The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Potato Sourdough

Leesky's picture

Potato Sourdough

I recently had some wonderful bread and asked for the recipe. She gave me some of her starter and the directions. I currently have a wild yeast starter going 6 months now so I know a little bit about how starters work but this one has me puzzled.

I should feed this starter 3/4 cup sugar, 3 Tbls Potato Flakes, and 1 cup warm water every 7 days and keep it in the fridge. When I want to bake, feed the starter and leave it out on the counter 10-12 hours. Then mix it with flour salt, oil and warm water to form the dough and leave THAT out to rise for 10-12 hours. Then shape into loaves and let rise for 8 hours, then bake.

No yeast, and apparently no wild yeast either because the starter I received has no bubbling action at all. Does anyone have any experience with this kind of sourdough?

LindyD's picture

It's not a sourdough starter - it's a mismash of old flour goop, water, sugar and dehydrated potato flakes probably containing a host of chemicals that killed off whatever yeast hadn't died of starvation.

The wild yeast you are seeking are contained in the flour used to refresh a (normal) sourdough.   No flour = no yeasties.

No offense meant, but I keep looking at the directions and thoughts of food poisoning flash by.

Leesky's picture

Oh I hear you, no offense taken, it seems really odd to me too.

There is no flour in this starter, but it ferments and supposedly will rise. It smells a little of alcohol but it doesn't smell bad. I think I'll give it a go, maybe half batch so I don't waste 6 cups of flour

breadinquito's picture

if based on potatos flakes....mine "was born" about 2 years ago and just with equal quantities of flour and water...I m not a purist, but when I read somewhere about sourdough based on yeast (for example)....sorry! find another hobby! Cheers from Quito and be sure, on this page you' ll find many, many experienced people ready to share their "tricks" etc...Paolo

KenK's picture

If you google "potato bread starter" you will see this recipe posted many places.  Commercial yeast is grown in mollasses so I don't think that flour is a necessity.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

No problem with the directions that I can see.  Between the sugar and the cold, they work as a preservation technique supressing yeast until it hits the dough.  The warm water boosts yeast production before being slowed down.  Potato flakes provide trace minerals and starch with the sugar.


Phil's_slice's picture

I have been using potato yeast for a coupla of years now, and really love the taste of the bread that it bakes. My yeast plant, a heirloom from my grandmother, is suppusedly more than 25 years old. Although my baking skills are nowhere near as good as hers, the results are well pleasing.

I recently moved to remote atoll, and restarted a new yeast plant. I simply used instant yeast, sugar, potato and warm water to start her off. Shortly thereafter I started using it to bake. The more sugar you add, the quicker the bread rises, and sweeter the bread tastes. The less sugar, the slower the rise, and the more acidic the bread.

It is really fantastic, and easy enough for an to do on a remote island. Give it a try.