A sourdough starter is a yeast batter, or sponge, that you make to attract wild yeast. The starter is then added to sourdough bread recipe to make the bread rise. Natural starters begin with just flour and water to attract a wild yeast. To make a quicker sourdough starter, commercial yeast is sometimes added to the starter so that the baker doesn't have to rely on the right conditions, and a bit of luck, to attract a good baking yeast. This honey sourdough starter uses commercial yeast to get it started. This is very easy to do. Use the starter at least once a week to make a loaf of bread and replenish it (feed it) with flour and water after each use.
The instructions I have here are simple and easy to follow. Even if you have never made a sourdough starter before, you should be able to succeed with this basic starter recipe. It is one of the first few I tested out years ago when I was just learning to make sourdough breads for my family. The results from this recipe were delicious and full of great sourdough flavor. I was able to keep the starter alive for several months before choosing to test out a potato starter (a person can only eat so much bread).
- 2-1/2 cups warm water
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Start with a clean, glass or ceramic bowl. Do not use metal bowls or utensils. Pour in water, yeast, and honey. Stir contents with wooden spoon until the yeast is dissolved.
- Begin adding the flour one-half cup at a time. Use a wooden spoon to stir in flour until all the limps are gone.
- Pour starter into a one-gallon plastic container. Cover with linen cloth and hold in place with rubber band. Set aside in a warm place for 5 days, mixing the contents each day. Store in the refrigerator.
- To replenish the starter, mix in equal amounts of water and flour.
Sourdough Starter Tips:
Keep yeast stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator. Heat, moisture, and air kills the yeast and prevents bread dough from rising.
Store flour properly to keep it from spoiling.
When honey is added to bread dough, it helps protect the baked bread's moisture.
To prevent the honey from sticking to your measuring spoon, coat the spoon in a tiny amount of cooking oil.
Use bottled water instead of tap water to make your breads. Water softeners and chlorinated public water can sometimes kill the yeast needed to make your bread dough rise.