A Tradition in Family Baking

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter
Making a starter at home today is relatively easy when using active dry yeast. Plan to prepare your starter a few days before you wish to bake so that it has ample time to develop. As you will see,starters can be made with white, whole wheat, and even rye flour, each imparting its own distinct characteristics to the finished bread.
Yield: 1 sourdough starter
  • 2 cups water
  • 3½ cup bread flour
  • 2¼ tsp RED STAR Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  1. In a 4-quart nonmetallic container, dissolve yeast in warm water (110º to 115º F); let stand 5 minutes. Add flour and sugar. Stir by hand until blended. The mixture will be thick; any remaining lumps will dissolve during the fermentation process. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand in warm place for 5 days, stirring 2 to 3 times each day. The starter will rise and fall during the fermentation period; it becomes thinner as it stands. A temperature of 80º to 85º F is best for developing the sour flavor. When the starter is developed, it is bubbly and may have a yellow liquid layer on top; stir starter before using. The starter can be used for baking or placed in the refrigerator for later use.

  2. To use the starter, measure out desired amounts as specified in the recipe. Let refrigerated starter come to room temperature before using; this will take about 4 hours.

  3. After using the a portion of the starter for a recipe, replenish remaining starter with 3 parts flour to 2 parts water (example: if you use 1 cup starter, add back 1 cup flour and ⅔ cup water) and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir until blended; some lumps may remain. Cover loosely and let stand in warm place for 10 to 12 hours or overnight. The starter will rise and become bubbly. Stir and store in refrigerator. If the starter is not used every week, stir in 1 teaspoon sugar to keep it active.

  4. This recipe is featured at My Kitchen Addiction.

  1. I have used just the sourdough starter before when I’ve been reviving an old starter rather than throwing it out. It’s perfectly fine. The pancakes will be thicker and if you like them thin add milk to the batter.

  2. Hi I have three questions. In your sourdough starter mix it mentions replenishing remaining starter with 3 parts flour to 2 parts water, how much is a part? My second question is should you feed starter in those 5 days it’s fermenting? My last question I have a recipe that calls for 2 cups sourdough starter 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 egg, 4 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon baking soda and no flour. Does this sound safe to eat? Thank you for your time I will appreciate your comments Michael Filippini

    • Hi Michael,
      Thanks for your questions. The ‘replenish’ depends on how much starter you use for a recipe. Example, if you use 1 cup of starter for a recipe, then you replace it with 1 cup flour, 2/3 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of sugar. The flour amount is the same amount as starter that you removed; the water is 2/3 of the flour amount. Once it’s been replenished, allow it to sit at RT for about 12 hours for the yeast to become active again before it’s refrigerated again.

      The starter does not need feeding during the first 5 days, then it is refrigerated. Generally, if it is used at least every 2 weeks and replenished, it does not require additional feeding. If not, it can be fed with 1 teaspoon of sugar every week or two.

      As far as your recipe, it’s probably safe to eat, but typically the starter is only a portion of the bulk and additional flour is always added. I’m not sure if your recipe will actually make a dough.

      Happy baking!

      Carol Stevens @RSY

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