it easier to see any rise, fall, and easier to clean.

      The next question is going to be what is the temperature in your kitchen? It’s summer here, so my kitchen is much warmer than usual, and if yours is too, then chances are your starter could be rising faster than you expect it to, and you could be missing the rise – for example if you’re feeding before work and not home for 3-6 hours after the feeding. IF it is really hot in your kitchen, the microbes are much more active and your starter may require more than one feeding a day – which could be very possible if you’re seeing hooch on your starter.

      What is the consistency of your starter? After you feed it it should be thick and sticky almost like peanut butter, when hungry it should be thinner and
      easier to handle. If that’s not the case, are you making sure to weigh your ingredients each time you feed the starter?

      That was a lot of questions, sorry, but it will make it easier to troubleshoot – we will get this figured out!

  14. If i make this 5pm wednesday and feed it 9am thursday will it be ready to use after around 3hrs?thanks

    1. Hey Saoirse, My guess is that it will be ready – you’ll just want to wait for it to at least double in volume before starting the bread. As the starter continues to age it will become stronger and your bread will improve!

  15. 5 stars
    I’m new to sourdough baking. I have been working with my starter for a few weeks and struggling with the thickness and odd activity consistency. This article helped me understand where I’ve been making mistakes (most importantly not using weight instead of volume) as I was measuring 1:1 by volume but leaning a little heavy on leaving starter (not discarding enough). Evidently, starving my starter. Thank you!

  16. Hi! I’m so glad I found this. I’ve been trying sourdough starter recipes and none of them were taking off! I did this one this morning and it doubled within hours and has now fallen. I just wanted to make sure that’s ok? Thanks!

    1. Hey Stephanie, you bet, this one rises and falls quickly because it’s reactiviating dried yeast, keep on with the feeding schedule as listed and you’ll be baking in no time!

  17. Hi Ally,
    Late morning, I started my starter and it has almost tripled in under 8 hours. If I want to make sourdough dinner rolls in two days (Thanksgiving), do I need to wait the 24 hrs before I separate the discard? Can I separate out 50 grams and feed it again sooner? Thank you.

    1. Hey Marilynn, if the starter has tripled and not deflated, you can use it as starter, if it has started to delfate, I’d feed it again before using it. You can feed it tonight and then again tomorrow morning before making your rolls (assuming you don’t want to stay awake for it to rise!) and you’ll be on your way!

  18. Hi. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I am super new and on day 6 of my starter. I have been saving the discard and decided I was ready to bake. So I re-fed the discard Ans now have a whole bunch of it but I’m unsure what to do with it. I had not looked at your recipes and now realize I have way too much! Good problem ti have I guess?

    Question is. What do I do with it all?? Toss or refrigerate again? Some people told me you cannot use discard till after day 10?? I’m so confused 😩. Thank you

    1. Sourdough has a steep learning curve, so don’t feel too bad about being confused. Generally, people recommend not to use discard until day 10 because by that point, the good yeasts and bacteria have overtaken the less desirable microbes, I used mine straight away because I used commercial yeast to kick start my starter wayyyy back when I started it a few years ago – I felt that it was properly inoculated and could be used safely – that’s a personal choice, though.

      I have had the problem of too much discard, so I wrote a couple articles on how to use discard and how to store discard. If you feel uneasy about using the discard in recipes, it’s best to get rid of it. Keep the discard from day 10 onwards and then you don’t have an ick! While your starter is a baby I recommend only keeping about 50g starter and feeding it 50g water/50g flour, or even less. You could even do 25g:25g:25g until its reliably doubling within 8-12 hours.

      Hope that helps!

    2. @Ally, thank you so much for your quick reply! I love how easy and simple your instructions are. But going down the rabbit hole of reading more to learn as I prepare to bake I got so confused. Makes sense. I started like you with commercial yeast (didn’t know you could do it any other way haha). I’m super excited to start baking some of your recipes!! 😊

      1. No problem at all!

        That rabbit hole is deep… and wide. HA! Every time I think I know everything there is to know, I get knocked back a peg or two. The one good thing with sourdough is that while the first few iterations may flop, it doesn’t mean they aren’t at least edible in some way – breadcrumbs, croutons, etc. My chickens have even gotten a few sideways loaves haha.

        My best advice is stick with it. It will click one day, and you’ll develop your own baking style and routine, it will be awesome. My same day sourdough recipe is a nice one because it doesn’t take 3 days. I am very into my rustic sourdough right now – it has whole wheat and uses an autolyse process, which isn’t complicated, but might be one to circle back to when you’re ready.

        Good luck and reach out if you need any help, I’ll get back to you!

  19. Thank you so much for your recipe and instructions, Been looking for awhile for a good starter recipe and I have found it, with clear How to do instructions. Thank you so much : )

  20. 5 stars
    This was a most excellent tutorial. The pictures of the process were fantastic. I can actually do this and will now start.