Potato Sourdough Starter

Sourdough starter

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 24 hrs 25 mins
  • Prep: 24 hrs
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Resting: 23 hrs
  • Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
119 Calories
2g Fat
24g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 119
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1492mg 65%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 2g
Calcium 45mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Potato sourdough starter produces a milder sourdough bread than the stronger rye or wheat starters. This starter is also inexpensive to make, using only three medium potatoes. The bread flour can be replaced with all-purpose, wheat, or rye flour, making it a flexible recipe that can be pulled together easily. What’s best about this ​potato sourdough starter is that you restart it every two weeks, preventing the yeast from becoming too sour; you can also restart the starter from scratch or by using a cup of the original starter.

When making sourdough bread, remember that 1 cup of potato sourdough starter can be used in place of 1 package active dry yeast.


  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Peel and cube the potatoes.

  3. Boil in the 4 cups of water until soft, about 30 minutes.

  4. Set a colander over a large bowl and drain the potatoes. You’ll be using both the potato water and the potatoes in the starter, so be sure to reserve the potato water.

  5. Return the potatoes to the pot and mash using a potato masher or immersion blender.

  6. Add the mashed potatoes to the potato liquid. Stir and set aside to cool until lukewarm.

  7. Stir in the yeast and warm water. Mix in the remaining ingredients.

  8. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it sit for 24 hours at room temperature.

  9. Pour the starter into a large jar or 2 smaller jars, cover, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use in your favorite sourdough bread recipe. You can also store in large plastic containers in the refrigerator.


  • Use the starter in sourdough recipes within two weeks. At the end of two weeks, make a new starter from scratch, or follow the starter directions, replacing the dry yeast with 1 cup of leftover starter.

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