Foolproof Sourdough Starter Recipe - (2024)


Submitted by PaulaG

"This was found at and trust me works like a charm. Within 4 days I had the most active starter with a wonderful sour ordor. I made this starter on my counter top. After several feedings it continues to improve in flavor."


Foolproof Sourdough Starter Recipe - (2) Foolproof Sourdough Starter Recipe - (3)

photo by Anonymous Foolproof Sourdough Starter Recipe - (4)

Foolproof Sourdough Starter Recipe - (5) Foolproof Sourdough Starter Recipe - (6)

Ready In:
72hrs 10mins





  • 12 cup plain yogurt
  • 12 cup milk (skim, regular or buttermilk)
  • 12 cup unbleached flour



  • Mix the milk and yogurt together in a glass or pottery container (Do not use metal).
  • Place lid on it, but don't seal it (sealed starters have been known to explode).
  • Put mixture in a warm place (80 to 90 degrees) for about 24 hours.
  • The yogurt and milk will separate forming a large curd, when adding the flour just stir it all back together.
  • Add the flour stir, and put back in warm place for 3 to 5 days; stirring daily.
  • It will bubble and have the odor of fermentation--it is ready to use.
  • Remember the starter is a living thing and needs to be fed and fed frequently when an infant.
  • I feed the "infant" weekly by placing it on the counter for several hours and allowing it to come to room temperature.
  • Then remove 1/2 cup starter, discarding the remainder.
  • Feed the 1/2 cup with equal amounts of milk (buttermilk will produce a stronger sour taste) and unbleached flour; i.e. 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk plus 1/2 cup of starter.
  • If you would like, you can feed the starter with 1/3 cup dry milk powder and 2/3 cup bottled water in place of the 1 cup milk.

Questions & Replies

Foolproof Sourdough Starter Recipe - (7)

  1. What do you recommend for those who do not naturally have a place to put the mix at 80 or 90 degrees? Would "proofing" it in the oven with water each of the 3 to 5 days be okay?

    Barbie E.

  2. Am I correct in assuming that after the initial 5-7 days the starter is put in the fridge then taken out weekly and left on counter 2 hours and is then fed?


  3. I am so glad I stumbled upon this site and I want to thank Paula G.! I've never made sourdough bread before but I have baked a lot of other breads. Instead of yogurt I want to begin my journey using plain kefir (Lifeway Kefir is readily available at my store) because it contains 12 live and active probiotic cultures instead of one. Wish me luck, and I will post my results (only if they are successful, of course!)


  4. Its been 5 days since I followed the recipe. But I do not see any difference from day2. Is the starter suppose to double in volume at a certain stage? Thanks!


  5. Hi ! Thank you for this, I just killed my first sourdough like a fool.. I needed this recipe ! :) is it possible to feed it with water instead of milk? thank you


see 19 more questions



  1. I am throwing in the towel on this; I have made the starter 4 times and it is not working out for me; it either does not develop or it goes mouldy before I get to the point of fermentation. I have tried different bowl and different temperatures. I picked the recipe because it read 'foolproof'. I have tried to make startes before without success; but I guess I have to admit that I am a real fool when it comes to starters. I will keep trying because it irritates me that I can't make it work. I bake quite a bit of bread and really should know how to get this done.


  2. If you are having problems with this starter, then it is probably one of these things . . .<br/><br/>1. Not live yoghurt culture - MUST be live, plain yoghurt.<br/><br/>2. Bleached flour - the things used to bleach flour (bromine or iodine - both used to disinfect!) kill the bacteria.<br/><br/>3. Too cold? Keep that puppy warm.


  3. This stuff is great and I made a double batch. Because I'm in freezing cold Michigan I set it on a heating pad set to 80 degrees and loosely wrapped in a kitchen towel. I made ~Nimz~ Rustic Country Sourdough Bread Recipe #157517 with it on the 7th day and it was fabulous! Thanks Paula for posting this!


  4. THIS IS THE ONE! EASY! EASY! EASY! For years I have tried to make a sourdough starter and they always failed. Not only is this starter easy, it is VERY STABLE. I have yet to put her into the fridge. She is loving staying out on the countertop. I made a very successful Sourdough Bread Machine loaf. #47089 I highly recommend! Very easy. Nice suttle sour taste. I LOVE EASY! : ) I have fed my baby with milk and flour but think I might try feeding her with buttermilk and rye or wheat flour. We love the sour taste. I can hardly wait to make pancakes! THIS IS A KEEPER! Thanks Paula!


  5. Excellent sour dough starter!! During my lifetime, I have made a lot of starters and this one is by far the best. It made the best tasting bread. Thank you for a great recipe.

    Hooterville Cook

see 12 more reviews




Hixson, Tennessee

  • 770 Recipes
  • 242 Tweaks

I came to this site in March of 2004. It was then called Recipezaar. This site was the first on-line site that I ever joined. I first popped in 2003 while searching for a Peach Cobbler Recipe. In March of 2004, DH was having shoulder surgery and I was looking for a Split Pea Soup. Once again I found myself on Zaar as it came to be called.Over the years I hung out and learned from some of the best home cooks in the country, I posted over 700 recipes on the site, reviewed over 3500 recipes and posted over 3000 food photos. Over the next 10 years the site made many changes and in 2010 it was sold to to Food Network and became Until last year we played games, talked and shared with one another. As a result of the community and the relationships I built I got to meet some wonderful people from all over the country. I also have a great number of friends that I have never meet face to face. Some of us still hang out at various places across the net. Zaar was more than a cooking community. It was an internet community of friendship. Life is an adventure ever changing.

View Full Profile





Sourdough Bread Starter

by Bergy


Sourdough Starter

by KimmieOH


Wild Yeast Sourdough Starter

by Donna M.


Sourdough Starter and Sourdough Rye Bread

by Sharon123


View All Recipes

Foolproof Sourdough Starter Recipe  - (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rob Wisoky

Last Updated:

Views: 6581

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rob Wisoky

Birthday: 1994-09-30

Address: 5789 Michel Vista, West Domenic, OR 80464-9452

Phone: +97313824072371

Job: Education Orchestrator

Hobby: Lockpicking, Crocheting, Baton twirling, Video gaming, Jogging, Whittling, Model building

Introduction: My name is Rob Wisoky, I am a smiling, helpful, encouraging, zealous, energetic, faithful, fantastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.