The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


KristyKae's picture


Hi there,


I am writing from Flagstaff, AZ (7000 feet).  I'm just beginning to read about making my own starter and eventually baking my own bread.  Any suggestion on resources for starting leaven and baking leavened bread in my high and dry climate.  I'm inspired to read lots of folks in CO are baking up a storm (pun intended).  I look forward to success...hopefully!



breadinquito's picture

Quito, where I live, is much higher, almost 10.000 feet and I do not have partucular problems, I made from scratch my sourdough 3 years ago, left it alone (on august went to italy) for a mounth...and again I' m baking with patient with the starter, more important than the altitude I find it's more important the room temp...googling around you' ll find many recipes about making a starter from scratch...Good luck and happy baking. Paolo

naschol's picture

One is the traditional flour and water way, which failed miserably for me until I actually started it with pineapple juice instead of the water.  Sometimes there are bacteria that you collect that are toxic to the good, yeasty bacteria you want.  The acid in the pineapple juice will ensure that they are not allowed to take hold.  After the initial mix, you would then add water and flour to feed.

The other way, that was quicker, was to purchase a good, artisan sourdough loaf from the store, bread up a heel and place it in water to cover overnight.  Then, take it out of the water, wringing out as much as you can from the bread.  Toss the bread and use the water with some flour to begin your new starter.  I have used a starter made this way in as little as two and three days.  The first flour/water mixture is made very loose, like a cross between crepe and pancake batter.  Each time you feed, initially, you add a greater flour to water ratio, ending up with something akin to a drop biscuit consistency.  I have never had this fail.  I let it go until there are lots of bubbles on the surface in the loose stages and until it rises well in the thicker stages.

Have fun experimenting!

Nancy (5280 ft.)