Monday, November 11, 2013

Cabin Baking: Easy Sourdough Starter

My life took a lot of twists and turns last year, and I didn't use my sourdough starter.  When I checked in April, I found my cabin batch had gone bad.  That was a sad day. I'd been nurturing it in my fridge for over four years! But I'd cloned a batch for town. When I cleaned the fridge last week, I was surprised it still appeared OK after a year of neglect. So I took it back up to the cabin to see if it would revive. And to my surprise, it did! YEA!

Here's the original recipe from Sourdough Cookery by Rita Davenport. It's available at Amazon, but maybe you can find one at your favourite used book store like I did. It's a great little paperback with 220 recipes from starter to breads to cakes to main dishes.


2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water

Don't use metal bowls or utensils. Mix dry ingredients. Add lukewarm water (I used skim milk) and stir to a smooth paste.

Cover with a towel and set in a warm place (85°F/30°C) to sour. Stir several times a day. In 2-3 days, the starter will be ready. Store in a heavy plastic container with a hole in the lid (or a small plastic bag) to allow gases to escape. I also use a bowl underneath to catch drips. Wayne says it's "alive" (actually the yeast is) when it bubbles over like the blob.

When using your starter, always reserve at least 1/2 cup. Replenish it with 1/2 cup water (again, I use skim milk for a tangier flavour) and 1/2 cup flour. Leave out overnight, stir down and return it to the refrigerator. They recommend "feeding" your starter once a week if you don't use it, but mine lasted a LOT longer.

 If it doesn't bubble enough, add a little extra dry yeast and lukewarm water for a boost. Sometimes a clear liquid will form on top. That's OK, just stir it back in. If the starter or liquid turns pink, it needs to be discarded.

I like to add starter to my pancake mix for an extra special taste. Here are some of my recipes using sourdough starter:

Sourdough Biscuits
Sourdough Wheat Bread
Sourdough Sopapillas

Do you have any favourite sourdough recipes? I'd love to hear them. -- Margy


  1. Thank you for this recipe, I have an Amish friendship bread recipe, but I don't have a starter. Sorry the old one had passed it's time!

  2. Lise - Got the starter back in action, now I just need to find time to bake some bread. - Margy