Getting Started with Sourdough

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Adventures in Country Living, Recipes | 13 comments


Greetings friends! Today I am so excited to get to share with you about sourdough. I’ve put together a video tutorial for getting started and if you’ve ever wondered about working with sourdough but have never known how to begin, I hope this video will be helpful to you! And below in the comments, I’d love to chat with you about any sourdough experiences you might have, or if you’re just getting started and have some questions, please ask! :)

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  1. this was great! Love the music :-) have had your sour dough cookies and they were fabulous!

    • Thank you, Nettie!! And I’m so glad you liked those cookies. :) I’ll be making them again!

  2. Hi, Joanne!

    I really enjoyed the video on the sour dough starter !!

    Years ago – a recipe went around at my place of employment in which a starter batter was made by adding to it each day, portions were given to friends, and it was used to make what was called Friendship Bread. I’m wondering if this was the same thing as the sour dough starter ?? What makes the batter sour dough ?? Is any starter batter like this known as sour dough starter ??

    Some other questions: if cheesecloth isn’t available – what else, if anything, could be used to cover the starter dough ?? How often do you, personally, use the starter dough, what other things have you made with it, and where do you find other recipes that use the starter dough ?? According to the video: after the 7 day daily feedings, you only feed the dough once a week, and after a month, or two, throw it out, and start a new dough – correct ??

    Last question: does your father have CD’s of his music for sale ?? I loved it !!

    Thank you SO much !! Hugs !!

    • Bonnie,

      I do think they are quite the same. I’ve never done a friendship bread, but I’ve heard of it and reading your description it sounds a lot like it! That’s one nice thing about sour dough is being able to share it with friends. What makes the batter sour–is the fermentation process. It’s a lot like beer or yogurt in that regard, giving it that tang. I think any starter batter like this would be considered sourdough for the same reason.

      For covering the sourdough, just a clean t-shirt would be perfect. I think a fairly thin, breathable fabric would be best to make sure it’s open to the environment. I personally use it about once or twice a week. More often if I want to bake more and if that’s the case, I give it more during the feeding. For example, I needed two cups of starter to make pancakes this weekend, so the night before, I gave my SD starter a BIG feeding and had plenty in the morning. :)

      After those seven days, you keep feeding it. I feed mine about once daily. Skipping a day here and there is ok and if you want a break you just toss it in the fridge and it’s fine to hang out there for a while. NO need to toss it out ever as they get better with time. Some San Fransisco bakeries have 100 year old starters! (I believe :) )

      Yes, my dad did do the music and he DOES have CD’s! He doesn’t sell them as he just likes to give them away so I will get your address and pop some in the mail for you!

      • SO interesting – thanks for the info, Joanne!! And thank you SO much for the CD – please thank your father for me, also!! I sent my address by Facebook private message!

  3. Good Morning Joanne
    I sent my daughter over here to watch our video on making the bread, she started talking about it and so I remembered you had done it already. Amanda loves to bake, so this is up her alley. How are you ? I miss seeing you more on FB and posting. Know your loved and prayed for ! You can reach me anytime , let me know how I can bless you and be a sister to you.
    Hugs and Much Love,
    Remember to keep me on your influencer list ok and Don’t miss yours truely in Julie Lessmans new book this fall ” Surprised by Love ”
    Let me know how you are ….Hugs

    • Linda, thank you for being a burst of inspiration!! I’ve been writing a novel full-force and have been scarce all around. I have over 200 unanswered emails… a very bad thing to do, but oh, how fun it’s been to dive into a new story and it’s almost done! :) Thank you for your sweet words and constant encouragement. And I can’t wait to see you in Julie’s next book!

  4. Do you have day to day instructions for the starter on your website anywhere that it could be printed off? Thanks

    • Hi LaDonna,

      That’s a great question! I don’t have a print out for the instructions, but it’s such a wonderful idea that I will try and put one together soon!

  5. Hey Joanne, I am on day 3, so tonite I will get rid of half and increase to 1/2 cup each. My question until day 8 do I just go back to 1/4 cup 4 thru 8 days and when do I get rid of half again and when can I bake? Mine is looking good and I don’t want to do it wrong. I have never gotten a starter to work for sourdough. Please let me know thanks. You can just write me day to day if you want to! Thanks for your time, sorry for all the questions!

  6. So..Joanne, don’t kill me!! lol I have watched your video several times and have looked away on the days of 5 thru 8, I guess. So on eight is the starter ready for bread? And do you still leave it on the counter or do you move it to the fridge for just weekly feedings? Disregard my previous post, I promise I won’t take my eyes off your video’s again!! Thanks so much!

  7. Joanne Bischof May 15, 2015
    Hi LaDonna! It’s so fun to know that your starter is progressing and that the video has been helping you along mostly. :) I’m trying to remember…. it’s been a while since I made a starter, but if it’s any comfort, they are hard to mess up. I’m actually about to begin a new one. IN a nutshell… all you want to do is keep feeding your sourdough a bit of water and a bit of flour every day (I do get lazy and feed mine every other day) but they will be stronger the more you feed them. At this point, I don’t measure much, but do a few spoonfuls of flour and balance it with a splash of the water. I usually start with the waffle recipe only because it’s more forgiving then homemade bread, but if your’re comfortable with bread, I say you could probably go for it! I DO leave it out on the counter all the time. I put it in the fridge only if I want to take a few weeks off from using it or for going on vacation. Even in the hottest summer months, if you want a break from baking, a month in the fridge is just great for everyone (both baker and starter) ;)

  8. Ok, thanks so much for getting back to me. I have listened to the video several times, that’s why I didn’t see the parts where you posted instructions! I have read a lot about sourdough and was surprised that you put a lid on it while it is out on the counter. I have heard alot of stories of it “blowing up”. Don’t want to go there! Somewhere I read that you can tell if the starter is ready to bake bread when you put a drop in water, I will have to look it up again. Read too….much, haha! I think I got all the info I need, I really appreciate you responding back so quickly. I let you know how it goes! Thanks again! Happy writing!

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