Sourdough Dutch Oven Bread (Vegan)

How to Feed Sourdough Starter

How to feed sourdough starter! This covers feeding and storing sourdough starter. If you still have questions after reading please email me at and I’d be happy to help you!

YouTube Video: How to Feed Sourdough Starter

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Keep on reading for written instructions 🙂

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Tools needed to feed sourdough starter:

  • Kitchen Scale (that weighs in grams)
  • Clean Glass Jar with loose lid *twice as big as your starter since it will rise.
  • Permanent Marker
  • Rubber Band
  • Spatula
  • Unbleached All Purpose flour (or any unbleached flour you like)
  • Filtered Room Temperature Water


Store starter with the lid sitting on top loosely so air can escape. Store on the counter if you plan to feed it daily and use it daily. Or you can feed it and then store it in the fridge for up to a week between feedings.

How to feed sourdough starter:

When you feed the starter, it will rise and double in size, producing lots of bubbles. When it’s at double its original size it’s “active” and ready to use. After awhile it will begin to fall back down the jar, once it’s returned to its original height, it’s hungry and ready to feed again.

  1. Get a new clean jar and weigh it in grams on your kitchen scale. Write this weight down on the lid. (This is helpful later if you want to know how much starter you have left.)
  2. Stir the starter in the old jar with a spatula, mixing it well.
  3. Tare out the kitchen scale to zero grams with the new jar on the scale. Now pour unfed starter from old jar into the new clean jar. Note how many grams of starter you added.
  4. Now set the starter to the side, tare scale, and set a clean cup to weigh water on scale. Weigh out equal grams of room temperature filtered water, add to starter and stir well.
  5. Now tare the scale again, add a clean cup to measure flour, tare the scale to zero, and weigh out equal parts of unbleached flour, add to starter and mix well.
  6. Use spatula to scrape down sides of jar and level the top of the starter flat.
  7. Place a rubber band around jar to mark the top of the starter.
  8. Now you can leave it out at room temperature to rise until doubled in height. Or you can place it in the fridge until you need it.

Feeding sourdough starter is generally done in ratios. I prefer to keep a 1:1:1 ratio, equal parts in grams of starter, water, and flour. So however many grams of starter you have, add the same amount of water and flour. For example if you added 50 grams of starter to the new jar, add 50 grams of water, then 50 grams of flour.

How to feed sourdough starter tips:

  • Adding the water first and stirring well makes it easier to add the flour.
  • Use filtered water, chlorine in water can harm the starter.
  • Use any mix of unbleached flour you like! Just make sure it’s unbleached as bleach can harm the starter.
  • Use a new clean jar every feeding. This helps keep your starter healthy and prevents anything from building up on the side of your jars.
  • Always cover jar with a loose fitting lid, so air can escape, but dust and other things floating in the air cannot get in!

Using starter:

If you will use starter within the next 4-12 hours after feeding, leave it out to rise at room temperature until doubled in size and bubbly. If you are not using it right away put it in the fridge. How fast it rises will depend on the temperature and humidity in the room, if it’s colder it will rise slower.


The cold of the fridge slows down the yeast, making them eat slower. When you take the jar back out of the fridge the starter will warm up and become active again. Depending on how long ago your last feeding was, sometimes it will rise on its own without feeding when you take it out of the fridge, if it’s been in there a long time and already eaten all of it’s food, it will not rise until fed. You’ll get to know this as you work with it over time!


Discard is the unfed starter leftover after a feeding. If you fed the whole jar every time it would quickly become too large. Use the leftover “discard” starter to make discard recipes like sourdough pancakes, cookies, and crackers. Or if you prefer a no-waste method, just keep only enough starter to make what you need for recipes and reserve a small amount to save for next time.


Sometimes a grey see through liquid will begin to collect on the top of the sourdough starter called “hooch”. If you notice this carefully pour the hooch out of the jar, then stir the starter and feed immediately. This is a sign the starter is very hungry! Don’t worry this is totally normal and it’s a byproduct of the yeast metabolism!

If you have any questions about caring for your starter please email me at I’m happy to help!

Want to learn how to feed sourdough starter in-person!? Check out the shop for upcoming sourdough workshops!

how to feed sourdough starter

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