ISO-Sourdough help

Im in search of sourdough help. I have never made starter. I have found a recipe…It was 2 C flour…1C water 1/4 tsp yeast.It was from a old Canadian Living Mag.It just doesnt seem right. When i made and left out it did nothing…Was supposse to triple in size.It was like a ball of dough.
I do remember when my grandmother use to make it seemed very light.Ok i was about 9 so it was along time ago…lol.
Does anyone have a recipe they use and like? If so I would love it along with feeding instructions.
I have looked online but I would rather use something someone else has had luck with.
Thanks kelly

Ty …Think I will try the herman starter. I appreciate it!!

Basic Sourdough Bread

2 cups bread flour
1-1/2 cups sourdough starter, recipe follows
3/4 teaspoon salt

In an electric mixer with the dough hook, combine the flour, starter and salt, and knead until it no longer sticks to the sides or bottom of the mixing bowl.
Place a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle lightly with flour and knead gently, removing any large air bubbles. Knead into a small circle, then shape into a tight ball, pinching the seams together underneath. Place on a well-floured board or baking peel, seam-side down. Cover with a kitchen towels and let rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat a baking stone, if available, on the bottom rack of an oven at 400 degrees F. With a sharp, serrated knife, cut a large “X” or cross-hatch pattern into the top of the dough.

Spray lightly with a mister and transfer to the baking stone (or place on a heavy baking sheet lightly dusted with cornmeal) and bake until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom, about 60 minutes. (Sourdough should have a darker crust than other breads, so leave in the oven 5 minutes after you think it is done.)

Remove the loaf from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Basic Sourdough Starter:
3 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
1-1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit until the yeast becomes foamy, about 5 minutes. (If the yeast does not foam, discard the mixture and begin again with a new yeast.)
Add the flour and stir vigorously to work air into the mixture. Cover with a towel let rest in a warm, draft-free place (an oven with its pilot light or light bulb turned on works well) for 8 to12 hours. (The mixture should become very bubbly.) Use immediately or cover loosely with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Preserving the Starter: Each time you remove a portion of the starter for a recipe, reserve at least 1/4 cup and replace the amount you have taken out with equal amounts of flour and water.

For example, if you remove 1 cup of starter, you must replace it with 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water. Whisk these ingredients into the starter until blended but not completely smooth, cover loosely, and return to the refrigerator.

Also, the starter must be maintained by feeding it every few days. Refresh by removing 1 cup of the starter (give to a friend or discard it) and adding 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water. Whisk until blended but not smooth. Cover loosely and return to the refrigerator.

If you plan to be away longer than a week, freeze the starter in a sterilized, airtight freezer container. Thaw the starter 2 days before you plan to bake with it. Refresh as indicated above with 1 cup each of flour and warm water. Cover and leave at room temperature 12 hours or overnight before using.

CAUTION: Never keep your starter tightly closed! The gasses expelled by the yeast will build up pressure and may cause the container (such as a glass jar) to burst!

Yield: 5 to 6 cups Prep time: 10 minutes Inactive prep time: 12 hours

San Francisco Sourdough
Recipe courtesy Dan Leader (professional bread baker)

2/3 cup (8 ounces) levain proof, recipe follows
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) spring water
1-1/2 cups (8 ounces) organic white flour with germ

Combine the levain and water in a 2-quart clear plastic container with a lid. Break up the levain well with a wooden spoon or squeeze through your fingers until it is broken up. Stir until the levain is partly dissolved and the mixture is slightly frothy. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until very thick and sticky. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a moderately warm (74 to 80 degree) place for 24 hours.

Final dough: 2 cups (16 fluid ounces) spring water 5-1/2 to 6-1/2 cups (27 to 32 ounces) organic white flour with germ 1 tablespoon (3/4 ounce) fine sea salt

Combine the poolish and water in a 6-quart bowl. Break up the poolish well with a wooden spoon and stir until the poolish becomes loose and the mixture slightly frothy. Add 2 cups (10 ounces) of the flour and the salt; stir until well combined. Add just enough of the remaining flour to make a thick mass that is difficult to stir. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding remaining flour when needed, until dough is firm and smooth, 15 to 17 minutes total. The dough is ready when a little dough pulled from the mass springs back quickly.

Shape the dough into a ball and let it rest on a lightly floured surface while you scrape, clean, and lightly oil the largest bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn once to coat with oil. Take the dough’s temperature: the ideal is 78 degrees. Cover with a clean damp towel or plastic wrap and put in a moderately warm (74 to 80 degree) draft-free place until doubled in volume.

Deflate the dough by pushing down in the center and pulling up the sides. Cover with a clean damp towel or plastic wrap and put in a moderately warm (74 to 80 degree) draft-free place for 30 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and knead briefly. Shape into a tight ball. Cover with a clean damp towel or plastic wrap, and put in a moderately warm (74 to 80 degree) draft-free place for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Flatten each with the heel of your hand on a lightly floured board. The dough may be very soft and loose at this point. Shape into 12-inch-long torpedoes. You may also choose to shape the dough into rounds.

Place the torpedoes, seam side up in a well-floured couche*. Cover with a clean damp towel or plastic wrap. Put in a moderately warm (74 to 80 degrees) draft-free place until increased in volume about 1 1/2 times, or until a slight indentation remains when the dough is pressed with a fingertip. Place rounds on a cornmeal-dusted surface to rise.

Preheat the oven and baking stone to 450 degrees, 45 minutes to 1 hour before baking. The oven rack must be in the center of the oven. If it is in the lower 1/3 of the oven the bottom of the breads may burn, and if it is in the upper 1/3, the top crusts may burn.

