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  1. Ginger says

    Good timing! I’m planning on my first sourdough attempt either this weekend or early next week, depending on how much I end up trying to get done this weekend. I haven’t started my starter yet, but I found directions to make one using water kefir to speed up the process (and I have PLENTY of water kefir!).

    • Tiffany says

      Ginger,

      Starting the starter is so easy you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner, lol. I read about making homemade gummies with water kefir. THAT would be SO GOOD! ~Tiffany

  2. Karen R says

    I love a good, chewy artisan whole grain sourdough. I have made white flour sourdough myself with good success, but when I tried with whole wheat flour it did not turn out well at all (unless you were wanting a doorstop!). I have found a local bakery that makes a wonderful multi-grain seedy sourdough, but it does not have that sourdough “tang”. I pretty much have to take their word for it that it IS sourdough. I asked them about that and they said that is the nature of the multi-grains. Have you had success with making sourdough with whole and/or multi-grains?

    • Tiffany says

      Hi Karen,

      I’ve made two loaves in the past couple days, both using a rye starter. On the first I used white whole wheat flour with a double rise (4 hours each) and the second I used bread flour with a 12-hour single rise. The white flour loaf turned out a bit softer on the inside, and rose “slightly.” The whole wheat was tougher inside, but seemed to rise a bit better.

      I’m still experimenting, but I’d like to try a whole wheat with a double rise (8 hour/12 hour) and a white the same way to get a better side-by-side comparison. I need to feed my starter first though for a few days! I can say that the tang was actually more prominent with the white loaf, but it wasn’t completely gone with the wheat. I wonder if the heartiness of the whole grain itself counteracts the tang a bit, because I used the same rye starter in both loaves and I KNOW it was sourdough!

      I’ll keep trying, and keep updating with the results! ~Tiffany

      I’ll

    • Tiffany says

      Thanks Rachel! It’s said that sourdough is quite possible the best bread for you, especially when made with rye. I’m cool with that – bring on the butter! :) ~Tiffany

  3. Joy says

    This is too funny … I just took 3 sourdough loaves out of my oven just before checking my email and reading your post! (-: Obviously, we LOVE sourdough around here! A couple of things I have learned during my trial and error with the sourdough bread. I love the look of the shaped loaves, but I have decided to only make it in the bread loaf pans(or some other pan with high sides) from now on. This allows the dough to keep a shape and not flatten out. I guess I need to back up a little … the reason why it flattens so much (besides the long rise) is because I have REALLY backed off on the amount of flour I incorporate in this dough. It makes all the difference between a doorstop loaf and a nice, soft, tender one! Think about it – if you use whole grain flour with all that bran included, and you let it rise for half a day, it’s really going to absorb moisture during that time. So, when I mix my dough, and get to the kneading stage, I only add enough flour so that it to pulls a little from the sides of the mixing bowl. THAT IS ALL. It’s still a very wet, sticky mess. But it doesn’t matter now, because it doesn’t need to be shaped. You just dump your dough into a greased pan. I repeat … DUMP the dough. Ha! The pan now helps it keep its shape. So far we have been so much happier with the end product when I make it this way, rather than starting with a dough that is firmer that can be handled, shaped, etc. That is fine for regular loaf bread, but no for sourdough! Oh, just more tip – The order of ingreds. for regular bread is H2O, oil, honey, some flour, mix a little, THEN add yeast and the rest of the flour. For sourdough, it’s different. H2O, your starter (basically the yeast), oil, honey, some flour, mix a little, THEN add salt and more flour. The point is to not allow yeast and salt to interact too much or the salt will kill the yeast and the bread won’t rise (ask me how I know!) Just my 2 cents again (-: -Joy

    • Tiffany says

      Joy,

      THANK YOU for all the wonderful tips. I love how you’re so forthcoming with your experience for the rest of us to glean from!

      I’ve been testing out loaves and your tips explain why they’re not coming out quite as I’d like… although the family isn’t complaining about the taste! I’m obliviously not an experienced sourdough baker, but I think my basic recipe is pretty good. With your ideas though, it could be amazing! Now to get my starter bulked up again lol! Can’t wait to test it out! ~Tiffany

  4. Andrea B says

    I just bought a SF starter from Cultures for Health and i have to admit, i’ve been too scared to start it. The directions aren’t too bad but the i’m afraid after i have my starter i would think know what to do next and i’m terrified of wasting it while I figure it out! I bought it with the intention of keeping the starter around for generations. I was a little confused, once I get it going, then what? Where and how do I store it? And separating it to make a loaf. I feel like i need to fully grasp every aspect of it before I start so I don’t mess it up. (i got it in the mail right after starting to make kefir and kombucha. Overwhelming!)

    • Tiffany says

      Deep breath Andrea – it’ll be okay!

