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Menu of Recipes:
Cajun Three-Pepper Whole Grain Spelt
Tutti Fruiti

Cajun Three-Pepper Bread (No-knead)

A big thanks to Jerry in Seattle for this great recipe adapted from Peter Reinhart’s Brother Juniper’s Bread Book. It came out very well.

3 cups bread flour
¼ cup uncooked polenta
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ cup sourdough starter
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
1-1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic
¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Place dry ingredients (flour through salt) into a large bowl and mix well. Combine starter, Tabasco sauce and water and add to the dry ingredients. Stir and add in the garlic, bell pepper.and parsley.

Cover bowl with plastic at let sit at room temperature for 18 hours.

After 18 hours turn dough onto well floured surface and gently flatten enough to fold dough back onto itself a couple times to form a roundish blob.

Cover blob with plastic or an inverted bowl and let rest 15 minutes. During this rest period, line a proofing basket or bowl with Reynolds Release foil.

Gently and quickly shape blob into an approximate ball and place in proofing basket or bowl.

Cover with a towel or bowl cover and let rise for 1-2 hours depending on room temperature.

Just before baking, slash the bread top to control cracking and lift the foil and dough into a Dutch oven or ceramic (e.g. La Cloche) baker preheated to 500F degrees. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

Allow bread to cool completely before slicing and eating.

This loaf has outstanding color in the crumb and is only slightly hot. Cream cheese is a better spread than butter. Would be good as a sandwich with cheese and meat.

Note: Check out Peter’s post and pics of his Cajun Three Pepper Bread.

Also, see Steve Krause’s first try at no knead baking – Cajun style.

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Christina kindly contributed these no-knead gems to the repertoire. Christina resides in beautiful Fairfield, Iowa

Tutti Fruiti

To regular no-knead dough add…

  • The finely grated peel of 1 orange
  • 2 tsps. unrefined sugar
  • And up to 1 and 1/3 cups dried fruit. (We used whole cherries, chopped pineapple, minced candied ginger, and golden raisins.)

The dough can be on the wet side as the fruit will absorb moisture. Rise and bake as usual. (Beware, the sugary fruits will caramelize if they touch the pot directly, so use a pot that cleans up easily and try to form the dough so that not too much fruit is exposed.) Makes a sort of light-hearted cousin to a stollen.

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Whole Grain Spelt

Make the dough using…

  • 3 1/2 c. whole spelt flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. starter
  • Water to 1 2/3 c.

Stir in more flour if you can–the dough seems to gain quite a bit of moisture as it rises. Monitor the volume of the dough rather than watching the clock. I found I had to cut my rising times quite a bit.

For the final rising put it in a greased bowl that has been well dusted with rice flour. (If you leave it on a flat surface it will just ooze as it rises.)

Use a bowl that has a diameter slightly smaller than the pot you’ll be baking in. It won’t rise as much as a loaf made with refined flour, but should increase by 2/3.

Dust the top of the dough with rice flour immediately before baking so that when you (carefully) flip it out into the pot you’ll have some there to prevent sticking.

Bake as usual. Makes a flattish loaf–not as fluffy as those with some refined flour, but good texture with smallish air holes throughout and great taste.

If anyone comes up with a way to increase the fluffiness of whole grain NKB I’d love to hear about it!

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Sourdough Starter Bread Recipes

Earlier Comments

128 thoughts on “Sourdough Starter Bread Recipes

  1. Freddie

    I’ve only achieved an actual sour tasting sourdough a couple of times then it simply disappeared. I keep the starter in the fridge and feed it each time I use it, replacing approximately the same amounts as before. What do I need to do in order to maintain a consistently sour taste?

  2. David Meiri

    Baking now my first sourdough bread based on the starter I got here. So far so good! However, I do wonder… how come you have dozens of recipes here but not a single one for plain, no thrills, “sourdough bread”? For my first bread I don’t want anything fancy. I’m using the one I found here:

    • Hi David,

      I’m happy to hear your first bread is working out already. Have you seen our no knead sourdough bread recipe: It’s hard to get any more plain and less thrilling. You could add a bit more excitement by adding more flour and knead a little (if you don’t want a no knead recipe).

      • David Meiri

        Success! For my second bread, using a starter based on breadtopia, I modified a recipe I found at: I added some herbs that dried out in the fridge and coriander seeds, and shaped it into boule. I cheated a bit – used the knead blade of the mixer for everything (no hand kneading, folding, etc.) I baked it on a pizza stone at 400F, 30 minutes covered by a metal pot (my poor man replacement to a dutch oven), and then uncovered for another 15 minutes. Considering my lack of experience and all the modifications, I’m excited to report the result was amazing!

