How To Convert Any Recipe To Sourdough (2024)

Learn how to convert any recipe to sourdough with a few easy tricks. Eating healthy fermented grains doesn’t have to be challenging. Just use this simple process to convert your favorite recipes to sourdough.

How To Convert Any Recipe To Sourdough (1)

If I had a food love language, I’m sure it would be sourdough. And by this point, you’ve all figured this out.

It’s been a 10-year love affair with this healthy, ancient way of eating grains. Once converted, it is truly hard to go back. Our family is never going back.

Honestly though, sourdough doesn’t have the best reputation. People have a misconception that sourdough is difficult and takes a long time.

You might be imagining yourself spending several hours a day kneading dough, or even hunkered over your bread bowl with your sourdough instructions, trying to troubleshoot your dough like a bad chemist.

That is just not the case. Sourdough has simplified meal making and food prep dramatically for our family.

Converting a recipe is actually quite simple. You may have to tweak it a bit, but it is really worth it. Between the health benefit of easier digestion and the greater depth of flavor, you’ll be thankful you made the switch.

There are multiple factors when considering converting a recipe to sourdough. Consider the type of recipe, how much liquid and flour, and whether or not another leavener may be added.

Why would you want to convert a recipe to sourdough?

  • Flavor:Sourdough adds a delicious tang and complexity to grain products. From savory to sweet, the dimension added can’t compare with regular wheat products. Once you switch to eating traditionally fermented grains, regular grains seem sub-par and lacking flavor.
  • Health: Switching to grains fermented with sourdough starter reduces the amount of phytic acid present in the grains, and allows the nutrients (like folate) to become more bio-available. Your body then can more easily absorb these nutrients.
  • Digestibility:Fermented grains actually contain less gluten than unfermented. The good bacteria and yeast help break down the gluten, making it easier for your body to digest. Those who have difficulty digesting grains may be able to tolerate long-fermented sourdough products. Those with celiac disease still should avoid any glutinous grains, even fermented ones.

How To Convert Any Recipe To Sourdough:

How To Convert Any Recipe To Sourdough (3)

Yeast Recipes:

When I started my sourdough journey, I took the yeast bread recipe I had been using and adjusted to work with sourdough.

So, I know it is possible to take your favorite yeast bread recipe and make it using the wild yeast from sourdough starter instead!

If you’d like to do this with any of your go-to recipes, there are three basic rules I follow.

  1. Swap out one packet of yeast for a half cup of starter.
  2. Reduce the liquid by ⅓ cup + one tablespoon and reduce the flour by ⅓ cup + one tablespoon.
  3. Increase rise time, usually double.

Want to know how I came up with this super scientific recipe conversion? I simply added ⅓ cup + one tablespoon of flour and water to a bowl, and measured it. This combination equals exactly a half cup of “sourdough starter”, so we are simply adding the starter to the recipe and taking the liquid and flour volume back out.

You can use this same process to work with your own conversions for different types of flours and recipes.

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Non-Yeast Recipes:

There are many quick-bread recipes that work well when converted to sourdough, likepancakes,crepes,muffins, and other quick breads (hello,banana bread).

Now this can be a little trickier since many non-yeast recipes (like cookies, quick breads, etc) don’t contain a lot of liquid. For recipes like this, I would suggest adding a half a cup of sourdough starter, and possibly increasing the amount of flour a bit.

I say possibly because you may be able to get away with adding 1/2 cup of starter and not having to do any else differently to the recipe.

For other recipes, you could possibly reduce the amount of oil added while also adding more flour. I would suggest trying 1/3 cup for both.

Honestly, this conversion works best for yeast breads, but can be done with others as well. If all else fails, I have just about every sourdough recipe you could think of on the blog.

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The hydration of your starter matters when making these adjustments!

The conversion example above is based on a sourdough starter fed at 100% hydration. I feed my starter equal parts flour and water.

The amount of flour and water used is based on the amount of starter I already have. But the ratio of flour to water never changes.

If you feed your starter a different ratio of flour to water, your recipes will need to be adjusted accordingly.

You can also use sourdough starter in your quick bread recipes as well!

The basic principle given previously still works here: add starter, reduce flour and water to equal the volume of the starter added. ½ cup starter at 100% hydration = ⅓ cup + one tablespoon of flour and water.

Try Some Of Our Favorite Recipes

  • Sourdough Brownies
  • Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
  • Sourdough Strawberry Cream Cheese Cobbler
  • Easy Artisan Bread
  • Sourdough Banana Bread
How To Convert Any Recipe To Sourdough (6)

Why does sourdough need a longer rise time?

Typically, rise time will take about double the time, as the natural yeasts and bacteria take more time to develop than commercially developed yeast. While a yeast bread may take 1-2 hours to rise, give your sourdough recipe at least 4 hours.

If you are making a bread recipe, make sure to double both rises. The bulk rise, and the second rise after shaping.

With sourdough, you can even do longer rises in the refrigerator to help develop flavor without over fermenting.

For bread, you would allow a bulk ferment after starting the dough, and then a second ferment in the fridge, covered with plastic, for up to 24 hours.

Differences in rising time will change substantially depending on the type of recipe, if it contains other leaveners like baking soda, the environment it is rising in, etc.


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How much sourdough starter equals a packet of yeast?

A packet of yeast roughly equals 1/2 cup of sourdough starter in a recipe.

Is it cheaper to buy or make sourdough?

