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Sourdough Starter (from scratch)

  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
Dear Sourdough Fans:

In visiting Alaska recently, I found some good information on sourdough. I am already a sourdough bread maker so it was an addition to my knowledge on the subject.

I bought a book called "Alaska Sourdough" written by Ruth Allman.

She explained that the prospectors in the early days had no yeast so they made their own. It was called "wild yeast." I want to share this with my fellow lovers of sourdough bread.

To begin, you take two potatoes, cooked in enough water to completely cover them (approximately 3 cups). Cook them until they are overdone (with skins on). Mash this up all together and strain (I used a spaghetti strainer). The skins will lift out of the strainer and mash the potatoes through the strainer. Now, you have a thick potato soup texture (about 3 cups). Slightly cool this.

Add about 2 cups of good flour (I use King Arthur). Stir this well. Don't worry about the lumps; they will dissolve. Add a tablespoon of sugar.

Now you have the starter completed. Stir it daily and add a moderate amount of more flour and a pinch of sugar each day as you will notice it starting to bubble. Keep in a warm location. I put mine in a clear gallon jug so I can see it bubble.

When you see an inch or more of bubbles at the top, it is ready to use. Save 1 cup or more of the starter. To this, add warm (not hot) water and flour like you did the first time. Your starter is alive and active. It can be used for many years this way. Never does it give out unless you mistreat it.

Congratulations! You just made your sourdough starter with your own yeast.

If this is not clear, you can e-mail me and I will answer your questions. Happy bread making!

Carol Bleich
Submitted by Tess M Nov 26, 2009 15 min 30 min 45 min
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