        • Awesome!

        • Bill (The Muffin Man)

          If you slash your loaf before baking, you will avoid that “volcanic” look. Popular slashes include #, ///, and many others. A personal favorite of mine looked somewhat like a leafless tree – sort of:

  3. gerd

    I am living on a very low salt diet, but I am missing good bread. It is necessary to put salt in sour dough bread, or is the salt there just to improve the taste?

    • Hi Gerd,

      It is used almost entirely for taste. Saltless bread can be quite bland. However, it is not necessary. There’s a region of Italy, Tuscany I think, where, for interesting historical reasons, bread is made without salt but paired with savory foods to compensate.

      Even without the food pairing, salt can more easily be reduced or eliminated when leavening with sourdough which imparts its own flavor. So you’re already headed in the right direction. If you also use freshly milled whole grains they will add further to the flavor profile.

      Sourdough starter + long fermentation + whole grain flour = better tasting (and as a bonus, more nutritional) bread.

      You could also try “fake” salt. But you already know about that.

      • Sarah

        Hi Gerd, you can use salt substitute which would give the bread a great flavour for the simple reason is that it is loaded with herbs. You can check it out in your local super market.

  4. Marcia

    I am working up the courage to create the sourdough starter and make some French bread, my first attempt! My husband is allergic to corn so I was wondering what you’d suggest I use on the bottom of the loaf???

    I also wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your website with all the videos and information, you are very thorough and I really like that. I can hardly wait to make my first sourdough round, sourdough pizza crust, and loaves using alternative flours!

    • Semolina flour works as well as corn. Or easier yet, use a piece of parchment paper if necessary.

  5. Steve

    Hi all,

    Got a question for anyone. I made my own starter and it looked and acted as has been describe on this forum so I think I had that right. After my bread was baked and it looked great, nice and brown, had a good rise and looked the way I thought it should. When I cut into it the crumb was like on a white bread. What did do or not do to cause this? I would like an open crumb in my next attempt. The bread tasted fine and makes a really great toast. If anyone can get me up to speed I’d appreciate it.



    • Anita

      It depends on the recipe and the method you use. Sometimes I want a ‘sandwich’ bread, so I use a traditional recipe (altered for sourdough) and bake in a bread pan. The rustic or artisianal loaf is usually a looser, softer dough, has an extended rise in the refrigerator, and is baked free-form on a baking stone. That should result in a more open crumb. Also, the intervals of stretching and folding make a big difference for me. Sometimes it just takes several attempts to perfect your recipe, steps and method and get your bread just the way you want it.

    • Sarah

      Hi Steve

      Congratulations on your success with your starter…

      Dough has to be a wet dough, and very little work to achieve what you want.

      try this recipe and see how you make out with it.

      204 grams of starter
      122 grams of spelt flour
      386 grams of all purpose flour or bread flour
      362 grams of water
      13 grams of salt

      [if not using spelt, add the 122 grams to the amount of white flour]

      Mix everything together, oil a bowl and put your dough in the oiled bowl. wrap with saran wrap [cling wrap] and put it in the fridge for 8-12 hours.

      Remove the dough from fridge, [place a little oil on your table or counter top] and form your dough.. Let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour. then bake it at 425F for 15 minutes, then reduce the temp top 350F for 40 minutes.

      You will some nice open holes in your bread, but not to large so it leaks out the butter or whatever you put in it.

  6. Suzanne

    I am looking for a bread recipe that is completely milk and whey free. My nephew has a severe reaction to milk and whey, even with preservatives like sodium lactate. There was a bread made by Hostess that he could eat but they’re out of business. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Suzanne,

      Most of the recipes on our site are milk/whey free. Browse down the left column of our home page and see if anything strikes you.

  7. Chuck Saint

    Been baking all weekend…had a couple mishaps but it’s a learning process…!
    got a ton of barm so i will continue baking bread all week just to see what i end up with 😀

    • Chuck Saint

      here’s a pic of one of the loaves…whole wheat starter with white bread flour for the final dough.

      • Sarah

        It looks good! How did it taste?

        Do you plan on using all of the barm, or reserving some for later?

        Keep on baking!

  8. Kip

    This will be my first attempt to make sourdough bread in my breadmaker. My question is do I add yeast as well as starter. Usually my recipe calls for one tsp yeast for three cups of flower. How much starter would I use along with or without the yeast.

