Quick Set Sourdough Starter Recipe

Sourdough was always a staple on a chuck wagon, and we still use it today on our wagon. The problem I found with traditional sourdough is that it is pretty high maintenance. You have to feed it, stir it, read it a bedtime story. You can’t even go on vacation without making sure someone can babysit the dog and the starter.

I altered my grandmother’s recipe for sourdough starter to make it easier and low maintenance. This starter recipe you don’t have to constantly feed and it’s ready in just 12 to 24 hours! Since it’s so quick to make, I usually keep it a week and a time and throw it out. Or just make it for one recipe and throw it out and make another only when you need it. You don’t have to keep this starter constantly going. I keep it 5 – 7 days and then start a new batch.

Quick Sourdough Starter


  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large 1 Russet potato peeled and quartered


  • Whisk the water and yeast together in a crock jar that is at least 1 gallon. You can also use the ceramic insert from a crock pot if you don’t have a jar. Just don’t store in metal!
  • Mix in the sugar and let set a couple minutes. 
  • Stir in flour. The consistency should be just slightly thinner than a pancake batter. Adjust your water or flour if needed to reach desired consistency.
  • Drop in the potato. Cover with a cup towel. Stir about 6 hours in. The starter is ready to use in 12 hours, but I like to let it set about 24 hours before using for a more traditional sourdough flavor.


Do not refrigerate the starter. Let it set on the counter covered with a towel.
Stir once a day when not using.
We keep the starter about 5 -7 days. You can keep as long as the potato stay intact.
You only need to recharge the starter if you'll be using it again and need more batter. To do so when 3 cups have been removed: Replace with:1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups warm water and 2 tablespoons sugar. Whisk and it's ready to use again or cover and let set another 6 -12 hours for a more sour/tart flavor.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!