How to Make Sourdough Starter

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This sourdough starter recipe is simple to follow and maintenance is easy plus it is ready to go in just seven days!

Glass jar with bubbling sourdough starter in it covered by a leaf covered napkin and a text overlay.

So I did it.  I jumped on the sourdough bandwagon.  For years I’ve seen pictures of sourdough recipes and the starters that people have had for months, years, or even tens of years.  I thought it was a little crazy but I also thought it was a pretty cool idea.

I looked through a lot of recipes before deciding on one by King Arthur Flour.  The reason I chose this one is because it was easy to follow and it was ready to use in just 7 days.   They also have a ton of sourdough discard recipes on their site which was helpful when I didn’t want to throw away the discard.

I grabbed a clean mason jar to house my starter and I read through How to Make Sourdough Starter.   It basically starts with flour and water that you “feed” once a day and then move to twice a day once it starts becoming active. It’s recommended that at least initially you partially use whole grain flour because it creates a better environment.

Day one I mixed my ingredients together, put them in the jar, and put a napkin held in place by a rubber band on top.   The next day I ran to see it only to find out that not much happened.  I followed the day 2 directions and set my starter aside.   The next morning I woke up and it was bubbling!  My starter was alive!

Glass jar with the beginning of water and flour mixture rolled in a ball.

This created a new set of problems.  Now that my starter was officially alive I needed to name it.   All day long I tried out a variety of names but I didn’t like any of them.   Late that night I came up with the one that would stick.  I’d like the world to meet Virgil Flours.

Why Virgil Flours?    He’s named after a detective in a series of books I read name Virgil Flowers.  It’s a little play on words and I thought it was the perfect name because every time someone in the book finds out who the detective is they have a catch phrase that I can’t repeat here.  Let’s just say it’s perfect for when my Virgil is acting up and not cooperating like I want him too.

After about five days I was able to start using my discard in recipes.   I made sourdough muffins, sourdough English Muffins, and sourdough pizza crust.   All three came out really well and I found that this wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it was to keep Virgil alive!  

My husband and I have also been having fun talking to Virgil Flours and letting him help us bake once a week.  I’m so glad I started a sourdough starter and I can’t wait to continue baking with him!

Glass jar with bubbling sourdough starter and a fall napkin covering the top

How to Make Sourdough Starter

An easy way to start your own sourdough starter so you can bake anytime you want!
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Prep Time: 7 days
Total Time: 7 days
Servings: 1 sourdough starter
Author: Hezzi-D


To start your starter:

  • 1 c. flour I used half all purpose, half whole wheat
  • 1/2 c. water

For each feeding:

  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. water


  • Day 1: Combine flour and cool water in a bowl. Mix well. Put in a non-reactive container for 24 hours (glass, stainless steel, or crockery). You should use a container that holds at least 1 quart.
  • Cover the container loosely and let sit at a warm room temperature for 24 hours. I used a paper towel held by a rubber band.
  • Day 2: You might not see any activity the first 24 hours. That's ok! Discard half the start (about half a cup). Add 1 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup cool water to the remaining starter. Mix well then put in the container.
  • Cover loosely and let sit for 24 hours.
  • Day 3: By now you should start to see some activity. There should be bubbling and a fruity aroma. You now need to start feeding your starter two times per day.
  • For each feeding weigh out 113 grams of starter (or about 1/2 cup). You can discard any remaining starter.
  • Mix 113 grams of flour ( about 1 cup) and 1/2 cup (113 grams) of water to the remaining starter. Mix them together then put in the container. Cover loosely and let sit for 12 hours. Repeat after 12 hours.
  • Day 4: Weigh out 113 grams of starter (or 1/2 cup) and discard the remaining starter. Repeat steps 6 and 7.
  • Day 5: Weigh out 113 grams of starter (or 1/2 cup ) and discard the remaining starter or use in a sourdough discard recipe. Then repeat steps 6 and 7.
  • By this point your starter should be good and bubbly. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for days 6 and 7.
  • Once the starter is ready, give it one last feeding. Discard all but 113 grams (1/2 cup). Feed 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup water. Mix well and cover. Allow to sit at room temperature for 6-8 hours. It should be active and bubbly.
  • Remove any starter you need for a recipe (no more than 1 cup).
  • Transfer the remaining 113 grams of starter (1/2 cup) to its permanant home. Feed it 1 cup of flour (113 grams) plus 1/2 cup of water (113 grams). Let it rest at room termperature for 4 hours before covering. Cover loosely and store in the refrigerator.
  • Feed the starter once a week. Discard all but 113 grams (1/2 cup) and feed it 1 cup flour (113 grams) and 1/2 water (113 grams). Let it sit for 4 hours then refrigerate again.


Glass jar with bubbling sourdough starter and a fall napkin covering the top

Other Recipes Using Sourdough Starter:

Vegan Sourdough Banana Bread from The Roasted Root

A loaf of vegan banana bread with two slices following down

No Knead Sourdough Bread from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Stacked slices of sourdough bread on a bread board

Sourdough Onion Rings from Eat the Love

A sheet pan piled with sourdough onion rings.

Sourdough Hummingbird Muffins

Four sourdough hummingbird muffins on a yellow placemat

Sourdough Crackers with Gruyere from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

A bowl filled with sourdough crackers

Sourdough Banana Bread from Eat the Love

A loaf of Sourdough Banana Bread with a bowl of chocolate chips on the side.


  1. Having my sourdough starter pre-quarantine was super helpful when all the bread disappeared! It’s so fun to watch it bubble and grow. Even better to turn it into delicious things!

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