    • Sarah

      I’ve never use yeast with my starter. I guess you can call me a purist. IF you’re starter is good and strong, you don’t need to add additional yeast.

      I’ve also not baked with a breadmaker. Are you going to use full cycle with the bread, or just knead and mix it?

      How much starter depends on your recipe. If your recipes calls for about 2/3rds cup of water, and 4-5 cups flour, I would use 1 cup starter.

      Hope that helps

  9. Gingin

    For the BEST sourdough bread…get yourself a ‘CLOCHE’.
    Beautiful results!

  10. Hi Eric,
    I know the answer to my question is in here somewhere, but I cannot find it. My starter is down to about 1/4 cup cause I have used it up and I need to know how to increase the total amount …I have seen different amounts named…1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup water for feeding and other places that simply say always use equal amounts of water and flour…Please explain…
    thanks, ERIC

    • Sarah

      I’m not Eric but I can answer your question for you…

      The percentage of flour to water is hydration, equal parts of water and flour is 100%hydration., and so on.

      I don’t follow that rule however, I like my starter on the thick side. So what I have used say a 1/4 cup I will replace it with 1/4 cup of flour, however, I may only put 1/8 cup water.

      It’s however you like your starter to be, is how you feed it to increase the level of starter you have.

      You don’t really have to do that at all. You say you have 1/4 cup of starter and you want to increase. Look at your recipe and see how much starter it says you need. take a tablespoon or 2 of starter and build what you need from that, replacing what you use.

      Example: Your recipe says you need 1 cup starter. Take a tablespoon of your existing starter and feed it 1-2 tablespoons of starter and 1-2 tablespoons water. Let it sit until it rises and falls, then feed it again, and do this until you have enough starter to make the bread you want..

      • Marcia

        In your example you stated “Take a tablespoon of your existing starter and feed it 1-2 tablespoons of starter and 1-2 tablespoons water.” Did you mean feed 1-2 tablespoons of flour? I’m new and confused a bit

        • Sarah

          Hi Marcia,

          Yes that is exactly what I meant.

          IF your recipe calls for 1/2 cup of starter, you can take out 1-2 tablespoons of starter and feed equal parts water and flour.
          So it would be 2Tablespoons starter, 2 Tablespoons water, 2 Tablespoons flour. Make sure the flour is all incorporated and let it sit and rise.. Continue to feed this way until you get the desired amount of starter for your recipe.

          You can also if you are in a hurry begin this way.

          1/2 cup starter, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup water. mix it all and you should have 1 cup of starter. If your starter is very active you may even get a bit more.

          I hope that clears things up for you Marcia…

          Take care,
          Happy Baking

          • Marcia

            Thanks Sara, it did. As soon as the starter is ready, I’m attempting the NK.

  11. Steve

    Didn’t want to big a message, here’s the rest of the story, The Bread pictures I posted, represent 10 hrs of raising, Its like the cup an half of starter I used can’t get going again. House temp around 72.

    • Sarah

      Hi Steve,
      Your bread doesn’t look bad at all..

      Any time you don’t get the oven rise you are looking for, it is usually because you over proofed the dough. Try reducing the amount of time you are proofing it. It could also be that you have a bad batch of flour. The rise doesn’t depend totally on the yeast, it also depends on the gluten….

      Let us know how it goes after your next bake….

      • Steve McKee

        Hi Sarah, thanks for the encouragement, the bread tastes fine, I keep looking for that nice brown golden color on the crust, vs the pasty white I keep getting. Is there something to put on the crust to bring that out in the baking? Or maybe increase temperature .

        • Sarah

          Hi Steve

          You can use an egg wash on the loaf of bread. I don’t know what temperature you are using for baking your bread.

          What I do is I preheat the oven at 450F I cover the bread with aluminum foil, and bake at 450F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes I remove the foil and reduce the heat to 350F for the remainder of the time.

          Another thing I forgot to mention, is that if you want that long proofing put it in the fridge over night and bake the bread in the morning. Putting the bread in the fridge extends the proofing time. I have often made bread dough but didn’t want or need to bake it off that particular day, and I have left the dough in the fridge for a week, and it was wonderful and very tasty.

