Using an Established Sourdough Starter vs Making Sourdough Starter from Scratch

There are many recipes and methods for making a sourdough starter from scratch available online or in popular books. Although creating a sourdough bread starter from scratch can be an interesting process, there are several advantages to using an established sourdough starter.

  • It’s easier. Creating a sourdough bread starter from scratch involves a lot of effort over a 7-day period (feeding the starter each day, switching containers each day, etc.). With an established sourdough starter, the process is more straightforward. You simply add the sourdough starter to a container, mix it with flour and water and then feed the starter (mixing in more flour and water) each day for 1-4 days (depending on whether you are using a fresh or dried sourdough starter culture). There is no need to switch containers. This process is also faster than creating a sourdough starter from scratch, particularly if you are using a fresh sourdough starter culture.
  • It’s more reliable. Using an established sourdough starter will ultimately produce more reliable results. All of our sourdough starter cultures contain active yeast that has been perpetuated over a long period of time. They are stable, active and resilient.
  • Ensure pleasant tasting sourdough. With an established sourdough starter you can be assured that your sourdough bread and other baked goods will have a pleasant taste. Not all wild yeast is created equal and we don’t all live in areas where pleasant tasting wild yeast abounds. Relying on capturing wild yeast where you live may not yield the result you desire. Many people have gone through the process of creating a sourdough starter from scratch only to find it tastes and/or smells unpleasant.
Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert started Cultures for Health in late 2008. She is the mother to three young children and enjoys cooking and reading. Her favorite cultured foods include water kefir and kombucha. Julie lives with her family in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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    • Julie FeickertJulie says

      Good tip! This is due to the levels of yeast and bacteria living on the grains you are using. The more natural yeast and bacteria, the easier it is to get a starter going. Unfortunatley in some parts of the country it is difficult to get grain that hasn’t been sterilized or otherwise lacking in quality yeast and bacteria. But when you can find a good source, it’s a great way to make a starter.

  1. Luc says

    Perhaps I wrote too early. When I did make bread from this home made starter, the taste was not so good even if the starter looked great. The bread tasted like if there was a lot of baking soda in it.
    So I am beginning to use your sourdough. Unfortunately I have to switch your New Zealand Rye sourdough to spelt because no Canadian retailer would have it on hand unless I bought 6 packs, being the minimum the retailers need to buy from you.

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