When reading about sourdough (in german texts at least), they almost always say to stir it with a wooden spoon.

Why do they do that? Does metal or plastic somehow interfere with the sourdough?

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    If you want to answer, post an answer. If you want to guess... no need, there's already an answer.
    – Cascabel
    Jul 20, 2016 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


This is not true anymore, and modern recipes omit that part.

Back then, when silverware was made either from silver or pre-stainless-steel-alloys the acid in sourdough (and other foods*) would interact with the metal and corrode/color the metal and/or spoil the food.

So put your sourdough in your (stainless steel) mixing bowl and knead it in your kitchen machine as you like.

*examples (thanks to @Stephie): eggs (there were special egg-spoons made from horn or tortoise shell and later bakelite or plastic to prevent the sulphur in the eggs interacting with the metal), marmelade/jam (special spoons, jam would get runny if it got in contact with the wrong spoon), potatoes (there is a rule to not cut them with a knife).

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    Correct. Just like there were special egg spoons made out of horn or tortoise shell (and later bakelite or plastic). The social rule that potatoes should not be cut with a knife falls in the same category.
    – Stephie
    Jul 19, 2016 at 9:53
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    Silver is antimicrobial as well, it could harm the yeast.
    – Motomotes
    Jul 19, 2016 at 23:00
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    for having eaten a boiled egg with a silver spoon, I can tell you it taste really bad.
    – njzk2
    Jul 19, 2016 at 23:21
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    @Stephie: though in case of eggs, it's not the acidity that's the problem (egg yolks are barely acid, and the whites in fact slightly alkalic) but the sulphur components. Silver tends to react strongly with anything with sulphur in it; this isn't a problem for most other metals though. Jul 20, 2016 at 11:06
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    @yjo It's a now outdated (modern cutlery, stainless steel!) rule that can still be found in really old, really formal (German) etiquette books. Many people today have never heard of it. If I find a non-German source, I'll add a link. For now, here is a German article. And yes, it's also based on chemical reaction between starch and silver or simple alloys.
    – Stephie
    Jul 20, 2016 at 17:08

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