The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Goldrush sourdough starter - has anyone used it?

yy's picture

Goldrush sourdough starter - has anyone used it?

I just purchased a packet of Goldrush brand "old fashioned San Francisco Style Sourdough Starter," and I'm wondering if anybody's used this particular brand, or a similar product with any success. It's basically a dry mix of sourdough culture and white flour.

I'm planning to create my own starter from scratch as well, so that I can compare the two.

shadowavalon's picture

first i heard of it but will look into it

podrunner's picture

Gosh, I was about to post about Goldrush as well. I was given a sachet by a friend, who had it sent all the way to Malaysia, where I live.

I followed the instructions, and it looked alright (light pancake batter) the first two days. One is supposed to twice (at four hourly intervals) the first day, and once daily thereafter, for the next 7 days. This is day four for me, and the starter looks dead to me - the fermented smell is there, but there's hardly any bubbling, and is starting to look more liquid than ever. My own cultivated sourdough never looked this sickly. Am so disappointed as I thought I was going to get to try the much talked about San fran may not be the case after all.

Any tips/advice very much appreciated, and many thanks in advance.

AnnaInMD's picture

sourdough taste is due to the starter beasties from the actual San Francisco air. Even if dry San Francisco starter is sold to another state it would not maintain its distinct flavor. All based on local air.


proth5's picture

has in its origins a packet of Goldrush Sourdough starter.

People may scoff, and I've heard opinions such as "you can do better" but I subscribe pretty strongly to the school of though that under normal kitchen conditions the starter will eventually reflect the flour that you use and your maintenance routine.  (There are some people who feel that with some very careful handling you can keep the same yeasts and bacteria as were in the original starter thriving  and I will not say they are wrong. I have just not experienced that with my hands and methods.)

But the little packet made a nice reliable jump start for me.  If I ever lost my starter and all of its five backups, I'd use it again.

As for the experience of podrunner in Malaysia - it really could be that your local conditions and flour are not providing the right conditions for those particular wild yeasts and bacteria to thrive.  That's why so many of us deem sourdough as truly "local" food.

Hope this helps.

osx-addict's picture

I bought some recently from a market in Orange County, CA.. I'm not sure how long it had been sitting there but I ran the starter for a week and discarded it.. It had a rather foul smell that turned my kids off and at times seemed like it was alive.. But after 7-8 days it would just sit there and not do much.. After watching this process for 3-4 days I tossed it out and resurrected my Carl Griffith Sour Dough starter which I had running last year and freeze dried in its hay day..  It's running like gang busters and I made some biscuits from it the other night that the kids wolfed down..

If you've not heard of the Carl Griffith sourdough you can read about it here:


podrunner's picture

divide starter into two portions. To one, I added rye flour, and the other I continued feeding with white bread flour.  The rye fed one has gone bad, but the one with white bread flour (named Judi) suddenly decided to get busy...volume is nearly doubling, with lots of bubbles. Pics attached.

Hope this helps!



yy's picture

thanks for the feedback, everyone! I guess I'll just dive right into it and see what happens. Maybe I should wait till I'm done with grad school applications. Starters are people too and should never be neglected.

virginiann's picture

I bought this sometime ago and I've lost the little paper with the instructions. I went to the web site and all I could find was a video and in the video the gentleman stated 3 cups of bread flour and had water in a glass measuring cup and spoke of the temp the water should be but didn't state how much to use. I know when feeding it is one to one, until you start using it.....then take out the amount needed for the recipe. It's been a couple years since I last was serious about baking bread, dang if you don't use it you lose it. I feel like I am a brand new bread baker. I think I should just toss it and follow Peter Reinhart's directions....but I can't bring myself to toss it!

Thank you in advance, Virginia


Antilope's picture

at our local BelAir supermarket here in Sacramento. It's in the baking section next to the yeast. I bought a pack a few years ago and it made a starter that worked okay. I was using Carl's Oregon Trail starter at the time and Carl's seemed to be more vigorous and had more flavor, so I ended up going with only the Carl's starter. But maybe I didn't give the Goldrush a full chance. If it had been my only starter I would have paid closer attention to it in feedings, etc. 

melinda-dawn's picture

Somehow the instruction sheet from my packet got misplaced. I tried following the "how to" video on the goldrush website and am now worried that I may have over fed & watered my starter out of the gate because in the video they used 3 cups water & flour.


Fingers crossed that it makes it.

mickeyk44's picture

I have a similar starter from an old restaurant in the gold mining hills east of San Fransisco  that is sold on e bay as Larry (name of the restaurant)  it is sapose  to be a old sour dough and I am happy with it

 I converted it to ww and rye

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

has a strong tradition due to the goldrush it doesn't make it unique. The so called unique yeasts and LAB have been found in Starters round the world. One starter is not better or worse then another. Everyone's is unique. We now also know the yeasts come from the flour itself. 

KathyF's picture

My starter is based on a packet of Goldrush sourdough starter. It's been going for three weeks now and I am really pleased with it. It seems to be quite vigorous. I am surprised they use active dry yeast in their sourdough bread recipe as I have found the starter to be plenty sufficient for baking a good loaf of bread without help from dry yeast.

For now I am keeping it on the counter and feed it twice a day with equal weights of filtered water and King Arthur all purpose flour. At some point I plan to eventually move it to the refrigerator.

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

I know someone that used it and threes years later it is strong and happy.

alexporze's picture

Well, I have a question here: when we lived where there was well water, the sourdough raised and bubbled enormously. We moved to a city with chlorinated water, it killed it. So, we decided to pour water in a pitcher and leave it overnight on the counter so the chlorine would evaporate, and the results improved.

On the original Goldrush recipe there is no mention of the type of water they recommend. 
Does anyone have a comment on that?