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Sour Dough Starter

  • 1 package Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

In a 4 quart container dissolve yeast in warm water (110-115 degrees); let stand 5 minutes. Add flour and sugar. By hand, stir until blended. The mixture will be thick; any remaining lumps will dissolve during the fermentation process. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or foil. Let stand in warm place for 5 days, stirring 2 or 3 times each day. The starter will “rise and fall” during the fermentation period; it becomes thinner as it stands. A temperature of 80-85 degrees is best for the sour flavor to develop. When the starter is developed, it is bubbly and may have a yellow liquid layer on top; stir into the starter before using. The starter can be used for baking or placed in the refrigerator to use later.

To use the starter, measure out desired amount as specified in the recipe. When refrigerated, let starter come to room temperature before using; this will take about 4 hours. If you plan to bake in the morning, leave the starter out overnight.

Replenish remaining starter with 3 parts flour to 2 parts water and 1 teaspoon sugar, i.e., after using 1 cup starter, replenish with 1 cup flour, 2/3 cup warm water (110-115 degrees), and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir until blended; some lumps will remain. Cover loosely and let stand in warm place for 10 to 12 hours or overnight. The starter will rise and become bubbly. Stir, then place in refrigerator to store.

Stir in 1 teaspoon sugar to keep it active if the starter is not used every week.


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