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Web's Best Recipe Sourdough Starter

This recipe for sourdough starter lets you bake that ever-popular sourdough bread. From its humble roots, sourdough has emerged to be a specialty bread well-liked by many of us.

Trivia: Allegedly, cowboy cooks took sourdough starter to bed with them to keep it warm during the cool nights. Aren't you glad you won't have to do this?

Traditionally, recipe sourdough starter is made without the addition of commercial yeast. Modern day cooks often add yeast to facilitate the process.

Tip #1: Having a recipe sourdough starter in your life is a serious committment! The starter requires regular feeding, and must be used frequently or it will soon overtake your refrigerator. The good news is that you can freeze it when you get tired of keeping up with its constant demands. Thaw it out later when you're ready to start again. Maybe you can give some of it to your friends from time to time. When you do, smile and act like you're doing a GOOD thing!

Tip #2:Sourdough starter improves with age. Usually, at least 2-3 feedings are required before your baked bread has the tangy taste you associate with recipe sourdough.

Tip #3: Mix and store recipe sourdough starter in a glass, ceramic or plastic container. Avoid the use of metals in bowls and spoons used for stirring. Wash your storage jar every few months to prevent mold forming in the dried mass that eventually forms at the top.

Tip #4: You will sometimes see a clear liquid rising to the top of recipe sourdough starter. This is okay; just stir it back in. However, if a pink liquid appears, your starter has spoiled and must be discarded.

Tip #5: Your starter must be fed every time you use it, OR once weekly if you don't. At the end of a week, remove 1 cup of starter if you have not used it that week, and feed. Feeding instructions follow.

Tip #6 -- Very Important: Do not cover your starter tightly when out of refrigerator. Gasses can build up and explode.

Tip #7 : Home-baked San Francisco sourdough bread requires the use of the special San Francisco yeast starters. You will not get good results using regular yeast for this particular type of sourdough bread. You might find San Francisco yeast starters in specialty food stores or gourmet food shops. If not, it is available online from YankeeHarvest (

And now, three recipe sourdough starters.

Recipe Sourdough Starter #1 - Made Without Yeast

2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups warm water

Mix together in a bowl, cover loosely, and let stand at room temperature for two days. This allows the mixture to ferment. It is ready when it becomes spongy and emits a yeasty aroma. At that point, stir, cover loosely, and refrigerate until ready to use.

You will need to "feed" your recipe sourdough starter once a week, OR after each use. Stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup sugar to keep it active.

Recipe Sourdough Starter #2 -- Made With Yeast

1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
2 cups water, room temperature
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Add yeast to warm water. Let stand for ten minutes. Stir in flour until mixture forms thick batter. Cover loosely and let stand for about three days. Stir every day. After about three days, recipe sourdough starter will be bubbly and have a yeasty, sour aroma. Cover and refrigerate. Feed weekly OR after each use.

After each use, stir in equivalent amounts of flour and water. That is, if you removed 1 cup of starter, stir in 1 cup of flour and 1 cup water. If you have not used your recipe sourdough starter during the week, remove 1 cup and stir in equivalent in water and flour. After feeding, allow starter to stand in a warm spot for a few hours before refrigerating.

Recipe Sourdough Starter - Rye

2 cups rye flour
1 tbsp yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

Using glass or ceramic bowl, combine flour and yeast. Add water, and blend well. Cover with plastic wrap. Pierce plastic with a fork to allow air holes. Keep in a warm place for about three days. Stir three times daily. Refrigerate until ready to use. Feed weekly or after each use. Be sure to use rye flour when feeding.

If starter does not seem bubbly 12 hours after feeding, stir in 1 tsp yeast.

Looking for recipes for sourdough bread so you can use your starter? Check the recipes elsewhere on this site.

Classic Sourdoughs: A Home Baker's Handbook

Wilton Cake Pans, Other Cake Pans, Novelty Bakeware Items

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