          Let me know how it goes

    • Anita

      I also had an issue with the crust being too pale when I didn’t bake in a lidded container- now the problem seems to be solved as long as I bake at a temp of about 475 and spray the interior of the oven at least once during the first half of bake time. I bake on a stone and keep the dough wet and sticky by not adding too much flour, and I like to use 1-2 cups of starter per recipe. I just converted a squaw bread recipe to use with starter, and my regular “everyday” bread is a wheat-white ciabatta. They both are basically no-knead, with only a 2-3 hour rise. After a lot of experimentation, I now bake much more often because it has become so fast and easy.

  12. Steve

    Hello, I’ve participated on this site a few times when I tried to make starter and contiuously flopped. Well in April I suceeded starting a wild sourdough and have used it off an on. I used it this past week, and even though it worked better, I still feel it flopped. My biggest problem is the proofing, getting it to rise high enough. When I’m feeding the starter it bubbles great. This time after seperating a cup an half, which I added 4 cups of flour and enough warm water, I let it sit overnight and it dbled in size. I added a few more cups of flour to bring it up to dough strength, and put it into pans to raise for dinner. I continue to have the same issue. Doesn’t raise high enough, (half my rolls didn’t raise at all) and when I bake it, I don’t get a nice brown crust. Pictures attached, this baked at 350 for 25 min, internal temp was 195. I live at 6800ft as well so adjusted time an temp based on altitude. Can anyone shed some light on what I might be doing wrong.?? The crust actually worked this time, its not like 1/4″ plywood.

  13. Geoff

    Hi Eric,

    I recently installed a wood-fired oven in my kitchen and I’m working hard on my goal of baking the perfect loaf of sourdough hearth bread. The sourdough starter “kit” you sent me, after several weeks, is starting to come into its own now. It has a delightfully rich winey smell.

    I have an observation that I hope will help any fellow high-altitude bread bakers. Almost all the recipes I see ask that you bake until the loaves attain an internal temperature of 205 degrees F. I live at 8,500′ altitude here in the Colorado Rockies. The boiling point of water at this altitude is 196F. Trust me, loaves at this altitude will NEVER get to 205F unless and until all the moisture has been driven out of the bread – obviously not a desirable end.

    Turns out that 196F makes a perfectly nice loaf. So, high-altitude bakers, ignore the admonition to hang in there until 205F! You won’t get there and in the meantime, you will over bake your crust.

    Happy Baking!!

  14. Rhonda Thibault

    Hello all, I’ve had my Breadtopia sourdough starter well fed for a few days, and I mixed up my first bread this afternoon. The dough is in its’ first rise still and I will bake it tomorrow, 18 hours later. I am so excited as this is my very first attempt at baking bread ever, and I am looking forward to making all our bread, even for church services! I have a couple of questions.

    First, I love olive bread. When should I add the olives/seasoning in the process.

    Second, my husband eats a lot of white bread. I at least get him to eat the slightly heartier Canadian style white bread, but I would like to make our own. Is there an easy recipe to make the lighter white bread style loaf?

    Thank you all so much!

    • Sarah

      Hi Rhonda,

      Your husband probably likes Canadian Rye Bread, right? Well you can go to the health food store and purchase “light rye” and make his favourite bread.

      Recipe: 1/2 cup starter
      1 tablespoon olive oil
      a good healthy pinch of salt
      3 cups flour [light rye]

      I don’t know how you keep your starter. If you keep it in the fridge, then take out 1/4 cup of starter and put in a clean bowl. Feed your starter 1/4 cup rye flour, 1/4 cup water. mix it really well, and let it sit over night.

      Next day, add 1 cup of water, your oil and 2 cups flour add your salt with the last cup of flour.
      Knead your dough gently, in whatever procedure you are accustomed to. When it passes the window pane test, place it in an oiled bowl, and let it rise for about 4-5 hours or until doubled.

      Once it has doubled in size, remove it and mold it how you usually mold your bread, and let it rise over night… you can place it in the fridge also in a plastic grocery bag, make sure you oil it, overnight.

      In the morning, preheat your oven to 425F 225C,
      place a roasting pan or container in the oven to get heated. Take your bread out and slash it, and cover it with a piece of aluminum foil. Put the bread in the oven and put some water in the heated container. Bake it for 15 minutes. remove the water and the foil, reduce the heat to 350F 180C and bake it again for about 15-30 minutes.


      For adding olives, I personally would add them with the last cup of flour….

    • Anita

      Hi Rhonda,
      When I make olive ciabatta, I fold/stir in marinated olives after the kneading is finished, before the first rise – it has worked out great- it’s hard to go back to plain bread!

      • Rhonda Thibault

        Thank you Anita! What recipe do you use for your olive bread?


