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Sourdough Starter in 6 days

Closeup of a sourdough loaf made with yogurt starter

With yeast being a little difficult to find at the moment (during Covid-19 lockdown), we thought we’d have a go at making a new (and unusual) quick sourdough starter. If you love making sourdough bread, but your sourdough starter is no more, you might be interested in this…

What if you could have a new sourdough starter up and running in just 6 days? This starter is still weak but it matures way faster than your usual flour and water kind. Why you ask? keep reading.

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Sliced white bread sourdough loaf.

I was looking through some old pastry chef notes from years ago and I found something that I hadn’t tried, but thought sounded interesting at the time. Using yoghurt to build a sourdough starter. Yep, you heard me.

Round wholemeal sourdough on baking paper.

I make my own yoghurt and a lot of my students do too because they’ve done one of my courses or they’ve seen this post. For this starter, use real yoghurt that’s been made with a yoghurt strain, not yoghurt that is made with a probiotic capsule. Or purchase a plain or greek pot set yoghurt. Nothing with flavours in it.

So if you’ve made sourdough before. and you want to get a starter up and running fast, then try this method for a yoghurt sourdough bread starter. You can use it with any sourdough recipe.

Close up of a freshly baked sourdough loaf

Bec’s Yoghurt Sourdough Starter

4 from 2 votes

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This is a quick and easy way to get a sourdough start up and running.
Prep Time 6 days
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 6 days
Difficulty Easy
Course Bread
Cuisine Various
Servings 1
Method Conventional


  • 1 litre jar


  • 20 g skim milk powder
  • 160 g cool boiled water I just grab it from the jug
  • 80 g Pot set yoghurt No flavour/No sugar
  • 500 g bakers flour I prefer T55 or Euro but any good quality Bakers will be fine


  • Day 1
    Sterilise your 1 litre jar. I do this by washing and rinsing really well. Dry the outside with a t-towel and pop it in the microwave. set it for 5 seconds. Yep with nothing in it but the little bit of water that remains from rinsing.
  • Weigh the yoghurt and milk powder into the jar and mix well to combine. Then weigh in the water and mix again.
  • Pop the lid on the jar and sit it in a bowl. Pour enough hot tap water in the bowl for the water to come up to the same mark as the liquid inside. We don't want boiling water here, just hot enough to gently warm the liquid inside to start the process. Now set this aside in a warm place for 24 hours
    Jar of sourdough yoghurt starter sitting in a bowl of water
  • Day two
    You may notice that the liquid inside has separated a little, don’t worry, it's fine. Remove thelid and weigh in 120 g bakers flour and mix well with a fork.  I use a fork because you want to try and create some air bubbles if you can.  I also chose a fork that will fit inside my jar with the lid on. Lazy I know. 😉 Now set the jar aside in a warm place for 2 whole days.
  • Day four
    Remove the lid and weigh in more flour 135g and cool boiled water 135g, mix again with the fork. Leave until tomorrow
  • Day five
    This is the first time and only time you should need to throw some starter out. It's only because we need to fit more in the jar. (You could add it to another jar and have two going I suppose or use it in pancakes or the like ;-))
    You should now be seeing signs of life, loads of tiny bubbles throughout your starter.
    Remove 1/2 the starter from the jar and weigh in another 130 g flour and 130 g water and mix.
    set aside until tomorrow.
  • Day six
    Today's the day you can make your first loaf. Go on what are you waiting for. 😉
    oh, you want a recipe?


When you first create a sourdough starter, it may be weak and take up to a month to gain strength. However, a yoghurt starter develops faster because it adds the culture that a sourdough naturally develops over time.
The longer you have your starter, the stronger it will become. BUT, If you find that your starter is still weak, you can add a very small pinch of dry yeast to your bread recipe to help it along. But remember, do not add it to your starter.
Adding it to your first couple of loaves will also help you because the technique of making sourdough has to be learned as well.

I use this starter now with the overnight sourdough method I’ve shared in my new Easy Overnight Sourdough Course. This is a method I’ve developed so I can have sourdough bread every day if I choose. It’s that simple.

Sliced sourdough bread showing the holes formed by the expanding gases during fermentation.

My wonderful Bake Club and sourdough students inspired me to develop this new method. I asked a few of them “What would be important to you when making Sourdough bread” They came back with a list of wants and needs.

Here are the main points

  • Easy
  • Have less discard and don’t have to keep so much in the jar
  • Can I make my bread without kneading?
  • Easy feeding instructions that don’t require daily attendance
  • Less mess
  • Be able to make it on days I have to work
  • I’d rather it make itself while I was asleep. (very funny Angela. Got ya. LOL)

I loved working on this. I want to thank Angela, Sally, Christine, Anne-Marie and Wayne for being my editors, method testers and taste testers. Adapting a bakery method into a method that can be made on a small scale was fun.

Want to know more?

I’ve got another recipe on my site that uses sourdough or a poolish that you can make really quickly. French baguettes. I don’t consider it a proper sourdough because it hasn’t had the lengthy fermenting process. But they’re so good and easy to make.

Thermomix and Stand mixer French Baguettes

Or, maybe you’d like to know more about Bake Club Online?

What is Bake Club Online?

Happy Baking…….


  1. Hi, I was planning on giving this a go I have full cream milk powder will it matter or do I need to switch it for skim.

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