The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

German sour dough starter

lauri's picture

German sour dough starter

Can anyone tell me wher I can buy German sour dough starter.  Just came home from Germany yesterday and would really love to lern how to make the breads we grew to love. Lauri


hanseata's picture

Lauri, a German sourdough starter is in no way different from other starters. Though you can buy liquid starters in Germany or online at some US companies that carry German foods, the quality of those starters is inferior to one you can make yourself. I started baking my own breads after I moved from Hamburg to Maine, and did a side-by-side test of a store bought German starter and one I had made myself. The store bought one performed underwhelming.

In TFL you find recipes on how to start your own starter, or you can find one on my blog here. I made it without the addition of fruit , just from flour and water.

If you want to bake a German everyday bread, try my Feinbrot, the recipe you can find here: Karin's German Feinbrot.

Happy baking,




lauri's picture

Thanks for the advice.  I just started the starter today. 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

You'll have to apply for an import visa and...

No, seriously...

Find a book that has the German breads you want to make and it should have directions on how to create a starter, likely a rye starter.

It'll be as simple as mixing flour and water and waiting a couple weeks.

dabrownman's picture

with Hanseata.  A nice rye or Rye / WW  starter you can easily make yourself in a couple of weeks is the way to go.  It will acclimate to where ever you live and be just fine for many years.  I keep mine a 33% rye, WW and AP and build it with 2 feedings to what ever type of bread I am wanting to make.  Works for me.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss


Hamelman's "Bread" has a chapter on rye breads, almost all of those could be called German-style.

Have a look at my blog as well, e.g.:

Happy Baking,


Ps. These are my main sources when it comes to German sourdough:

The following page has links to documents about different standard sourdough processes (Detmolder single and three step, Breliner Kurz, Mohnheimer Salzsauer)

The following document compares hand-made and machine-made starters (Detmolder single and three stage, and others)

AnnaInMD's picture

really great sites (next to the best one here, grin)



iyengargorur's picture

Almost thirty years back when we were stationed west of the Rhein with USAREUR, I was initiated into German Sourdough Bread baking by our neighbor, Gisela. Starting with the starchy water in which potatoes had been boiled, a Rye : Whole Wheat mixture is kneaded 30:70 and left with a peeled onion in the center, for providing the right pH. Each day for seven in succession, the sourdough is kneaded with no addition except a fresh onion within until it has developed the right flavor and odor of a fully enriched starter. This recipe has kept my taste-buds nourished for three decades and on as many continents! Good Luck, bakers.

dsadowsk's picture

I guess the the onion substitutes for the flour+water mixture we give our critters to feed on. Is the starter maintained on an all-onion diet or moved to flour and water?

WoodenSpoon's picture

Even if ya managed to purchase a culture from germany it would be pretty naturalized after a week or so of feeding.