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Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter

Make your own whole wheat sourdough starter with this easy recipe. Then get ready for some fun baking adventures!
Yield 1 sourdough starter



  • 2 cups warm water (110-115°F)
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


  • In a 4-quart nonmetallic container, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand 5 minutes. Add whole wheat flour and sugar. Stir until blended. The mixture will be thick; any remaining lumps will dissolve during the fermentation process.
  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand in warm place for 5 days, stirring 2 to 3 times each day. The starter will rise and fall during the fermentation period; it becomes thinner as it stands. A temperature of 80° to 85°F is best for developing the sour flavor.
  • When the starter is developed, it is bubbly and may have a yellow liquid layer on top; stir starter before using. The starter can now be used for baking or placed in the refrigerator for later use.
  • To use the starter, measure out desired amount as specified in the recipe. Let refrigerated starter come to room temperature before using; this will take about 4 hours.
  • Replenish remaining starter with 3 parts whole wheat flour to 2 parts water and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir until blended, some lumps may remain. Cover loosely and let stand in warm place for 10 to 12 hours or overnight. The starter will rise and become bubbly. Stir and store in refrigerator.
  • If the starter is not used every week, stir in 1 teaspoon sugar to keep it active.

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Review & Comments

Yogirider | Reply

5 stars
Also, can I use this WW starter for any recipe calling for starter? I’ve never had or baked with WW starter but would like to get away from white flour totally. Thanks so much!

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Yogirider – Yes, you can use this starter with any sourdough recipe.

Happy baking!

Yogirider | Reply

5 stars
I would like to switch to a WW starter but the amount of flour and ingredients seem like a lot compared to the half cup of so I feed my AP flour and water starter with. Is there a reason to start with so much volume?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Yogirider,

It was developed to use up a full packet of yeast. You could certainly cut this in half!

Happy Baking!

Jodi Inman | Reply

This sees really really thick. Maybe I need more water? Or will it create liquid as the days go by?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Jodi – The mixture starts out with a thicker consistency, and will become thinner over the first 5 days.
Happy baking!

Penny Heying | Reply

With the sourdough starter can you give me an example of what it means to add three parts flour to two parts water after using some of the starter so that I can keep the starter going?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Penny – Here’s an example: if you use 1 cup of starter for a recipe, then you replace it with 1 cup flour, 2/3 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of sugar. The flour amount is the same amount as starter that you removed; the water is 2/3 of the flour amount. Once it’s been replenished, allow it to sit at RT for about 12 hours for the yeast to become active again before it’s refrigerated.
Happy baking!

Patricia A Bufford | Reply

What is the minamin temperature you can store your sour dough during the 5 day process. I don’t have an area of 80-85F.

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Patricia – cooler temperatures are ok, it just may take a bit longer for the starter to get going. Try placing it near a sunny window or on top of the refrigerator for added warmth.
Happy baking!

Susie Clark | Reply

I purchased your platinum instant sourdough .63 oz at the grocery store. In what way can I substitute this product in the whole wheat sandwich bread recipe on this site? Thanks!

Red Star Yeast |

Hi Susie – Use one full packet of Platinum Instant Sourdough in place of one packet (1/4oz) of yeast in the recipe. More information on this product can be found here.
Happy baking!

gertrude buarkart | Reply

I have used your sour dough starter and need to know if I made the starter on Monday, is it ready to use on Friday ?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Gertrude,
Yes, your starter should be ready after 5 days?
Happy baking!

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