I baked my first “sourdough” boules today and there was zero detectable sour or tartness.

After about day four of zero activity in my baby starter I added a packet of packaged yeast I bloomed bloomed with a tiny bit of honey.

Ever since then it has been happy and healthy. I made my levain on day 7.

I’m concerned that the package yeast has beat out any wild fermentation that could have been happening and now I will never get any sourness from the starter. Is that true?

Should I start over and be more patient or keep feeding my current starter and hope deeper flavors will develop over time?

I’ve been feeding twice a day with 90 degree F filtered water. My house is cold but it’s in the warmest room and it has some towels for insulation.

Sourdough boule Pic of my first attempt for funsies

  • 3
    The short answer is yes. Adding the packaged yeast to your starter means that it's the dominant microorgamism there, and it's crowded out any of the wild yeasts and bacteria that might have had a chance to bloom. Did you take your "baby starter" from someone? Or did you leave some flour slurry out in the open in hopes that wild yeasts will colonise it?
    – weets
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 4:28
  • 3
    If you're starting from a flour slurry, 4 days isn't nearly enough. It took me 3 weeks to develop my from-flour starter.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 7:14
  • 2
    Further to what @FuzzyChef says, this link may be useful, it's what I used when I made my starter (about 8 years ago now, it's still going strong). I found it took quite a bit longer than Mike's instructions, probably because Scotland has cooler summers than Missouri , but as he recommends, I gave it the time it needed and it all came good.
    – Spagirl
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 11:52

1 Answer 1


If started from packaged yeast, over time, your local wild strains will probably take over. The same is true if you start with a starter from someone else or the dried sourdough starter packages. But, it takes longer even than starting from scratch more than likely for them to slowly replace the current strains.

I would suggest following the link Spagirl gave and some others you can get here and starting again from scratch. Maybe use what you have in the mean time to help stave off the impatience (which I share ;) )

Mine, I was very impatient, so I found that adding some whole rye flour gave the starter a huge boost and got it going much quicker. The theory at least is the bran had a lot of wild yeasts in it and reduced how much the starter had to capture. The somewhat downside was they were not really my local ones, but local will slowly replace those and take over as you starter matures. Long ago though, I made a start as you did, by adding commercial yeast. For months, I was disappointed by the lack of sourness but just before I gave up it turned the corner and the wild strains finally overpowered the domesticated little buggers, so it is possible. I personally though would probably do the restart rather than waiting for that to happen.

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