Sourdough Starter Recipe

(1 rating)

(Image credit: Future Publishing)
  • Dairy-free
  • Low-fat
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
Preparation Time1 hours plus 5 days resting
Total Time1 hours plus 5 days resting
Cost RangeCheap

Make your own sourdough starter for home bread baking with our simple recipe

Making a sourdough starter is a way of creating a living wild yeast. You will need it to make our sourdough bread recipe. It is the ingredient that will cause your bread to rise and it is what gives sourdough its unique ‘sour’ flavour. This is a relatively quick starter to make compared with many methods. We favour this recipe as it’s both quicker and less wasteful.

Your starter will improve with age. As it gets older the flavour will develop, and the more that you feed it the more active it will become. We use Marriage's dark wholemeal rye flour. We have found that it works faster than white bread flour and will give your bread a darker colour. For consistent results ‘feed’ the starter at roughly the same time each day.

Remember, it does take time but it's much healthier than shop-bought bread. Even if it's spread with butter and one of our jams made from our jam recipe collection.


  • 200g Marriage’s Dark Rye Wholemeal Flour

You will need:

  • 1 litre container with a lid


  1. DAY 1 In the container, mix 100g rye flour with 100ml water to make the starter. Loosely place the lid on top and leave at room temperature.
  2. DAYS2-4 Each day, feed the starter at around the same time, by mixing in 10ml water and 10g rye flour. Leave at room temperature with the lid placed on top. It will begin to bubble and grow.
  3. DAY 5 The night before, or at least eight hours prior to making the bread, feed the starter with 70ml water and 70g rye our. Leave at room temperature. ✣ Don’t throw away the remainder; keep it in the fridge. While you’re not using the starter, feed it 10g rye flour and 10ml water every couple of weeks. Before using to make bread again, just repeat the Day 5 feed. You will be able to see if your starter is active, as it will grow and bubble. If you find that the starter is not very active, then simply repeat the Day 5 feed again. If your starter changes colour or grows mould, you may need to start again.
Top Tip for making Sourdough Starter

You could also try making this with plain white bread flour

Rose Fooks

Rose Fooks is the Deputy Food Editor at woman&home. Rose completed a degree in Art at Goldsmiths University before beginning her career in the restaurant industry as a commis chef at The Delaunay in 2015. She then worked at Zedel and went on to become part of the team that opened Islington’s popular Bellanger restaurant. 

To hone her patissier skills, Rose joined the Diplome de Patisserie and Culinary Management course at Le Cordon Bleu. She ran a food market in Islington and cooked for a catering company that used only surplus food to supply events, before finding her way into publishing and food styling.