When i was growing up my Dad always used to make homemade sour dough bread.  Since he is coming to visit in a couple of weeks I thought I would go down memory lane and make some sour dough starter. 

The perfect starter

It is really simple, but takes a week to get started.

Sour Dough Starter – (From the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book)

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2.5 cups warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Dissolve the yeast in a 1/2 cup of the warm water

dissolved yeast

Then stir the flour, honey and remaining water in another bowl.

Flour and Water   I really like honey!

Mix till the starter is smooth.  Then cover with a cheesecloth.  Let stand at room temperature for 5-10 days or until the mixture stops bubbling, remember to stir 2-3 times a day. 

cheesecloth

After that time move to the refrigerator and use within 10 days.  If you fail to use the mixture replenish with 1 teaspoon of honey every 10 days.  If you keep on replenishing it, it will keep forever.  The older the starter, the more sour the taste, the better the bread.

Check back next week for sour dough bread, pancakes and even pizza.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

7 Comments

  1. So I am following your instructions, but I was looking on another website and it said that you have to feed the starter 2-3 times a day, and if there is a liquid on top that it is 'hooch' and you have to do all kinds of corrections… did I do something wrong?? I did mix everything….???

    • There are a ton of ways to make sour dough starter, some use straight wild yeast, while the one on my blog uses commercial yeast to get it started and then relies on the time on counter to gather wild yeast. During the initial starter phase with the method that I used, you are going to have some separation. You need to stir it at least twice a day, preferrably three times a day during this period. If your starter fails to bubble after the third day or after I would feed it (3/4 cup flour, 3/4 water, 1 tsp) and stir it, that will incorporate everything. Stirring also oxygenates the starter and keeps the yeast alive. As long as you have yeast, you don't have to worry about other organisms in the starter. The yeast creates an enviroment that makes it almost impossible for bacteria to live in. You should look for the sour smell to appear around day three. This is the fermenting that makes sour dough so delicious. Once you have your starter made and in the refrigerator, you should stir it every couple of days and feed it every 8-10 days- 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 water, 1 tsp honey or sugar. Once again, you will have some separation, just make sure to stir it to keep the yeast alive and oxygenated. But to answer your question, everything is fine. If it stops bubbling you need to feed it to give the yeast more sugars. I forgot to add this to my post. Thanks for the question.

      • Thanks Rex, can't wait to try this starter. I do have a couple questions. Do you keep the cheesecloth on it when you transfer it to the fridge or do you cover it with a lid? And let's say you use half of it when baking, do you keep adding more flour, water and honey to it while it's in the fridge or do you take it back out again for a bit?

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