Questions tagged [sourdough]

Questions regarding baking and working with wild yeasts and starters (also known as levains or chefs).

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Why stir sourdough only with wooden spoons?

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?
Jost's user avatar
  • 361
21 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why not make sourdough bread from young starter?

I made my own starter 3-4 days ago, and it has been growing well; I have fed it twice so far. As far as I know, it is recommended that you feed starter for about 7-0 days before you use it to make ...
Ovi's user avatar
  • 601
19 votes
14 answers
81k views

What makes a good vessel for storing sourdough starter?

I was going to buy the King Arthur set of starter + crock, but the crock is on backorder, so I plan to instead locally source a vessel for the starter. What should I look for? Should I find a similar ...
Yamikuronue's user avatar
  • 8,892
17 votes
5 answers
82k views

How long will a sourdough starter last between feedings?

I'm using a sourdough starter from the recipe in Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day and I have gone through several of the rebuilding cycles with it. It's been working fairly well for me and I ...
Todd Hunter's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
4k views

How can I grow my own yeast (sourdough starter)?

I would like to always have my own culture of yeast (sourdough starter) in my fridge at home. Does anyone know how to grow yeast and keep it alive?
Martin's user avatar
  • 273
16 votes
7 answers
299k views

My sourdough starter is bubbling but not rising, suggestions?

I've been trying to grow my own sourdough starter; I went with a 'pure' method, with 50g each of hard-wheat flour from a local mill and water. I've fed it once and it seems to be bubbling nicely ...
Steven Stadnicki's user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
2k views

What proportion of the natural yeast in Sourdough comes from the flour?

Inspired by this question... when making a sourdough starter or similar, does the flour contribute a significant amount of yeast to the final product [either from the flour's origins in the fields, or ...
Joe M's user avatar
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15 votes
5 answers
26k views

What are the optimal conditions in making wild yeast starter?

I recently learned that I don't need to buy packets of yeast to make bread. I can create a sour dough starter by utilizing the wild yeast floating around in the air. Take a look at this article for ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 8,863
14 votes
5 answers
122k views

Sticky and unmanagable sourdough

I've recently started a sourdough starter culture (using equal parts water and spelt flour) and have used it in a sourdough bread recipe I got from the Telegraph. I've halved the recipe in the article ...
Danger Fourpence's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
20k views

Can I give my friend the sour dough "throw away" as a starter to their sourdough starter?

Many sourdough techniques suggest throwing away half your starter further on in the fermenting process. The reason given (in many YouTube videos I've watched) is that it'd eventually take over your ...
Kev's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
44k views

How to keep a high hydration bread loaf from becoming flat

Yesterday, I made a sourdough loaf with a high hydration (80%) and as usual, when I turned it out of its banneton, it simply couldn't hold its shape and became very flat; only about 1 1/2 inches at ...
Sebiddychef's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
4k views

Some instant yeast went into my sourdough starter

This is how it all began, I have a 100% rye starter for about a year now. I used a spoon that had some other dough on it, that dough was from a bag of flour that had mentioned at the bottom of the ...
Pinch's user avatar
  • 233
13 votes
5 answers
17k views

Traveling with sourdough starter

We recently got a sourdough starter, and have loved trying out many different recipes with it. In a few weeks we will by flying home (after spending the summer in Alaska), and we would really like to ...
David Oneill's user avatar
13 votes
6 answers
8k views

Sourdough starter from regular yeast?

I live near San Francisco and I am in love with the local sourdough bread. It is very expensive and I'd like to bake my own bread. I am wondering though, is it possible to make sourdough starter from ...
Siah 's user avatar
  • 311
13 votes
4 answers
18k views

How to tell if it is real sourdough?

I have a very simple question, but difficult for me.. How to tell if a sourdough is a real / traditional Sourdough? A lot of times I wonder if the sourdough I have in cafes or those ones I buy from ...
Foodrules 's user avatar
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13 votes
5 answers
13k views

Sourdough in Bread Maker?

Are there any bread machines that would allow making a sourdough rye bread? If not, could a bread maker simplify the process of making a sourdough loaf?
kristof's user avatar
  • 303
13 votes
3 answers
19k views

Storing hard crusted bread

I'm currently baking a batch of sourdough bread. My last batch turned out perfectly with a hard crust and chewy inside. My problem is how to store the bread such that the crust stays hard. If I put it ...
ase's user avatar
  • 233
12 votes
4 answers
6k views

What type of salt for sourdough bread baking?

