Vinegar-Free Sourdough Starter - No vinegar needed 🍞

Yes, absolutely! You can definitely make a sourdough starter without using vinegar. In fact, there are many different methods to create a sourdough starter, and vinegar is just one of the options.

Why use vinegar in a sourdough starter?

Vinegar is often used in sourdough starter recipes because it helps to create an acidic environment that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria and yeast. This acidity is crucial for developing the unique flavor and texture of sourdough bread. However, if you prefer not to use vinegar or simply don't have any on hand, there are alternative methods that can still yield fantastic results.

Alternative methods for making sourdough starter:

1. Pineapple juice: Pineapple juice is a popular substitute for vinegar in sourdough starter recipes. It has natural acidity that can help jumpstart the fermentation process. Simply replace the vinegar called for in the recipe with an equal amount of pineapple juice.

2. Orange juice: Another option is to use orange juice instead of vinegar. Orange juice also contains natural acidity and can provide a slightly different flavor profile to your sourdough starter. Again, use the same amount of orange juice as you would vinegar in the recipe.

3. Yogurt: If you have plain yogurt on hand, you can use it to create a sourdough starter. The live cultures in yogurt can help kickstart the fermentation process and add a tangy flavor to your bread. Mix equal parts of flour and yogurt to create your starter, and then follow the usual feeding and maintenance routine.

4. Flour and water: If you don't have any acidic ingredients available, don't worry! You can still make a sourdough starter using just flour and water. Simply mix equal parts of flour and water in a clean container, cover it loosely, and let it sit at room temperature. Over time, wild yeast and bacteria present in the environment will colonize the mixture and begin the fermentation process.

Feeding and maintaining your sourdough starter:

Once you've established your sourdough starter, it's important to feed and maintain it regularly to keep it healthy and active. Feed your starter by discarding about half of the mixture and then adding equal parts of flour and water. This process helps to remove any potential toxins and refreshes the food supply for the yeast and bacteria.

Maintain your starter by repeating the feeding process every day or every few days, depending on your baking schedule. Keep your starter at room temperature or in the refrigerator, depending on how often you plan to bake. Remember to always use a clean container and utensils when working with your starter to prevent contamination.


In summary, you can definitely make a sourdough starter without using vinegar. There are alternative methods such as using pineapple juice, orange juice, yogurt, or simply flour and water. Experiment with different methods to find the one that suits your taste preferences. Once you have your starter, be sure to feed and maintain it regularly to keep it healthy and active. Happy sourdough baking!

Samantha Dougherty
baking, traveling, photography, gardening

Samantha Dougherty is a professional baker and sourdough enthusiast with over 15 years of experience. She has traveled the world to learn about different sourdough techniques and has a passion for sharing her knowledge with others. Samantha is also the author of the bestselling cookbook, 'Sourdough Delights: A World of Flavorful Breads and Treats'.