Bread starter recipe

This good-for-your-gut fermented product is easy to make and keep on hand.

Making your own bread has a plentitude of health benefits and it’s easier than you may think. The first step is creating a starter, which takes just minutes to whip up, but 12 days of patience while it ferments. “This mixture is alive with natural yeast,” says Katzie Guy-Hamilton, director of food and beverage at Equinox. She created this recipe for her book, Clean Enough, available in 2019. You can use your starter in various homemade bread products, including this focaccia recipe.

Makes: 1 pound starter
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 12 days of fermentation


½ cup Concord grapes, figs, or blackberries
1 cup organic unbleached all-purpose flour, plus ½ cup, 2 tablespoons for fermenting days
2 cups water, plus 1 cup for fermenting days
Pinch of instant yeast


Place the fruit in a cheesecloth or almond milk bag. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the flour, water, and yeast. Submerge the wrapped fruit. Cover lightly with a cloth and let sit on counter for 3 days.
On the fourth day, stir in 2 tablespoons of flour. Leave on counter overnight.
On the fifth day, stir in 1 tablespoon of flour and 2 tablespoons of water to the starter. Leave on the counter overnight. Repeat for five more days.
On the tenth day, remove the wrapped fruit and discard. Continue to stir in 1 tablespoon of flour and 2 tablespoons of water for two more days, for a total of 12 days.
Use the starter, or cover and store at room temperature. The starter will last for as long as you feed it 1 tablespoon of flour and 2 tablespoons of water on a daily basis.