The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Probiotics in your starter?

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Probiotics in your starter?

I was skimming through a copy of the book  "The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast" by Warnock and Richardson and read a suggestion that one could use a pro-biotic tablet, such as the ones used as a digestive aid, to stimulate a sourdough starter. Up until I read that, I thought the book was pretty much preaching from the same hymnal as many of us do.

I'm not posting a book review here or a critique of the authors work. I'm just curious to see if anyone in this community has done something similar. I've read the contents label of probiotics sold at a local CVS drugstore and the contents don't include any of the bacteria that I'm familiar with from my books and reading. It is certain that I'm not familiar with all the names of all the beneficial bacteria found in starters.

So, out of curiosity and not because I'm having trouble with my starter, has anyone ever tried cranking up their starter with probiotics?




ars pistorica's picture
ars pistorica

Yes, you could, cultures depending.  The CO2 production might not be significant enough, though, depending upon the nature of the culture you're adding.  Many probiotic microflora are the same as commonly-isolated sourdough microflora, which is, of course, due to the fact that none of these organisms, minus one, are native to the sourdough environment.

Cachi's picture


Funny, today I had the same idea after reading the label from a probiotic supplement. I immediately shot an email to the manufacturer all the while thinking this was a crazy question to ask. I then thought I should google this and to my surprise found several links, including yours. Here is one I found from a home baker who had the same idea and actually pursued it: He found not only the starter to be a lot more active but also his bread tasted better although he does mention his experiment was not rigorous and had too many uncontrolled variables.