        • Anita

          Hi Rhonda – I originally altered a plain yeast ciabatta recipe, then kept changing it to make it work for me. I also change the ingredient proportions if necessary to accomodate the amount of starter I want to ‘use up’. This recipe made 2 small and 2 medium loaves.
          Anita’s Olive Ciabatta Bread-
          Kitchenaid with dough hook for kneading
          For Olive Mixture:
          1-1/2 C pitted kalamata olives, halved and well-drained
          1 TB dried Greek oregano
          3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
          1 TB EV olive oil
          In a small bowl, mix oil, oregano and garlic to steep a few minutes. Add olives and toss to combine. Set aside.
          For dough:
          3C active sourdough starter
          1/4 C milk
          3/4C + 2-1/2 TB water
          3 TB EV olive oil
          4-3/4 C bread flour, divided – see below (sometimes I like to use 1 C spelt)
          2-1/2 tsp salt (increase by 1/4 tsp if using sea salt)
          1. Divide flour into 3 amounts: 3/4C, to set aside as reserve, 1-1/2C, for the first addition, and 2-1/2C for the second addition.
          2. Lightly oil the upper section of the dough hook.
          3. Put in Kitchenaid bowl: starter, milk, water, oil, and 1-1/2C flour. Mix on Speed 2 (low), scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula, until combined. about 2 min.
          4. On Speed 2, slowly add 2-1/2C flour in several small increments, mixing and scraping down sides, until thoroughly combined, about 7-9 minutes. Dough should be very wet and elastic, and not quite cleaning the sides of the bowl. If necessary, add some of the reserved flour, and mix until the dough is a little more cohesive, but still too wet to form a ‘ball’. Ciabatta is considerably looser than regular bread dough.
          5. Stop mixer and let dough rest, or autolyse, for 5 min. This allow the flour to fully absorb into the water.
          6. On Speed 2, slowly add the salt, and continue to knead dough with mixer for ~10 minutes. The texture will change and become very elastic, with long strands of gluten sticking, stretching, then releasing from side to side of the bowl.
          6. Reduce to Speed 1, and slowly incorporate the olives, garlic and herbs. You may need to stop the mixer and use the spatula to assist folding in the olives.
          6. Remove dough hook, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set in warm place to rise, for about 2 hours.
          7. Place 4 sheets of parchment paper on counter or cookie sheets. Optional: I usually invert ceramic or cast iron pots over the loaves while baking, so I trace the outlines onto the parchment, so the loaves will fit under the ‘lids’. Dust paper thoroughly with flour.
          8. When dough has risen, slowly turn out a portion of the dough from bowl onto each prepared sheet. Use a plastic bench scraper or spatula to help release the dough and cut it off on the edge of the bowl, being careful not to deflate it too much. With a floured scraper, gently shape and/or fold the dough portions as desired. Cover each loaf and set them aside to rest while preheating the oven.
          9. Place baking stone on 2nd rack from bottom of oven. Place pots that will be used as ‘lids’ in oven. Preheat @ 500 degrees for 30 + minutes.
          10. Using oven mitts, place 2 loaves with parchment sheets on hot baking stone, cover with preheated ‘lids’, and bake for 20-22 min. Remove lids and bake an additional 5-7 min. Repeat with remaining 2 loaves. Let cool 1-2 hours.

          Hope this recipe works for you. I really like the results. I’ll keep experimenting and it may get less complicated some day!

  15. Hi,

    I am baking a lot of bread lately, and had to graduate to a really large jar. I’m finding that, with all the pouring and feeding, that I’m getting a crust on top of the rim. Is this ok? Is it harmful?

    I don’t want to try to scrape it off because I don’t want anything to go into the jar. I guess I could remove all the contents of the jar and wash it, but I’m really busy and don’t want to waste anything.

    Thanks so much,


    • Sarah

      Hi Judy

      Yes it’s perfectly fine that you have dried yeast around the rim. It’s ok if you scrape it off and it falls in your starter, just stir it in.

      When one dries some starter to preserve it, it’s the same thing. It won’t harm anything

  16. cara

    Hi there-
    I’m on my second Batch of starter (I let last year’s go) and am on my third loaf of bread. This last loaf I made the “no knead” version and all is perfect–amazing considering I’m baking at 7000 feet with no adjustments!. My family’s feedback is that the bread is just SO sour, quite tangy that they really have to be in the mood for it versus it being the go-to loaf for anything.

    My question: is there a way to mellow the sour quality of the bread (or the starter?) just a bit?

    • Hi Cara,

      If your starter is very well and recently fed (fresh) when you’re ready to bake with it, and you keep your bread proofing times to a minimum, there should be much less sour developing. I often bake sourdough bread that is only barely sour.

    • Sarah

      Hi Cara,

      The sourdough starter will take on a life of its own, go through many smells, and when you use it to bake with it will range in sourness from mild to extreme. Keep baking with it, and it will tone itself down.

      You may also want to take a look at the flour you are using. Rye flour will make it sour, but spelt, whole wheat, millet and plain white bread flour will affect the sourness as well.

      My sourdough starter is about a year old, and it is not sour, on occasion I may get a tang in the back of the throat which is fine with me.

      Hope this helps!

  17. Hi Poly,

    How much starter to use in a loaf of bread can vary hugely. Recipes can easily range from 1/4 cup to 2 cups. If you’re not following a recipe that specifies how much to use, then you get to experiment.

    Sure, you can bake in a pan or vessel of some sort or free form. It’s all good.

    You might want to just try the basic sourdough no knead recipe and substitute a cup a white flour with a cup of whole wheat. Simple, easy, good.

    Most bread recipes can be converted to sourdough. Extending the rising time might be necessary, as you suggest. Again, if you’re not following an already proven recipe, be prepared for some possible trial and error.

  18. Polly

    Just saw your video on making the sourdough starter. I am going to do that. I had used the California Sourdough starter years ago until it died. I used it for pancakes and bread.
    1. I need to know now much starter to use to make at least 2 loaves of bread. One loaf just won’t work for our family.
    2. Can I bake the break in conventional bread pans or should I bake them as free-form loaves?
    3. Do you have a recipe for using whole wheat AND whilte flour in the recipe? I could really use that.
    4. Can I use the starter in any bread recipe – say hamburger buns or hot rolls and use extend the time of risings?
    Thanks for much for your videos. I can’t see them because I am on dial up but enjoyed them on my sisters computer in the city.

  19. Sarah

    I am making a sourdough starter using 100% hydration. I’m using a mix flour of Whole grain whole wheat, rye and flax seeds. So far it’s going real good. The problem is that if you don’t use white flour you don’t get the “rise” you need to make bread. Soo I’m experimenting as of tomorrow by adding a teaspoon of wheat gluten to the starter and see if it rises. Otherwise I will have a successful sourdough starter, but will have to use baking powder or baking soda to get the rise.

    Sarah in Winnipeg

  20. Dan'l

    Hi ALL…
    Since joining Eric’s (sourdough) bread-making a short time ago I have had nothing but success! Of course I’ve purchased his bake-ware and followed his videos carefully, AND read all of the Q&A’s posted by all of you. I’m so encouraged now with my artisan bread-maiking ability … as my friends and neighbors attest… I want to venture forth with other Sourdough recipes. One of these is SD dinner rolls. Have any of you tried them? Please let me know and steer me in that direction unless Eric has some of his own. Thanks,
    Dan’l in Central Virginia

  21. Sara

    Just found this site and it really is great. I have my starter work away on the counter as I type. I just had one question. I just started into the bread baking venture in fact I only have one loaf under my belt.
    I was wondering about the cast iron pot. I only have a small one at the moment. I am assuming that I should split the dough in half so it is not touching the sides of the dutch oven. Also if I split the dough and only cook one and a time is the dough that is left out for longer going to go bad or what should I do with it will the other on is baking. Thanks

    • Sarah

      You can put it the fridge in a container, and leave it until you are ready to bake it, or you can bake it when the first loaf is done.

  22. Ann

    I love breadmaking and I have had some success with a honey whole wheat bread. I have been kneading it and I have wondered if it could be adapted to a no knead recipe.

    I also wondered if there is a simple formula to adapt from yeast recipes to sourdough recipes. I have started a sour with pineapple juice and it’s working very well so, of course I’m wondering if I can bake my honey whole wheat with it. My recipe contains no white flour. It is a very light, very tasty bread. The recipe for a 2 lb loaf follows:

    4 cups fresh ground whole wheat flour
    2 tsp gluten
    2 tsp yeast
    2 tsp salt
    1/4 cup honey
    1 1/2 cups warm water

    I usually double the recipe and sometimes use it for rolls too.

    Please let me know if there would be a sourdough conversion and maybe a no knead version.

    Thank you.

    • Sarah

      replace the 2 tsp yeast for 1/2 cup of sourdough starter….
      If you double it, make it 1 cup of sourdough starter.

  23. margarita

    Hello Eric, I started my very first starter 6 days ago and have followed my recipe closely, the first 2 days the starter was bubbly and now it looks like a batter, it smells sour and the color looks good., just not looking that ok?

    • Hi Margarita,

      Not really. It should be bubbly. Are you keeping the mix kinda thick? Runny starter is a lot harder to keep bubbly.

  24. suzy

    Just made 2 whole wheat loaves from the La Brea Bakery recipe. i am a novice, but even though the bread will probably taste fine, and rose well in the first proofing, it didn’t rise in the second proofing (after refrigeration). i wound up baking them on a pizza stone but in those rubber baking dishes as i didn’t have a banneton. the breads are very heavy and probably weigh more than my standard poodle! instead of needing 40 minutes to bake, they only needed 20. i have an old oven that’s a bit hard to regulate, but still…

    just wondering why my bread didn’t rise and is so dense. thanks.

  25. Hi Elizabeth,

    I’m not aware of a standard formula for converting a commercial yeast recipe to one using sourdough starter instead. If you’re already familiar with the consistency of the dough in this recipe, you can add sourdough and adjust the flour (probably adding more) in order to match that consistency.

    I think it’s more or less a guess as to how much starter to use. I would probably start with somewhere between a cup or two (wild guess) and see how it goes. Sourdough starter behaves differently than regular yeast so your rising times are likely to be different (longer).

    Good luck if you try it and maybe let us know how it went.

  26. Elizabeth

    I have a recipe that makes 6 loaves of bread at a time (using my Bosch mixer). If the recipe calls for 3Tbsp of yeast how would I convert that so I can use my sourdough starter? Is there a standard formula for converting yeast to starter?


  27. Linda Burtch

    I just read the note re using only 1/4 cup of sourdough starter to make the loaf more flavorful. I have to make mine in a bread machine and my recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of starter, 3/4 c. milk, 2 1/2 tbs. butter, 2 2/3 Tbs. sugar, 1 1/3 Tbs. salt, 4 cups of bread flour, 2 1/2 tsp. yeast. How would/can I change it to use only 1/4 cup starter- so that my bread is more flavorful (tangy)?

  28. Marianne

    Today I baked the sourdough no knead bread using the starter I bought from Breadtopia. The starter is great stuff!! Haven’t had a flop yet–no pun intended. 🙂

    Instead of making one large loaf, I divided the dough in half after the long rise and made two small loaves. I baked one in the 3.5 qt. KitchenAid cast iron casserole and the other on my pizza stone which I covered with a terracotta flower pot. I baked both loaves in the oven together for 20 minutes at 500 F (covered) and for an additional 15 min. uncovered. The bread got a bit darker than I would have liked due to “handler error”. (I forgot to lower the temperature to 450 F after removing the lid and flower pot.) Otherwise, the bread turned out great.

    I’ve attached a couple of pics of my breads. The small loaves are a nice size for a single person or small family.


  29. Hello Ann,

    The purpose of 1/4 cup of starter instead of 1 cup is with a small about of starter it takes longer for the dough to proof so there’s more time for flavor to develop. You can use 1 cup, it will just speed things up and the bread may be more mild tasting.

  30. Hi Aaron,

    That’s can happen when it goes too long without a good feeding. Feed it well a time or two and the acidity and alcohol will be reduced significantly.

  31. Ann

    I was just wondering about the difference in starter amounts between the pancakes and bread. What would happen if I used a cup of starter for bread instead of 1/4 cup? Would it rise up and take over my kitchen or would the difference be in the taste and texture? I purchased a Danish (or rather Polish to be more accurate!) whisk yesterday and can’t wait to try it. It is certainly a heavy-duty utensil.

  32. Hi Eric,
    I have a question about my sourdough starter: It is only a couple weeks old, and i’ve baked a few loaves with it, and it has done pretty well. But this morning it had a very strong smell of paint thinner, or finger nail remover. I stirred it up and then the smell went away. But any thoughts on what it could be, or any advice?
    Thanks so much!

  33. Hi Anna,

    No, it’s not. That was about 10 favorite recipes ago and I can’t remember which one I was referring to. I know it came out of Ed Wood’s Classic Sourdoughs book. A lot of his recipes call for 2 cups of sourdough.

    • teresa

      Warm Hello Anna,

      I’m looking for a way to use up my starter.
      When i did a search online for Ed Wood’s just now
      the paragraph said he is known for teaching people how
      to use a small amount of starter to improve flavor
      by increasing proof times.

      If you have a recipe that calls for a lot of starter
      id love to try it
      i use spelt flour
      or other whole grains
      allergic to wheat

  34. Anna

    Hi Eric,
    You said in one of your videos that your favorite sourdough recipe called for a whole cup or 2 of starter (can’t remember which). Is that recipe on your site?

  35. Hi Linda,

    You can use white whole wheat flour interchangeably with regular whole wheat flour and any kind of flour can be use to feed starter.

    As for blending, sure you can do that. I’m not sure I’m answering your question though.

  36. Linda Burtch

    Eric, I know I read somewhere on your site about mixing whole wheat f;our in with whittle flour and the sourdough starter, but 1) I can’t find it again and 2) I just bought some unbleached white whole wheat flour and want to know how or if I can blend it with (or don’t need to blend it with) whet flour in the 2) starter or b)the actual bread? I use a bread machine as I cannot physically knead bread, so you may need to take that into account . THanks so much for your help. Linda

  37. Lydia Carr

    Eric, do you have a rye bread recipe using sourdough? I have some whole rye flour and some carraway seeds but I’m not sure about flour proportions (i.e. amounts of bread vs. rye vs. whole wheat flour). Thank you!

  38. Hi Andrea.

    Attempting to catch up on comments here. Only several weeks behind :).

    I guess bread starter would be referring to sourdough starter. Not sure what else it could be. You can buy it or make it. There’s some info here on that.

    Wheat gluten (you usually see “vital wheat gluten” around) is indeed used to aid in the rise of breads prone to be brick like. I’ve never used it but 2 Tbs sounds about right.

  39. allen

    Try using some organic brown rice flour I use it at about 30% and really give it a good mixing/aerating. Also a warmish temp and kept moist whilst rising (pre cooking) approx 10 hrs between mixing and cooking.

  40. andrea kayam

    Hi Eric,
    What is bread “Starter” and what does it do?
    Can I purchase it or do I have to make it?
    I was looking at your Sourdough and Spelt Bread video.

    Also, I read online that you can add “vitality gluten” ( about 2 Tablespoons) to whole grain breads like Spelt to increase the fluffiness and rise a little more. Do you know about this?

  41. Gord

    HI folks.

    I want to try the Cajun Three-Pepper bread but have one quick question.

    What is Reynold Release foil??? Is that just another name for plain old Reynold aluminum foil? Is there a difference?

    And why the need for the foil?


  42. Angela Raymond

    Has anyone had GOOD success with brown rice starter and Good bread.
    I have starter happening now, it’s looking great, bubbling and very alive.
    I plan to give it three days, then will try brown rice flour , cooked brown rice, starter , salt and water. I will follow the long rise method, and bake it in a covered dutch oven, your method.
    This is my first attempt at sour dough, does this seem like it could work?
    Keep you posted.

  43. Laurie

    Sourdough Happens!

    When I last wrote, I was working on my first starter (of pineapple juice and KA whole wheat). It was a power potion (something to do with a few 80-degree days out on the counter, I think). It bubbled right away and soon blew the top off a Tupperware container.

    Today I made my first sourdough loaf in the Romertopf, using organic bread flour. After the clay baking, next time I think I’ll give it just five or ten minutes with the lid off, as mine got a little too crispy with 15. But the bread rose nicely and looks golden and tempting (with just a little black edge that nobody will mind too much I think). I baked it at 450 degrees, but my oven is a little hot.

    I had to run off to work before it cooled, so I haven’t had a slice yet, but my son promised to cut into it and let me know how it was! (He’s 12, so I might go home and find my loaf all eaten up — well, I’ll certainly make another soon.)

    Thanks again for the great site. I’m having fun with it.

  44. Thanks for the whisk endorsement, Susan. You must have received one of the last ones for a while. Unfortunately, the supplier for the US is out of the large ones until mid March. I’m keeping a list for those interested in being notified when they arrive.

  45. Hi Eric- I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful Danish dough whisks and bowl scrapers. They arrived in 10 business days which was very fast considering I live in Alberta, Canada. They truly are a” magic wand” for us “gadget geeks”, I don’t know how I got along without them. I just made up a 1.1 kg batch of SNKB with a seeded mixture and a touch of rye flour with the whisk and WOW! it simply was amazing on how this whisk mixed the dough! Effortlessly! I truly highly recommend this amazing kitchen tool to anyone who bakes. Susan in Calgary

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