How to use Milk Kefir as a Sourdough Starter

Because milk kefir contains most of the same wild yeasts as a conventional starter, you can make a  sourdough starter directly from milk kefir:


  1. Combine 1 cup each flour and milk kefir in a quart jar.
  2. Stir well to combine.
  3. Place a breathable lid such as a towel or coffee filter over the jar and secure it tightly.
  4. Culture 2 to 3 days at room temperature or until it is bubbling and active.
  5. Use in your favorite sourdough recipes.


To keep using this starter, feed it like a normal sourdough starter with flour and water. If you ever find it lacks oomph you can always give it another milk kefir boost.


Milk kefir can stand in for a sourdough starter if you don’t have a starter going, or you don't have the time to make the starter above.

Simply replace the liquid in your favorite sourdough bread recipe with milk kefir. It will not only start the fermentation process but be aware this means you will be adding more milk to the recipe, so it may affect the outcome slightly.

Use the amount of flour indicated in the recipe plus the amount of starter given. If a recipe calls for 2 cups of starter, 3 cups of flour, and 1 cup of water, use 5 cups of flour and 1 cup of milk kefir. You may need to adjust the amount of milk kefir to get the right consistency to the dough.

Follow the recipe as per usual.


Simplicity and timesaving

If you are already buying our milk kefir ready-to-drink (buy kefir) or making milk kefir on a daily basis (buy culture), you’ve got leavening on hand. If you can use something you’re already making as a sourdough starter then you don’t have to create and maintain a separate sourdough culture.

Starting with a Reliable Culture

If you have ever tried to create a sourdough starter by catching wild yeasts then you know that it can turn out terribly. Some yeasts produce great sourdough, others can't. Starting with kefir can give you the confidence that only established cultures bring.

Longer Shelf Life

Because of the acids and bacteria in kefir, many find that kefir-leavened breads, much like sourdough keep longerthan their commercial counterparts.

Give it a try! You can create amazing bread with just 3 ingredients:





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