Can I culture yeast in dough without the dough going sour?

I mean instead of adding new yeast everytime can I take a bit of raised flour and keep it for the next time?

In this situation will the flour go sour? Will new organisms grow in the flour?

1 Answer 1


You can certainly maintain a culture this way, though not all cultures will necessarily thrive. Commercial yeast, for instance, doesn't tend to do well with feedings. It basically rises and it's done. Wild yeasts will do much better by being fed.

The degree of sourness in the cultured flour will depend on the specific strains of yeast and bacteria growing in it. You can control this to a degree by adjusting the hydration level and temperature to encourage specific strains of microorganisms to grow.

Here is a link describing how to control some of the cultures in your starter.

  • I have heard that selecting for bacteria in a starter (by keeping it on the wet side) tends to introduce a stronger flavor. But this seems controversial.
    – Air
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 17:20
  • that is debated a lot. Generally dryer and colder produces more acetic acid, and wetter and warmer produces more lactic acid. They're both sour, but different types of sour.
    – SourDoh
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 18:48
  • In any case, my experience working with a somewhat mild strain agrees very much with the link you provided; short rise with a large volume of active/well-fed starter produces a loaf with no significant sour flavor. All relatively speaking, of course.
    – Air
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 19:04
  • I have kept a commercial yeast strain alive for many weeks on feedings, it can be done but it loses about 50% of its speed and isn't as active. You have to budget a lot more time for rising.
    – GdD
    Commented Jun 2, 2020 at 12:51

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