I have a sourdough bread recipe that calls for either Real Salt or unrefined salt. I do not have either of these and I’m not sure if these salts are fine or coarse. I have Himalayan pink salt coarse ...
Phyllis's user avatar
  • 129
12 votes
2 answers
8k views

Cookbook says to store dough in fridge overnight, why can't I just bake it already?

I've been reading "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" and all the sourdough bread recipes call for overnight storage in the fridge. Is this really necessary? Can I just leave it out at room temperature and ...
Malfist's user avatar
  • 540
11 votes
5 answers
4k views

Picking up wet dough

I've been making sourdough recently and trying to get the knack of using a really wet dough. I've watched a number of YouTube videos, and I do all the stretch and folds and periodic reshapings, and ...
N. Virgo's user avatar
  • 231
11 votes
3 answers
19k views

How does hydration of a sourdough affect baking features?

Looking at different recipes for sourdough starters, there's everything from a mix as dry as cookie dough to as wet as gruel. In this (danish) recipe from the acclaimed chef Claus Meyer of a pretty ...
citizen's user avatar
  • 1,576
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

What's the point of long/complex sourdough feeding techniques?

About a year ago, a friend taught me how she makes her sourdough bread and gave me a portion of her starter. It works great and makes fantastic loaves. I've started to look at other recipes online ...
S. Burt's user avatar
  • 400
10 votes
3 answers
19k views

Is sourdough more resistant to mold than other breads?

My partner works at a restaurant where they serve sourdough as the bread you snack on to tide you over while perusing the menu. They are closed Sundays, which means any leftover bread on Saturday ...
hairboat's user avatar
  • 1,039
10 votes
6 answers
6k views

Does 100% rye sourdough bread always have a sticky crumb? How do I make it stick to the knife less?

Every time I make a 100% rye sourdough, it sticks to the knife when I cut it even after letting it sit for a day before cutting. Is this normal? I have tried to vary the hydration ratio a bit, but it ...
mlt's user avatar
  • 211
10 votes
2 answers
4k views

Will a Sourdough starter from one locale change to yeasts of current locale over time?

I currently have about 8 different sourdough starters purchased from other locales. They are all 5 plus years, I am wondering if they have all become the same. I have heard this debated, but no ...
Fireflower's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
9k views

What can I do with extra sourdough starter?

I recently made a sourdough starter from wild yeast, but the process I followed for making it resulted in a lot of starter. Instead of throwing it away I'd like to use it, and then once it gets down ...
Malfist's user avatar
  • 540
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

One time sourdough starter

Is there a way to make sourdough bread without the long term commitment of feeding a starter? My kids and I love sourdough bread, but I also work 2 jobs, so making bread is, sadly, a once in a blue ...
Donna's user avatar
  • 91
9 votes
2 answers
16k views

Can I change the flour type of my sourdough starter?

I started my sourdough starter with rye flour. But after some months I continued feeding it with wheat flour. I feel like there is less life inside than before. Might it be due to the change in ...
Sironsse's user avatar
  • 193
8 votes
12 answers
10k views

Can I make sourdough starter with raw potatoes?

Looking at different websites I found sourdough starters using potatoes instead of wheat or rye. They all used cooked mashed potatoes. I wonder if it is possible to just grate raw potatoes or other ...
Amelse Etomer's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
49k views

Techniques for making sourdough starter in cold/altitude

I want to try my hand at making sourdough starter but live in high altitude and cold weather. I'm not sure if the altitude is an issue but I don't think my house is warm enough on its own to allow a ...
Bryn's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes
2 answers
15k views

Why isn't a Sourdough starter unsanitary?

Letting a bowl of flour and water go bad in a warm corner seems problematic at best. I'm willing to believe there is some process that goes on to limit pathogens, but reading around this doesn't seem ...
Peter Coulton's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
56k views

Why does my sourdough starter have in the top the liquid separated from the flour?

Why does my sourdough starter have in the top the liquid separated from the flour? 2 days after beginning a new one, a liquid (water) appeared on top of it, it appeared after I fed it the first time. ...
Michael Ben David's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
10k views

How can I reduce the amount of hooch my sourdough starter is making?

Sometimes my sourdough starter goes hooch (the brown liquid, alcohol) nuts and produces a ton. Other times it goes days and produces very little. I've never been able to isolate what causes this. ...
rfusca's user avatar
  • 14k
7 votes
3 answers
5k views

Can I use a rectangular ceramic pan instead of enameled cast iron to bake bread without losing the nice crust?

