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Catholic Recipe: Sourdough Starter


  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 3 cups warm water (105-115° F)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • Details

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 4 days
  • Difficulty: • • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 15+
  • Origin:

This starter is linked to the Sourdough Hot Cross Buns recipe. If you have an intolerance to commercial wheat please see the linked recipe for sourdough starter which is an authentic recipe having all the benefits and flavor of sourdough.


1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Set aside for about 5 minutes.

2. Gradually add flour, stirring until smooth with a wooden spoon.

3. Cover with cheesecloth; leave on counter in warm, draft-free place. In about 24 hours the mixture will start to ferment.

4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave for another 2 to 3 days. Stir starter 2 to 3 times a day.

5. Starter should be foamy at the end of this time. Put into a plastic container, glass jar, or crock with at least a 1-quart capacity. Stir; cover, but not with tight-fitting top.

Feeding Sourdough

Put 1 cup sourdough in mixing bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups flour and 2 cups warm water. (This is known as feeding.) Mix thoroughly. Leave on counter for 8 hours or overnight. Be sure to replace 1 cup sourdough in the crock in the refrigerator. Try to feed sourdough once a week or every 10 days. Feeding is necessary to keep it alive and may add tang to flavor. (Note that sourdough can be frozen.)

General Rules Pertaining to Sourdough

1. Use glass, stoneware, or plastic bowls. (Don't use metal. Wild yeast produces acids that can corrode metal and thus kill the starter.)

2. Use a wooden spoon.

3. Clean container about every week so that unwanted bacteria will not grow and ruin your sourdough.

4. Wipe up spilled sourdough immediately. It can stick like glue or cement.

5. Keep covered with a loose-fitting cover in refrigerator.

Recipe Source: Festive Bread Book, The by Kathy Cutler, Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1982
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