It is much cheaper to make your own sourdough bread compared to buying it.

What is the ratio of sourdough starter to baking?

While many bakers may choose a different ratio, the most common is one part flour to one part water, to one part sourdough starter (1:1:1)

Sourdough might sound complicated, but most new processes do. Take some time to read and learn about sourdough, give your own starter a try, and I promise, you’ll find it to be a simpler skill than expected.

It’s an incredibly beneficial practice, both for your health, and for the depth of flavors you build into your recipes.

How To Convert Any Recipe To Sourdough (2024)


How much sourdough starter is equal to one package of yeast? ›

Generally, you can substitute a packet of yeast for 100g of sourdough starter. If your recipe uses less than a packet of yeast, you can use less sourdough starter, however it won't make too much difference because of the way wild yeast works.

Can I use all purpose instead of bread flour for sourdough? ›

Substituting all purpose flour in a sourdough recipe that specifically calls for bread flour is not always an even swap. You'll need to REDUCE the total amount of water first. All purpose flour absorbs less water than bread flour, which can make the dough too sticky to work with otherwise.

Is sourdough starter equal parts flour and water? ›

What is the Sourdough Starter Feeding Ratio? Because we all have different quantities of sourdough starter, bakers feed their starters by ratio. The most common feeding ratio is 1:1:1 (sourdough starter: flour: water). This is also known as a 100% hydration starter.

What is the secret to sourdough bread? ›

The secret to sourdough is simple: water. The more water you add to your dough will affect how open the crumb (bigger holes and softer texture) will be once it's baked.

Is making sourdough cheaper than buying it? ›

Buy A Sourdough Starter (Instead of Making One)

If you are baking sourdough bread on a budget I recommend buying a sourdough starter. Yes that's right, it's actually cheaper to purchase a ready made sourdough starter than spend money on flour to establish a wild yeast colony yourself.

How do you calculate sourdough? ›

(Water (g) / Flour (g)) x 100 = Hydration Percentage

Make sure to take into account the amount of flour and water used in your leaven as well. For example, if you use half flour and half water in your sourdough starter, then a 100g leaven would contain 50g flour and 50g of water.

What is the best flour to use for sourdough starter? ›

Whole wheat flour is an excellent choice for creating a sourdough starter due to its nutrient-rich composition and potential for fostering a robust microbial community.

What is the best flour to start a sourdough starter with? ›

The best flour blend for creating a new sourdough starter is 50% whole-meal flour (whole wheat or whole rye) and 50% bread flour or all-purpose flour. I recommend a 50/50 mix of whole wheat flour and bread flour.

What is the healthiest flour for sourdough starter? ›

Compared to whole wheat flour, rye flour is said to be the most nutrient- and amylase-dense option for a sourdough starter. Overall, it has a lower gluten protein content than wheat flour, which means it produces slack, sticky, and dense doughs.

What happens if I forgot to discard starter before feeding? ›

If you didn't discard a portion of your starter each time you feed it, two things would happen: Your starter would grow to an enormous, unmanageable size. Your starter would likely become more and more inhospitable to the bacteria and yeast we want as the mixture would become ever more acidic.

Do you have to discard sourdough starter every time you feed it? ›

It would be best if you discarded some portion of your starter each time you feed it unless you want to continue to let it grow. Eventually, you need to discard the used “food” (flour and water) that's been used to sustain your starter during the last fermentation period.

What is the best sourdough starter ratio? ›

There is no single best ratio, but I've found a ratio of 1:5:5 fed twice daily at 12-hour intervals to produce a sourdough starter that's strong and healthy. This ratio corresponds to 20% ripe starter carryover, 100% water, and 100% flour (a mix of whole grain rye and white flour) at each feeding.

Why do you put vinegar in sourdough bread? ›

In fact the acidity is a dough conditioner that softens the texture of whole grains and makes the bread more pliable. Hack: apple cider vinegar. I often add about a tablespoon of ACV to bread as a dough conditioner.

Why is sourdough bread not fattening? ›

You might for this reason choose wholegrain sourdough or serve it with something nutritious like eggs or nut butter and fruit,' she says. Not only that, but sourdough bread is higher in fibre than some other types of bread making it stand out when it comes to potential ties with weight loss.

Why add honey to sourdough bread recipe? ›

Honey: Honey adds a sweetness to this dough and helps balance any sour flavor that comes through from the fermentation process. If you are looking for whole wheat bread without the honey, try this recipe. Salt: Salt enhances the flavor and helps tempers the fermentation.

How much sourdough starter to use instead of dry yeast? ›


Knowing these two factors you can approximate a substitution of one cup of sourdough starter for one packet of commercial yeast. You would then lower the flour and water according to your hydration levels, being sure to measure it again by weight.

What is the ratio of sourdough starter to baking? ›

Sourdough starters should be fed a minimum ratio of 1:1:1, meaning equal WEIGHTS of starter to flour to water.

What is the equivalent of one package of yeast? ›

A packet of yeast contains 7 grams or 1/4 ounce of dried yeast. That's 2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast or about 2 teaspoons of instant yeast.

What is the ratio of sourdough starter to bread? ›

So, a sourdough feeding ratio is the relative amount (referring to weight) of old sourdough compared to fresh flour and water. Typical feeding ratios are 1:2:2 or 1:3:3 (old sourdough: fresh flour: water). However, even extreme ratios like 1:50:50 would still work.


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