      I’ve got an in-depth post coming next week that will answer all your questions and put your mind at ease. For now, go ahead and get your culture started. Instead of pouring down the drain, pour the starter into a bowl and make the pancake recipe – my kids ate an entire batch in one sitting! That should get you through until the post, when hopefully you’ll have enough to keep going AND make bread. :)

      But I understand the kefir, kombucha AND sourdough dilemma. I’d be overwhelmed too!! ~Tiffany

    • Tiffany says

      It can be done!! I’ll work out the “issues” with the wheat version and pass them on to you for the GF variety! :)

  5. Cynthia Raiser Jeavons says

    Have you tried the brown rice sourdough from G.E. M. Cultures?? Very yummy, and easy to make! Gluten=free folks can have sourdough, too!!

  6. Lisa says

    Im so excited to read this post, Ive been wanting to make Sourdough for forever. I am just now taking baby steps into bread making. I have a breadmaker, but I dont like it. I have been letting the machine mix and knead for me, then baking myself. The loaves from the breadmaker come out to large for sandwhich bread.

    • Tiffany says

      I agree Lisa, and I’d let a bread machine do the same for me if I had one. I love being able to shape and size my own loaves. Artisan-style are so beautiful, and perfect for gifts! :) ~Tiffany

  7. says

    OMG!! A few weeks ago I purchased a starter from Cultures for Health. I activated it. I made pancakes a couple of times so there was no “waste” when I was feeding but not baking bread. I even gave my mom some of my starter. :) I also made a spice cake which turned out really good.

    I have purchased the book “Sourdough from A to Z” from GNOWFGLINS. I learned a great deal reading the introductory information about sourdough let alone the numerous recipes I can use. However, I must admit I am intimidated by the bread making. What if it doesn’t rise, what if it turns out wrong. I am just going to have to get over I know. lol

    I am currently growing my started over the next few days with intentions on making bread later this week. I am going to use the recipe that came with my starter. I agree with Joy on making a sticky dough prior to kneading.

    I am going to try and overcome my fear and make bread. I can’t wait to read your upcoming post for more tips and advice.

    • Tiffany says

      Thank you for the reminder that I had that book Emily! Remember that sourdough is an ADVENTURE. If it doesn’t rise or turns our wrong, make breadcrumbs! Let us know how your bread turns out! ~Tiffany

  8. says

    Sourdough is the only kind of bread I make anymore, for the past year. You can also make sourdough other baked goods like chocolate cake, cinnamon raisin bread, donuts, etc. I found Jessie Hawkins book The Vintage Remedies Guide to Bread to be WONDERFUL on this topic.

    • Tiffany says

      Another great book suggestion Jennifer – thank you! I’ve seen it in baked good recipes, but was curious how the taste would come out. Then again, pair anything with chocolate and I’m good to go. :) ~Tiffany

  9. Cathie says

    I’ve been making my own sourdough for a couple of months now. I only make one loaf/wk, because it’s only my husband and I (son doesn’t enjoy it, so he gets oatmeal bread.) I can’t get over and satisfying it is to know that I harvested my very own starter. Love it!

    • Tiffany says

      Isn’t that neat? Kinda makes me feel very “accomplished” that I didn’t need to buy yeast to make bread. :) Oatmeal bread sounds good too!!

  10. says

    I love sour dough but it doesn’t seem to love me back. I’ve got the starter and have baked 2 loaves, neither of which rose so they made fantastic door stops *sigh* This weekend will be the winner, I can feel it!

    • Tiffany says

      I LOVE your enthusiasm Kimberly! I’m still working out the kinks too, but there’s GOT to be a way otherwise everyone wouldn’t keep making it, right? Let me know if you stumble across THE key secret before I do! ~Tiffany

  11. says

    I love sourdough bread! In fact I just posted a recipe using homemade sourdough bread. I love how you explained the science behind it. When I did my post on how to make sourdough, I never even thought to do that :( My brain jut isn’t wired that way :)

    • Tiffany says

      Hi Lisa,

      I’ve found that unless I know the WHY behind my actions, I’m not always successful in implementing changes. I figured maybe there are others out there who think along the same lines, lol. :) ~Tiffany

  12. Mindy Robinson says

    Hopefully you can help me…I think I may have made a big mistake :( I got a sourdough starter from Cultures for Health and have activated it and was supposed to do my second feeding this morning. Only problem is that I forgot to throw out all but 1/2 cup of the starter before adding my water and flour this morning. I went ahead and mixed everything together and put it back in a warm spot…is it ruined? Has anyone else done this before?

    • Tiffany says

      Mindy,

      You’ll be fine. They advise pouring some out so that the starter doesn’t overflow your jar/bowl. I did the same thing with mine and there were no problems. You may want to pour some out the next feeding though, otherwise you may have dough all over your counters. :) Enjoy!!

