The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter Substrate

breadnewb's picture

Starter Substrate

Hi, I recently created a starter with equal parts flour, water, and perhaps mistakenly 1 tsp of yeast.  It's been fed with a ratio of 1:5:5 every 12-24 hours, and is only seven days old.  On the last feed, it roughly doubled after 12 hours and I put it in the fridge until needed.  My question is, is this a bad starter because I added yeast?  Should I throw it away, and start over with only equal weights whole wheat/rye flour and water? 


cranbo's picture

Probably not bad, although you are introducing the commercial yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which at least for some time will likely dominate your culture, which may inhibit the development of the other yeasts and bacteria which give a natural leavening culture its characteristic flavor. 

breadnewb's picture

Thanks for your input!  Unfortunately there isn't much interest in this thread..

gerhard's picture

The commercial yeast should die out as the starter's environment gets more sour hopefully there is enough wild yeast to take over.


dabrownman's picture

I like Joe Ortiz's method for creating a SD stater in just a few days   He uses 1/8 tsp of cumin, a tsp milk, ww flour and water.  He showed this was done on Baking With Julia and youtube has a video of that but Sweetbird also did a great TFL blog post on it that describes it well.  I use the same process with rye too but I use half the amounts that Joe uses so I donlt thow away so much.  You can also use the pineapple method of Debra Wink.  I use Orange juice in place of Pineapple  because it is handy - works great.

No sense keeping a commercial yeast biga going - bake some bread with it!  It will take too long to go sourdough.

breadnewb's picture

Gerhard - That could be, thanks for the input!

dabrownman - Interesting that he uses the cumin, I wonder what it does to facilitate the development of starter?  You can make sourdough pancakes with the extra starter instead of throwing it away, delicious.  Thanks for the reply!

P.S. I baked a great loaf of sourdough with the original starter that included commercial yeast (, so will stick with it for now.   Perhaps I'll create another starter without the yeast and compare the two.