Kombucha sourdough starter

How To Make Kombucha Sourdough Starter

Did you know you can make a Kombucha sourdough starter by using Kombucha and flour? You can! In fact making a sourdough starter (aka bread bug) to make sourdough bread is really simple, and this is only one way (there are more).

I’m currently making kombucha and it makes bug making simple if you have some.

I thought I’d share how I made my sourdough starter because I’ve just posted my grain free sourdough bread recipe and without a starter you can’t make the bread!

What Is A Kombucha Sourdough Starter?

A sourdough starter is essential when making ‘real’ sourdough. If you look at the ingredients on most sourdough breads available in supermarkets, they still contain yeast. That is NOT real sourdough!

It’s fake sourdough…

Real sourdough uses a bug or starter – just like real yogurt, kefir, kombucha and all that other fermented, healthy stuff.

It’s ‘the bug’ which is already fermenting, that starts the fermentation process make your sourdough bread rise instead of using yeast.

In fact the sourdough bug will partially digest your flour mixture, creating gas and bubbles that will make the bread rise, as well as making the bread easier for you to digest!

So let’s get started…

Sourdough starter

Sourdough Bread Starter Made With Kombucha

Sue Woledge
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Prep Time 7 days
Total Time 7 days


  • One or two clean jars. I use two 400ml jars and I make two starters at a time so that I have enough for the recipe I'm sharing here.


  • 1/2 cup Kombucha
  • Buckwheat flour to make thin paste


  • Pour about 2 cm of kombucha tea into the bottom of the jars.
  • Add buckwheat flour – enough to make a thin paste and mix well.
  • Each day add more buckwheat flour and un-chlorinated water to the mixture and combine well until you have enough starter to make your bread. Make sure to keep the consistency similar to a thick-ish pancake mixture by adding anywhere from a heaped teaspoon to a couple of tablespoons of flour plus water, depending on how quickly you want your bug jars to fill up and how quickly you want to be able to make your bread.
Keyword bread, bug, Fermented, sourdough, starter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

9 Important Things To Know About Making This Sourdough Starter

  1. The making of this starter is really simple. In fact I’d go so far as to say that you can’t really mess it up. Sometimes we add to it to make the quantity grow faster if we’re running out of bread, sometimes slower. I keep saying this but it’s true – fermented foods are very forgiving.
  2. The starter should be visibly bubbly. Sometimes there will be a lot of bubbles, sometimes not so much. I don’t know why there are less visible bubbles at times, but don’t worry if this is the case as it still works.
  3. If  you miss feeding your bug for a day (or even two), it doesn’t matter too much. Feed it and it’ll spring back to life.
  4. If your bug starts to look really sad and doesn’t appear to be doing anything, just add a little sugar. This will usually bring it back to life. Alternatively you can try adding more kombucha. However if your bug looks dead and starts to smell bad, tip it out and start again.
  5. This bug can be reused. Simply save some of the bug and feed it up. Grow it and use it to make your next lot of bread. Sometimes we do it this way, but because we have kombucha in the fridge, we tend to just wash the jars when we make our bread and then start again.
  6. DO NOT use chlorinated water as it will kill your bug!
  7. If you need to go away for a few days just feed your bug and put it in the fridge. It’ll live in there happily with little food for quite a while due to the cooler temperatures. We’ve stored our bug in the fridge for two weeks in the past and it’s been fine. When you get home, put it back out on the bench where it can warm back up to room temp, give it a feed with some more flour and away it goes!
  8. Make sure you cover your bug to keep out other! (You don’t want dead flies in your starter…) We use a nut milk bag to cover our jars and they work perfectly.
  9. If things go wrong and you mange to kill your bug, simply grab some more kombucha and start a new one!

āœ… You can find my gluten free, grain free sourdough bread recipe here. šŸ™‚

4 thoughts on “How To Make Kombucha Sourdough Starter”

  1. Hello Sue, I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on whether or not I could make the starter with the Cassava flour instead of buckwheat… I’m experimenting for a family member who is off all grains, beans, corn, etc. She can literally only have nut or root flours. Cassava, Tiger nut and a few starches are my limitations. I’ve tried fermenting the Cassava, but that’s not working. Would sure appreciate any help you can give!

    1. Hi Dawn. I’ve had no luck making a starter with Cassava. I think maybe because it’s a resistant starch… I tried green banana flour as well and had not luck with that either. It’s also a resistant starch so I’m figuring that whatever the difference is that changes the way these starches are processed in our digestive system, is the same reason that the bacteria in the starter can’t use them. I’d be keen to hear from anyone who actually can explain this or provide insight. I’m still using buckwheat.

      1. Thanks, Sue! That’s good info to add to what I’m learning! I just read someone else’s site, and they said Tigernut flour works great for fermenting, so I’ll give that one a whirl. I might also check into the buckwheat again. They are trying to rule out a possible diagnosis of Cyliac Vomiting Syndrome. My little niece is reacting to brown rice… sure appreciate your help!

        1. No problem Dawn. Glad to help. I’ve not tried Tigernut flour, but I’ve just searched and it looks like it’s just making an appearance her in New Zealand so I’ll have to give it a go. Brown rice is usually contaminated with arsenic unfortunately – even the organic stuff – and it is higher in lectins. If you’ve not looked into lectins, it might be worth doing so. I’ve just Dr Steven Gundry’s new book ‘The Plant Paradox‘ – it’s very, very interesting and makes a lot of sense. He’s had incredible success with patients by putting them on low lectin diets. I’m taking his advice and so far, so good!

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