Sourdough Starter in our Recipes

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Yes, you can use activated sourdough starter in our recipes.  My own sourdough starter, after I activate it from the fridge, is about half water and half flour.  I’ve found that about 1 1/2 cups of activated sourdough starter works well in our full-batch recipes, which make 4 to 5 pounds of dough.  This means that you need to decrease the water in the recipes by 3/4 cup, and the flour by 3/4 cup.

So, having done this, do you need to use commercial yeast in addition?  I found that I still needed some yeast in the recipe, though I could use a lower dose, which I’ve posted about before in the context of our yeast-risen recipes.    That seems like a good compromise.  I did experiment with zero-yeast versions, but I found them a bit temperamental– didn’t store terribly well so we decided not to put that in our books… yet!

More in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and our other books.

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with others using one of the social sharing buttons above. Thanks, Jeff and Zoë

207 thoughts on “Sourdough Starter in our Recipes

  1. Hi! I’ve been making the bread using the lazy sourdough shortcut, and it’s good, but not quite sour enough for my taste. Is there any way I can get it to sour up a bit?

    • You could try a sourdough approach, click on our FAQs tab and scroll to “Sourdough starter: can I use it with this method?” But, we’ve never published a sour starter recipe (though they’re all over the web).

  2. I’ve been using the lazy sourdough method with the master recipe – is there a max length of time I can keep doing this or is it indefinite? Thank you, Lori

    • If it’s without eggs or dairy, I go indefinitely. But– see our FAQs tab above and click on “Gray color on my dough: Is there something wrong?”

  3. Hi Jeff and Zoe,

    Yesterday I won a First Prize Blue Ribbon at the California State Fair for my bread using Goldrush Sourdough Starter granules in my unique recipe. I have further simplified the sourdough preparation process, combining past methods and procedures while adding my own shortcut and taste touches. It works beautifully and conveniently for today’s busy bakers, and it is absolutely delicious sourdough bread! The Judges at the State Fair (all baking professionals) were quite surprised when I told them (AFTER they awarded the prizes) that this was from a no knead sourdough yeast bread recipe! I started serious bread baking two years ago by reading your books from the library and watching YouTube videos. My very own copy of the latest edition of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day arrived days before my bread entry was due at the California State Fair, and I was still referring to my notes and your book the night before the Baking Contest.

    Vicki Taylor

  4. Please let me know if you can read the Recipes for Shortcut Goldrush Sourdough on my Facebook page (under “Vicki Gardiner Taylor”). I “Followed” the Artisan Facebook page, so that should help. If not, we’ll find another way.

  5. Jeff, I’m so glad you checked it out. It’s also nice because this is a much cleaner and more controlled to making home-made sourdough. By not relying on wild yeast, you’re not introducing unknown things and pollution floating around in the air into a starter. And by not handling a starter repeatedly over long periods of time, you don’t risk introducing undesirable elements into your bread. Last but not least, if the dough from Recipe #2 should ever happen to develop an “off” taste, you can start clean with Recipe #1 again, which is pretty easy to do! – Vicki

  6. Looking for an Artisan/5 minutes a day sourdough bread recipe (that uses actual sourdough starter). Is it in one of your cookbooks?

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