One-Shot Sourdough Starter

sourdough starter close-up

A no-fuss, no-maintenance starter can liberate the 9-Grains baker. There's no feeding schedule to keep track of, no commitment to a single flavor, no big deal if the flavor isn't quite what you wanted, no need to discard the leftovers. This recipe is as simple as it gets - a vigorous great-tasting, true sourdough starter made with just flour and water and ready in three days.


7 - 15 Tablespoons brown rice (or other) flour (see note)


The three-day schedule, using 7 Tablespoons of flour, will produce an active starter sufficient in size to make a moderately tart one-pound sourdough loaf. If a sharper flavor is desired, follow the optional 4-day, 15-Tablespoon instructions. Any other flour (except oats) can be substituted. (Most oats have been heat-treated before milling, a process that makes it difficult to grow sourdough on them.)


1) Place 1 tablespoon brown rice flour and 2 teaspoons water in a small plastic bowl with a lid. Stir well and loosely attach the lid. Set in a warm dry place.

2) 24 hours later, add 2 Tablespoons flour and 1 1'2 Tablespoons water to the mixture, stir, re-attach the lid, and replace. 

3) 24 hours later, add 4 Tablespoons brown rice flour and 3 Tablespoons water, stir and replace the lid,

4) After Day 3 the starter should be ready. It may have formed a dome and then collapsed, or it may still be domed (both are good signs). It is now ready for immediate use or it can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two. Alternatively, you can make a 4-day starter by adding an additional 8 Tablespoons flour and 6 Tablespoons water, stirring, and allowing it to sit another 24 hours.