      • Mindy Robinson says

        Whew! That’s a huge relief…thanks! I could have cried when I realized what I did (well, maybe not cried, but it was upsetting :) So does that mean that I could keep all the starter if I have a large enough container? Or split the starter into more than one container?

        • Tiffany says

          LOL, I know the feeling, and there WOULD have been tears if it were me! :) Yes, you can keep the starter going. If you’re in the initial growing of the starter, pour some off if it outgrows the container and use it in pancakes, waffles or biscuits. You don’t want to split the starter until you know for sure it’s ready to go. ~Tiffany

          • Mindy Robinson says

            Thanks for the suggestions…we’ll definitely do pancakes for breakfast one day this week :) Thanks for keeping up such an awesome blog…it’s really inspiring to newbies like me!

  13. Katie says

    Hi Tiffany!

    First,I just want to let you know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! It has really inspired me to try new things and to become more aware of the junk in the food that I thought was healthy. It is also encouraging me to be more frugal in my grocery spending! Both are very good things!

    Now I am super excited to try the sourdough! Thank you for posting this!

    Katie

    • Tiffany says

      Hi Katie!

      THANK YOU for your very kind and encouraging words! I’m happy to help. Keep up the great work, and I look forward to getting to know you better! ~Tiffany

  14. says

    Hey Tiffany!

    I LOVE sourdough. It may be my favorite type of dough. I have been way too leery to make it from scratch =/ But if you think I can do it, I may give it a shot!

    Can’t wait to see your photo tutorial next week! Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday :)

    • Tiffany says

      Hi Andrea!

      You.Can.Do.This! The starter is a cinch, and if you’re willing to experiment, the bread is delicious! ~Tiffany

    • Tiffany says

      You can do it Steph! Both the rye from scratch & starter worked well. Plus I’ve got a few more tips to share!

  15. says

    You probably saw on PRM that I’m trying to start my starter from Cultures for Health and failing miserably. Can’t wait to see how you did yours! I’ll likely have to start over and find a warmer place. I want me some sourdough!!

    Thanks for linking up to Wellness Wednesday – you’ll be one of my featured posts this week. :)

    • Tiffany says

      Thanks Anjanette! I’m reading that it’s possible to do sourdough in even the colder climates, but I think it just needs a bit more time and patience. You can do it!!

  16. says

    I’d love to learn how to make totally gluten-free sourdough bread. I love sourdough, but at this point I can’t risk it. I know it breaks down some of the gluten, but the longer I’m away from gluten the more sensitive I am to even a little bit of it. I hope you’ll post any recipes you come across for that kind of recipe! Thanks for sharing this with us on Wellness Wednesday :)

  17. charissa pacheco says

    LOL! I’m so relieved to know I’m not the only one afraid to start the starter I purchased! I think I’m finally feeling brave enough to give it a go but might wait until after I come back from vacation early next month. I don’t want to lose it to neglect while I am gone!

    • Tiffany says

      :) If you’ll be gone for a week or less, your starter will be fine in the fridge. Just feed before you leave and when you get back. I think there’s some grace too, because I once forgot about the starter in the fridge for about 10 days. I fed it twice and it revived without a problem!

      • charissa pacheco says

        Thanks! I actually may be gone for 2 weeks. I know, I’m spoiled :D But it costs so much to fly anywhere from Hawaii that I feel like I need to “get my money’s worth.” LOL – first world problems!!

  18. Sara Scott says

    I have baked with sourdough now for over a year and truly love the way it enhances the flavor of the bread. Storing the starter in the fridge and taking it out every week or so to fed makes this living creature incredibly easy to take care of. The health benefits are fascinating, which is what led me to your blog. Thanks for the info and happy baking! Enjoy sharing your starter with others!

  19. says

    I make my sourdough bread with a starter I purchased from King Arthur that dates back to 1790!
    I make my loaves in pans with a 50/50 combo of unbleached King Arthur flour and Organic Whole Spelt Flour. Makes great pizza dough too!

    • Tiffany says

      How awesome to have such an old starter! I haven’t tried spelt yet, but I think I’m liking the 50/50 blend too. :)

  20. Cheryl says

    I make water kefir with lemon & dried fig, now if I was using kefir water for sourdough would I make it without the fruit ? I’m planning on making sourdough, I’ve read you can use kefir water once in the fermenting is that right? Also how big a bowl or tub & do you put a lid on it?

    • Tiffany says

      You can use kefir water to help boost the process at the beginning, but I’ve heard that it only puts you 1-3 days ahead (so instead of being on day 2, your starter might look like it’s on day 3 or early day 4). I use a medium pyrex glass bowl and use a plate as a lid, but leave it slightly ajar for air flow. :)

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