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Starting an Einkorn Sourdough Starter

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Einkorn is understandably the hot and trendy ancient-grain flour for sourdough bread baking right now! In this short post I’ll explain why.

Here, I’ll give you instructions for converting an existing starter to einkorn and a recipe for how to create your own einkorn sourdough starter from scratch. You’ll also get links to all the resources you need to keep your new starter healthy, active, and ready for your sourdough projects!

An image collage showing bubbly, active, golden-colored einkorn sourdough starter.

If you already have an einkorn sourdough starter and you want to learn more about baking with 100% einkorn flour, check out my guide: A Guide to Successful Sourdough Baking With Organic Einkorn Wheat

A Quick Summery of the Reasons Why People Are LOVING Einkorn Wheat

  • Highest protein grain
  • Lowest gluten grain
  • Easy to digest
  • Nutritious
  • Flavorful
  • Unique
  • Traditional
  • Ancient grain
  • Non-hybridized
  • A healthy challenge to work with.

Read more about einkorn’s amazing qualities here.

Building an Einkorn Sourdough Starter From an Existing Sourdough Starter

The easiest way to start an einkorn sourdough starter is as simple as taking a small portion of your existing sourdough starter and feeding it with einkorn flour. 

To do so, take 10 grams of active sourdough starter and feed it with 100 grams of einkorn flour and 75 grams of water.

This will give you enough starter to make your first loaf of almost 100% einkorn bread immediately. See the bottom of the post for a recipe.

After several feedings, the remaining flour from your original starter will be negligible.

You will want to keep your new einkorn starter at 75% hydration for best results.

Keep your einkorn starter separate from your original starter, and only feed it einkorn flour from now on.

An up-close shot of bubbly einkorn sourdough starter.

Starting an Einkorn Sourdough Starter From Scratch

In the same way that you would build any from-scratch sourdough starter, start with flour, water, and wild yeast. Wild yeast will come directly from the flour itself (preferably organic whole grain), from adding a piece of yeast-covered fruit (like blueberry, plum, or grape), or from your environment.

Starting a sourdough starter from scratch is, at least, a two-week commitment. You may start to see activity within your starter and you may even be able to use it prior to the two-week mark, but always be realistic about how long it will take to develop a truly balanced and functional starter.

There are some key differences when using einkorn flour to start a starter.

  • Organic einkorn flour is four times more expensive than regular organic all-purpose flour. For this reason I would advise you to keep a much smaller starter during the initial development.
  • Einkorn flour ferments better at a lower hydration. Keeping a thicker starter at 75% hydration will benefit the starter’s growth, activity, and balance.
  • Einkorn flour ferments more quickly than white flour. This is especially true with whole wheat einkorn flour, so you will need to feed your starter more often.
Bubbly einkorn sourdough

Einkorn Sourdough Starter

Yield: 1 from-scratch sourdough starter baby
Prep Time: 14 days
Total Time: 14 days

Easy instructions for cultivating your own wild yeast and bacteria strains to make a 75% hydration einkorn sourdough starter. This process takes at least 14 days to complete so plan accordingly. You will end up with a 100% einkorn sourdough starter that can be used for baking breads, cakes, tortillas, and more!


  • 445 g organic einkorn flour, divided over 14 days
  • 369 ml water, divided over 14 days


Day 1

Mix 25 g of einkorn flour (2 tablespoons, packed and smoothed) and 19 ml (1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon) of water into a paste. Store it in a small clean jar with a loose-fitting lid (not cheesecloth or other fabric covering). Keep your jar in a warm, draft-free place. This is the beginning of your starter!

If you'd like to add a small piece of yeast-covered fruit to boost your starter, add it during the first mixing and remove it before the first feeding on day two.

Days 2 to 7, feed your starter twice a day. Every 12 hours!

  1. Every morning and evening remove 22 g of starter (half) from the jar and replace it with 12 g (1 tablespoon) of flour and 10 ml (1 1/2 teaspoons) of water. Stir your starter well and store it in a warm place.
  2. By day seven you should be seeing some signs of activity. The starter should be bubbling a little and smell fermented (slightly sweet, sour, or alcoholic). You may even see it rise after feeding. 
  3. If there is mold, off-color, or a bad smell do not continue the feedings and please see my troubleshooting guide.

Days 8 to 14, feed your starter three times a day. Every eight hours!

  1. Every eight or so hours remove 22 g of starter (half) from the jar and replace it with 12 g (1 tablespoon) of flour and 10 ml (1 1/2 teaspoons) of water. Stir your starter well and store it in a warm place.
  2. During this critical feeding period you should start to see a lot of bubbling activity. Your starter will be ready when it rises to double the volume between feedings.

Day 15 and beyond.

Continue to feed your starter until it is responding accordingly. Once your starter is active, well-balanced, and is being used regularly, feel free to store it in the refrigerator between uses.

You can find more information about storing and using your sourdough starter in my Einkorn baking guide.


    • Some people have found that their starter is ready to bake with by Day 7. I add an extra seven days of triple feedings to insure that the starter is powerful, active, and ready for all the baking projects! 
    • Keep in mind, sourdough is as unique as you are. Results may vary!
    • To build your starter up prior to baking just add a larger amount of flour and water to the last feeding.
    • All cups and spoons measurements are approximate, please weigh your ingredients for accuracy!
    A bubbly jar of active sourdough starter with a text overlay.
    Small golden-brown loaves of einkorn bread cooling on baking racks.

    Butter For All's Sourdough Master Recipe -- Adapted for Einkorn Flour

    Scaling, Mixing, and Kneading Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 35 minutes
    Total Fermentation Time: 8 hours
    Total Time: 8 hours 55 minutes

    Memorize this simple formula and you'll always have a sourdough recipe on hand that can make great bread, pizza, pitas, hamburger buns, cinnamon rolls, and more.


    • 455 grams (3 1/4 cups) organic all-purpose einkorn flour
    • 222 grams (just shy 1 cup) water
    • 125 grams (1/2 cup) active einkorn starter
    • 12 grams (2 teaspoons) salt


    1. In a large bowl use a dough whisk or rubber spatula to stir all ingredients together to form a shaggy dough.
    2. With wet hands gently fold and rest the dough in 1-minute intervals until it's smooth.
    3. Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in a covered bowl to ferment.
    4. Let the dough rest for 4-6 hours in cool room temperature (68°F)
    5. On a wet or floured surface deflate, portion, and shape the dough as desired.
    6. Cover the dough and let it proof at room temperature for another 1-3 hours.
    7. Depending on your size and shape of dough, bake when the dough has just doubled. Overproofing is easy to do with einkorn.
    8. Bake loaves at 400℉ for 30 minutes or to an internal temperature of 200℉. Pizza and other styles and shapes will require specific baking times and temperatures.
    9. Cool loaves completely before slicing.


    • For beginners, baking small supported loaves is recommended.
    • For sourdough masters, boules can be made with a very gentle touch.
    • Whole wheat einkorn flour may be used, but will require less fermentation time overall.

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