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What are the pros and cons of making bread at home using sourdough starter vs. commercial yeast other than cost?

I am NOT at all interested in the answers a Google search yields which all appear to center on health and digestive benefits of whole grains vs. refined grains. I am not asking that! Leave whole grains out of the discussion

Please also omit your perception/opinion that sourdough bread tastes 'better'? Taste is a matter of personal perception

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    Taste is a matter of opinion. Texture is a matter of opinion. Potential health issues are opinion, and many of us would not touch that subject anyway. You want answers, but in your question you say you do not want any of the answers you are likely to get which makes it fairly difficult to give feedback. – dlb Aug 21 '18 at 19:22
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    You've made it very clear what you don't want to know. Can you please clarify what you do want to know. Otherwise, as is, I will VTC as unclear what you're asking. – Cindy Aug 22 '18 at 0:39
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    @Cindy What are the reasons to make sourdough vs commercial yeast? Any cost saving is minescule. The 1st 5 pages of a Google search only address the benifits of whole grains that can also be achieved with commerial yeast. Taste is too subjective. I've had breads stated to be sourdough that tasted good and others that were mediocre; the other ingredients count. So it comes back to, why go through all the effort? What are the reasons why one should bother? – Cynetta Aug 22 '18 at 8:19
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    I would suppose it's a matter of personal preference, what one likes and enjoys. E.g, it's like asking why should you go to the trouble of making a pasta sauce from scratch when you can just open a can or jar. For me, I enjoy creating my own sauces and I think they taste better than a jarred sauce. Others are quite happy not going to all the trouble and may be quite happy with sauce from a jar, or may even like it better. – Cindy Aug 22 '18 at 8:48
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    I am sorry, but I continue to agree. The basic reasons are taste, texture, potential health/nutritional in favor of sourdough, convenience, time, effort, consistency in favor commercial yeasts. Maybe a few other thoughts that would also be opinions. You ask for pros/cons which will always be opinion based, and then said you do not want opinion answers and specifically not the ones that will likely apply. Some of these are things that better is opinion, but different is simply factual. Sourdough looking, tasting, feeling different is observable, which is better is opinion. – dlb Aug 22 '18 at 14:12
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Leaving out cost, how it tastes, and health/digestive benefits, I will contribute the obvious: that it is a whole lot more convenient to open up a packet of yeast and dump it in, than it is to coddle and maintain a finicky and needy sourdough starter continuously (especially if you end up making bread infrequently).

  • True, but sourdough has the advantage of not spoiling as quickly. – Joe Aug 22 '18 at 1:05
  • Yes? Well, I think this is the kind of input Cynetta wants to get: pros & cons. – Lorel C. Aug 22 '18 at 2:58
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    @Spagirl - Are you claiming that you are a better sourdough parent than Lorel? Step back folks, it's ON!! – PoloHoleSet Aug 22 '18 at 21:18
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    @PoloHoleSet, Ha ha no, it is not "on". I don't have any sourdough starter at all, but from the questions people are constantly asking here: "Sourdough starter - Have I been doing it wrong?"; "Sourdough starter stopped growing, is it normal?"; "My overnight sour dough went slack, could my 'starter' have eaten too much gluten?"; "Question about new sourdough starter, specifically smell"; "Sourdough starter bubbling but not rising after months of feeding"; "Blue/green mold on sourdough starter"... and on and on, I really get the idea that sourdough starter is finicky and does need coddling. – Lorel C. Aug 22 '18 at 21:58
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    Interestingly enough, the ones that are well maintained (consistently divided and fed when not being used) are the ones that will have the most consistent and reliable results. So, yeah, needy, but less fickle, in that case. :D – PoloHoleSet Aug 23 '18 at 19:17

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