I have tried sourdough starters before and they weren’t exactly miserable failures, but they weren’t great either.  I know the “sourdough purists” will not like this starter because it does involve actual yeast but I figure after using it for about 20 times the actual yeast is now mostly gone.  Now lest you think you cannot do sourdough stuff, I say that you can.  Have you ever had one of those Amish Friendship Bread starters?  If you can do that you can most likely do sourdough.

Now, there are lots of ways to do sourdough.  There are good tutorials here and here.  First I will share my recipe, then I will tell you how I keep my sourdough starter alive and kickin.

The Recipe (from a Pizza making book that my friend had):

1 package active dry yeast

2 cups water, warmed to 110-115 degrees

2 cups flour; preferably whole wheat, rye or a mixture

1 Tablespoon sugar or honey

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup water.  Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water, the flour and sugar or honey.  Beat until smooth and well-blended.  Cover with a  plastic wrap (or cheesecloth) and let stand for about 48 hours.  Stir the  mixture 2 or 3 times each day.

When properly fermented and “sour” it will be bubbly on top.  This might take up to a week, depending on humidity and room temperature.  Store the starter in the refrigerator, covered with cheesecloth or a loose plastic wrap.  When part of the starter is removed, add 1 cup flour and 1 cup water, stirring to incorporate and let stand at room temperature until the fermentation is resumed.  The starter may be used and replenished indefinitely, and it improves with age.

Here is what I do, I keep my starter in the fridge.  The day before I am going to use it for something I take it out and set it at room temperature and “feed” it with 1 cup of warm water and 1 cup of whole wheat flour.   I actually switch to a clean jar every time I do this.  What I have learned is to take my original jar, put the 1 cup of warm water in first and put a lid on the jar and shake it up and pour that into my new jar.  Then I add my 1 cup of flour and stir and cover with cheesecloth.  I leave this at room temperature for at least 8 hours and then in the evening I will mix up my recipe and then put the remaining starter back in the fridge for another day.  I try to take it out and feed it about once a week whether I use it or not.  I do not discard any of the starter, but I am trying to use it once a week or so.  I will be sharing some recipes next week if you are interested.

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Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace