Potato Sourdough Starter

Peeled, boiled potatoes
Laurence Mouton / Getty Images
  • 24 hrs 25 mins
  • Prep: 24 hrs,
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 1 starter batch (6-8 servings)
Ratings (5)

Potato sourdough starter produces a milder sourdough bread than the stronger rye or wheat starters. This starter is also cheap to make, using only 3 medium potatoes, and the 1 cup of bread flour can be replaced with all-purpose, wheat, or rye flour. What’s best about this ​starter is that you restart it every two weeks, preventing the yeast from becoming too sour, and you can restart the starter from scratch or by using a cup of the old starter.

What You'll Need

  • 3 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • 4 cups water (for boiling)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 pkg)
  • 1 cup water (warm)
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt

How to Make It

  1. Peel and cube 3 potatoes. Boil potatoes in 4 cups of water until soft.
  2. You’ll be using both the potato water and the potatoes in the starter. Drain the liquid off into a large bowl. Mash the potatoes and add mashed potatoes to the liquid. Stir and set aside until lukewarm.
  3. After the liquid potatoes are slightly warm, stir in yeast and warm water.
  4. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
  5. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen cloth and let set for 24 hours at room temperature.
  1. Pour starter into large jar or jars, cover, and store in the refrigerator. In the summertime, I use all my jars for canning and dried fruits, so I store my sourdough starters in large plastic containers in the refrigerator.
  2. Use starter as called for in sourdough recipes. 1 cup of potato sourdough starter can be used in place of 1 package active dry yeast.
  3. Use the starter up within 2 weeks. At the end of two weeks, make a new starter from scratch or follow the starter directions above, replacing the dry yeast with 1 cup of leftover starter.