I was hoping to use a recipe that requires sour dough starter tomorrow for dinner. When looking online for recipes I found several, but all of them required several days (examples here, here and here) to make.

Is it possible to prepare a sourdough starter in around 24 hours or is it too late in the game for me to get something going for tomorrow night's dinner?

  • If you already have a starter culture, you can mix the starter culture (more for flavoring), all the normal ingredients, leaven it with regular yeast and maybe add some citric acid for extra "sour" - that's about as close as you can get, I think, without allowing for the normal "sponge" process. Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 14:10

2 Answers 2


You aren't going to be able to get a sourdough starter from flour to ready-to-bake in 24 hours. You could easily make a poolish or pâte fermentée in that time, and get some of the flavor. You might also be able to use some yogurt whey or another source of lactic acid to get some of the sour flavor. Unfortunately, a sour starter is something that you kind of need to keep going and have on hand.


You cannot establish your own starter, that would be like growing your own basil from seeds in 24 hours. A sourdough starter is a long-term project, and not worth it if you don't use it regularly.

Depending on where you live, you may be able to buy starter extract, or some other starter-based product which gives you the taste (but not leavening). Purists turn up their nose at it, but it's your best shot.

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