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How to Activate Sourdough Starter

Make delicious sourdough bread and other baked goods at home using an established sourdough starter. It's so easy!

Before You Begin

Our sourdough starters are sold in a dehydrated state so that they are shelf-stable and safe for shipping. Store the dehydrated culture in a cool, dry place until ready to activate.

NOTE: Since this video was produced, there have been slight changes to the instructions on activating a sourdough starter. Please follow the instructions included with your sourdough starter for best results.

Gluten-free Brown Rice Sourdough Starter requires slightly different ingredient ratios and feeding schedules. Please refer to the instructions included with your sourdough starter for best results.



Activating the Sourdough Starter

Equipment Needed for Activating a Sourdough Starter:

  • Quart-size glass jar
  • Non-metal stirring utensil
  • Tight-weave cloth or paper coffee filter 
  • Rubber band to secure the cover to the jar

Ingredients for Activating a Sourdough Starter

  • 1 packet dehydrated sourdough starter
  • Unchlorinated, unfluoridated water
  • Appropriate flour for your sourdough starter (check enclosed instructions)


  1. Pour the entire contents of the packet into a clean one-quart glass jar.
  2. Add ¼ cup room temperature water and mix well. 
  3. Add ¼ cup flour and stir vigorously. Be sure to incorporate a significant amount of air into the mixture.
  4. Cover with a tight-weave towel or coffee filter, secured with a rubber band.
  5. Place jar in a warm area, 70°-85°F, for 12-18 hours.
  6. After 12-18 hours, feed the starter: Mix in ½ cup water and scant ½ cup flour. Stir vigorously.
  7. Cover as in step 4 and return to the warm spot for 12 hours.
  8. After 12 hours, discard all but ½ cup starter mixture. 
  9. Mix in ½ cup water and a scant 1 cup flour. Stir vigorously and cover.
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 every 12 hours, until mixture becomes light and bubbly, typically 3 to 7 days.
  11. Once the starter is bubbling reliably within a few hours of being fed, feed for 2 more cycles. The starter is now activated.


What to Do With Activated Sourdough Starter

Once your sourdough starter is active and bubbly for 3 consecutive feedings, you have a few choices. You may:

  1. Prepare fresh starter for baking
  2. Maintain starter daily at room temperature
  3. Maintain starter weekly in the refrigerator.




Sourdough Starter Culture

Sourdough Starter Culture

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Wild Bread Wild Bread

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