Gently roll one loaf from the couche onto a lightly floured peel so that it sits seam side down. Using a very sharp, serrated knife or a single-edged razor blade, score the loaf by making quick shallow cuts 1/4 to 1/2-inch deep along the surface. Using the peel, slide the loaf onto the hearth. Quickly repeat the process with the second loaf. Quickly spray the inner walls and floor of the oven with cold water form a spritzer bottle. If there’s an electric light bulb in the oven, avoid spraying it directly; it may burst. Spray for several seconds until steam has filled the oven. Quickly close the door to trap the steam and bake 3 minutes. Spray again in the same way, closing the door immediately so that steam doesn’t escape. Bake until loaves begin to color, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 425 degrees and bake until loaves are a rich caramel color and the crust is firm, 15 to 20 minutes.

To test for doneness, remove and hold the loaves upside down. Strike the bottoms firmly with your finger. If the sound is hollow, the breads are done. If it doesn’t sound hollow, bake 5 minutes longer. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Note: If the dough temperature is higher than 78 degrees, put it in a cooler than (78 degree) place like the refrigerator, until the dough cools to 78 degrees. If it is lower than 78 degrees, put in it a warmer than 78 degree place until the dough warms to 78 degrees. The point is to try to keep the dough at 78 degrees during its fermentation. If you do have to move the dough, be gentle and don’t jostle it, or the dough may deflate.

Levain Starter:
1-1/4 cups (6-ounces) 20 percent bran wheat flour
Full batch chef, procedure and recipe follows

Add the flour directly into the container with the full batch of room-temperature, batterlike ripe chef. Stir vigorously to add fresh oxygen to the mixture. This will form a stiff consistency more like a stiff dough than a batter. This firm texture is important for ripening levain, because a dense rather than loose levain creates delicious sour bread without an overpowering tangy bite. Scrape down the sides, cover tightly, and let stand in a cool to moderate (about 70 degrees) draft-free place for 8 to 10 hours.

The levain should have doubled in volume. The texture will be somewhat light, with many tiny bubbles throughout. Do not let the levain stand for longer than 10 hours, or the yeast will become exhausted and not raise the final dough. This recipe yields 18 ounces of levain.

The Chef
Day 1
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 ounces) 20 percent bran wheat flour
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) spring water

Combine the flour and water in a tall 2 to 3-quart clear plastic container with a lid. Stir well to make a thick, soft dough. The exact consistency of the dough will vary with the brand of flour or water at this point to adjust the texture. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula, cover tightly with lid and let stand in a moderate (about 70 degree) place for 24 hours.

Day 2
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 ounces) 20 percent bran wheat flour
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) spring water

The chef should have almost doubled in volume. You will see tiny bubbles on the surface, and you might notice a slight musty smell. Add the flour and water to the mixture and stir vigorously to distribute the fresh ingredients and add fresh oxygen to the chef. The texture will still be like a soft dough. You may add a little more flour or water to make this texture, if necessary. Scrape down the sides, cover and place in a moderate (70 degree) draft-free place for 24 hours.

Day 3
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 ounces) 20 percent bran wheat flour
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) spring water

It will have almost doubled in volume and be quite bubbly. Add the flour and water, and stir well to make a thick batter. (You may have to add a little more water if your flour’s absorption level is high). With a marker pen, mark the level of the chef on the side of the container. Scrape down the sides, cover tightly, and let stand in a moderate (70 degree) draft-free place for 24 hours.

It should now be loose in texture, like a pancake batter. It will have doubled in volume from the last addition of flour and water. The chef may rise and fall, but as long as it doubles at some point during this last period, it’s fine. You now have a fully ripe chef ready to transform into a levain. If you don’t want to make the levain immediately, the chef can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Yield: 2 long 14-inch loaves or 2 round 9-inch loaves
Prep Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

*From Good Housekeeping Cookbook

Sourdough Starter:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 pkg active dry yeast (make sure your yeast is active)
2 cups warm water


2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
6 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted

Make Starter: In large bowl, combine flour and yeast; stir in water; beat until smooth. Cover bowl with waxed paper.

Let stand 48 hours in warm place, stirring occasionally. If it does not rise, form bubbles and separate, start again. Stir well before using Starter.

Day before serving, make dough: In large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat well sugar, salt, soda, 2 cups warm water, 1 cup Starter and 3 cups flour.

Cover bowl with towel; let batter rise at room temperature, away from draft, at least 18 hours.

About 4-1/2 hours before serving: Stir in 3-1/2 to 4 cups flour to make a soft dough. On floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.

Cut dough in half; shape into 2 flat, round loaves, measuring about 7 inches in diameter.

Place loaves on well-greased cookie sheets; cover with towels and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Brush loaves with water; with a sharp knife, cut 3 to 5 crisscross slashes across top of each loaf.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes until golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove to racks; brush with melted butter.

To replenish Starter: If you plan to make Sourdough Bread regularly (at least once a week), remaining Starter may be replenished, if there is at least 1 cup of it left.

Combine 1 cup all-purpose flour with 1 cup war water and beat until smoothly blended. Stir into remaining Starter. Leave at room temperatur3e a few hours until mixture begins to bubble. Cover bowl loosely; refrigerate replenished Starter until needed.

kelly, i love sourdough bread but had never had any luck with it myself. i have a canadian living cooking book that has a sourdough starter. i’ve made it a couple of times and can keep it going. i get 2 good loaves out of it then it dies.