My wife has been baking sourdough bread in an enameled cast iron Dutch oven and has been getting a very nice crust. She preheats the pan and oven to 500 °F (260 °C), then puts the dough in the pan, ...
Ross Millikan's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

I bought a sourdough starter from a bakery, fed it too much, and it overflowed the jar overnight. What should I do now?

I bought a starter from a bakery, and I think I overfed it overnight. It overflowed from its jar. What should I do now?
Michelle B's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
3k views

How do I feed a sourdough starter?

The cookbook I'm using tells me how to make a sourdough starter, but not how to feed it after I take out what I need for the bread. What do I do with the starter once I've used some? I don't think I'...
Elizabeth Schechter's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
9k views

How do I properly substitute flour and water for sourdough starter?

I have a sourdough bread recipe that I want to try. The recipe calls for 2 cups starter but I do not have that much. It says I can use less and to just make up the difference with equal parts flour ...
GJ.Baker's user avatar
  • 751
7 votes
3 answers
18k views

How do I make my sourdough bread dough stretchy and not have it tear?

I've been trying to make chewy sourdough bread and it's not going as planned. I read somewhere that if you mix and knead the bread a lot and avoid adding a lot of sugar and use a lot of water that ...
Creature's user avatar
  • 175
7 votes
2 answers
8k views

How to Judge the Appropriate Feeding Schedule for Immature Sourdough Starter

I am a week into the development of sourdough starter. I initiated the starter on spring water and a flour mixture that is 1/2 whole grain rye (Hodgson Mill) and 1/2 whole grain wheat (King Arthur). ...
Stephen Eure's user avatar
  • 2,429
7 votes
4 answers
31k views

Very old sourdough starter; how long is too long?

For quite some time, my grandmother has had a sourdough starter kept in the fridge. I observed her making muffins and whatnot on an infrequent basis, with the intervals sometimes increasingly greater ...
Dan Melks's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
932 views

Why would a fully-developed dough lose consistency (elasticity / extensibility)?

I've been experimenting with panettone and I've come across the issue time and time again of losing dough consistency while mixing the secondo impasto (i.e. the final panettone dough). What makes this ...
YenForYang's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
5k views

How do different techniques impact sourdough bread?

I have recently started baking sourdough bread (with a 100% hydration starter). My current method is: Take starter from the fridge, feed, wait a couple of hours. Add flour and water (approx 70% ...
lainie's user avatar
  • 325
7 votes
2 answers
442 views

How can you change the environmental factors to change the proportions of sourdough microbiological cultures?

How can you increase/decrease the proportions of lactobacili and yeast in a sourdough starter. For example, if I wanted a more acidic bread, increasing the lactobacili, or if I wanted a less acidic ...
Sebiddychef's user avatar
  • 3,738
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

How do I diagnose and adjust my bread recipe?

Our family has maintained a sourdough start for several decades. It has great flavor, but we use it mostly for pancakes. I've tried making bread with it several times, but never get good results. ...
erickson's user avatar
  • 165
6 votes
4 answers
9k views

How to get a sourdough like effect without the hassle of a real sourdough starter?

I enjoy making bread, but the bread I make using standard yeast of course lacks that sourdough taste. But the process of making and maintaining a sourdough starter frankly requires a bit too much ...
michaelw_newyork's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
20k views

Could I use beer instead of/as well as water in my sourdough?

The sourdough recipe I use calls for 300ml of water to 500g of bread flour (along with the starter). Instead of this water, could I use beer - or a combination of beer and water? The reason I thought ...
Danger Fourpence's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
30k views

Adding flavorings & fillings to bread dough

I have a basic sourdough bread recipe that I've made a few times with consistent results, so I decided to try modifying it with different flavors and fillings. My question is, are there general ...
JShweky's user avatar
  • 317
6 votes
2 answers
27k views

Sourdough starter bubbling but not rising after months of feeding

I have successfully made sourdough whilst living in Texas - USA then back in Australia and now i am currently living in Nashville - USA. Since moving to Nashville i began a new starter and have ...
Bonnie's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes
2 answers
7k views

Working with a slack (sticky) sourdough

My background is in microbiology and I have fairly recently started making sourdough. I have been working up my sourdough recipe getting lots of information from friends and the internet. The recipe ...
Jeremy Hackett's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
34k views

Why won't my sourdough form a shapeable dough that doesn't stick?

I'm pretty new to the sourdough game and will admit that I have very little knowledge of the science behind it (hydration, etc.). I have so far tried two sourdough starters to make two simple ...
emyrking's user avatar

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