Potato Sourdough Starter

Potato Sourdough Starter Recipe

The Spruce / Loren Runion

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Rest Time: 24 hrs
Total: 24 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
158 Calories
0g Fat
35g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 158
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1203mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 375mg 8%
*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 of active dry yeast.


  • 3 medium potatoes

  • 4 cups water

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or one 0.25-ounce packet)

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 1 cup bread flour

  • 1/3 cup white sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Potato Sourdough Starter ingredients

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  2. Peel and cube the potatoes.

    peeled and cubed potatoes in a bowl

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  3. In a large pot, boil the potatoes in 4 cups of water until soft, about 30 minutes.

    potatoes boiling in a pot

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

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

    boiled potatoes in a colander

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

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

    mashed potatoes in a pot

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

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

    potatoes and potato water mixed together in a white bowl

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  7. Stir in the yeast and warm water. Then mix in the bread flour, sugar, and salt.

    potatoes with yeast and warm water

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

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

    towel covering the potato yeast mixture

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  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. Enjoy.

    Potato Sourdough Starter in a jar

    The Spruce / Loren Runion


  • 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.
  • You can also store in large plastic containers in the refrigerator.

Recipe Tags: