The recipe at this popular site says 2 and 1/3 cups of starter and 3 and 1/3 cups of flour, along with water (1 cup). Is there a printing error? Other recipes are about tablespoons, not cups. http://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/sourdough/how-to-make-sourdough-bread/

Not the video, recipe below the video.


3 Answers 3


That is quite a bit of sourdough starter, but not extremely so. In sourdough recipes that also include yeast in the loaf, you might see measurements of a cup or less, but a tablespoon of starter in a loaf would be pretty negligible.

The recipe here does not include yeast other than what's in the starter, so 2 and 1/3 cup is not extreme. I watched the video; there is no reason to think that the recipe is in error.


Reasons for starter-heavy doughs would be first that the starter is not particularly active, so the bread needs a larger quantity of starter (Ken Forkish, "Flour Water Salt Yeast", chapter 11); second, the taste or texture effects are desired in the resulting bread. One way to test this would be to bake two loaves, one starter heavy and one not, and compare the results.

  • If it causes potentially desirable taste or texture effects... what might they be?
    – Cascabel
    Feb 11, 2017 at 17:09

Two primary things happen when you use large quantities of starter.

  1. The Proof time is reduced, because you have a higher ratio of starter to recipe.

  2. It will reduce the Tang. A really healthy Tang takes time to develop. You will often find recipes requiring a long soak in the fridge (called Retarding).

Note... Both of these answers assume all else is the same, and appropriate adjustments have already been made.

Also note... Bread Flour, and flours like that (also go under a few other names) have Baking Powder and Cream of Tarter (allergy alert... Cream of Tarter contains Sulfites)). Point being, this creates an almost magical rise, though be it artificial), and in some circumstances may hamper the development of the Sourdough, which would lessen the production of real high quality Gut Biotics.

A really outstanding book on Sourdough is "The Sourdough School" by Vanessa Kimbell. She is one of the world's leading experts in the field of Sourdough... As well as having a degree in micro gut biology amongst others accolades. She has more than one book, but this one teaches Sourdough 101 - Sourdough 321 (at least that's how I feel about it). Learn from it, practice it, then use your knew found knowledge to make your sourdough your way.

Good baking Y'all.

  • 5
    No, bread flour doesn't contain baking powder. It would be listed as an ingredient if it did, as it is on self-raising (self-rising) flour.
    – Chris H
    Nov 28, 2022 at 19:35
  • 2
    also note that in English, capital letters are not generally used in the middle of a sentence except for proper nouns (or if you lived 200 years ago). It makes your writing much more difficult to read, because the reader keeps slowing down at every capital letter to try to understand the significance (even though there isn't any).
    – Esther
    Nov 28, 2022 at 19:49

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