Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sourdough Starter for Breads

Have you wanted to make real sourdough bread, rolls or hamburger buns, but were intimidated by the process of creating "Starter"? Sourdough bread is distinctly flavorful , and produces great tasting rolls, croutons, buns, and breads. Many people prefer ordering the starter, and following the manufacturer’s directions. Here is our starter recipe, which lasts years, as long as it is used regularly.
Note: our sour dough bread recipe may be found on our website here.
Sourdough starter needs to be stored in glass or ceramic containers, and may be stirred with wooden utensils. It cannot come into contact with metal, because the metal disables the live bacteria in the starter. Baking may be done in any type pan.
We do not have the “real” San Francisco starter. Our recipe came from Regal Kitchens.

Sourdough Starter:
2.25 teaspoons active dry yeast
16 ounces warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour

Click Here to see another person's description using the same recipe.

Every time starter is needed, Jack moves it from the refrigerator to the counter in the evening, and leaves it out overnight. He removes the amount needed the next day, replenishes it with the same amount of water and flour, stirs it in, and allows it to set out several hours, before placing it back into the refrigerator. The more starter used in the bread, the stronger the sourdough flavor. This is how much we use for one sourdough loaf.


In a 2 or 3 quart glass bowl, using a wooden or nylon spoon, mix yeast and warm water, let stand 10 minutes. Add flour; mix until thick batter forms. Batter need not be smooth. Cover loosely with cheesecloth, lightweight kitchen towel or plastic wrap; let stand in warm place for 24 hours. Stir; cover loosely. Place starter in a warm place for 2 to 3 days or until it bubbles and smells sour; stir once a day. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or plastic cover; refrigerate.

To Replenish Starter:

After using a portion of starter, replenish with equal amounts of flour and warm water. For example, if 10 ounces (1.25 cups) of starter were removed to make bread, replenish remaining starter with 10 ounces (1.25 cups) warm water and 10 ounces (1.25 cups) flour. Stir well to blend, cover and let stand in warm place until bubbly, 3 to 5 hours. Store starter in loosely covered glass container in refrigerator. If not used at the end of one week, remove 1 cup starter and discard; then replenish with equal amounts of flour and warm water as instructed above.

NOTE: Starter needs to be fed regularly, which is why it is necessary to remove old starter and add new water and flour at least every week. 


1. Always make starter in a glass container. Never store in metal containers or use metal utensils. The starter will react to the metal.
2. All ingredients, including starter, should be at room temperature (70-80F/21-27C). Cold ingredients slow down the activity.
3. When removing starter, always replenish it. Let stand at room temperature for 3 to 5 hours, until mixture bubbles. Cover and refrigerate.
4. If starter separates (liquid forms on surface), stir until blended before using.
5. If the liquid that forms on surface of starter turns pink in color at any time, discard the starter and start over again with fresh ingredients.
6. Sourdough bread made in an automatic breadmaker requires the addition of yeast. The starer’s strength and the rising times in the breadmaker are not long enough to allow proper rising without it.

NOTE: Hint 6 above - the sourdough starter still provides the rich, aromatic flavor desired in sourdough breads, even in the breadmaker.

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