Another Attempt at a Sourdough Starter

My first attempt at a wild yeast sourdough starter successfully grew a nice crop of mold.  Down the drain with that one.  Apparently Grossmutter Rahn (the German grandmother whose recipe I used) had more yeast in her kitchen than I have in mine.  I called in reinforcements… I called my mom 🙂

We talked through how I made my starter and compared to her experiences.  I like how gardening and baking are discussed by my parents and my in-laws.  They never tell you how you should do this or that.  They tell you how they do it… and let that awkward pause serve to not so subtly point out that their way is NOT how you just tried to do it on your own.

So what did I learn? She stirs her starter… I let mine sit undisturbed.  Her’s is very “liquidy” while mine was a thick batter.  She also suggested putting some of my homebrew in to give it a little kickstart without resorting to the active dry yeast from the grocery store.

Fri AM


I made a quick trip to the store for rye flour.  I cut the recipe in half this time after seeing just how big of a batch of starter I made last time.  Thursday night I mixed up 1 boiled and peeled riced potato, 2 cups rye flour, 2 cups of potato water, 1/4 cup honey plus some extra for good measure, 1T raw sugar, 1t salt, and an extra cup of water and half cup of homebrew… hefeweizen… apropos I thought.  This starter is wetter, sweeter, and beer-y-er than the first attemp and will get stirred a couple times a day.  The picture above is the morning after right after stirring.  A few bubbles were making their way to the surface.

Fri PM


I stirred it up again Friday night and it looked quite happy right before bed.  And Saturday morning before the weekly farmer’s market trip…

Sat AM


A layer of foam is on top of the batter as my starter is now very much a happy success!

I started a few other projects this morning, as well.  Raw milk and chili pepper stems went into my new Yogotherm, so I can say I made yogurt from scratch without needing help from Dannon.  There’s some enzyme in chili pepper stems… we’ll see…

I scalded a bit of raw milk and mixed it up with a bit of corn meal, rye flour and baking soda for a salt-rising bread starter.  This one has to stay warm, so I have the mason jar in a pot of hot water that will get refreshed with hot tap water a few times a day.  I set out some soured cream for cultured butter later today.  Oh look! Something shiny!  Maybe I have food ADD…

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