The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough production without a bakery?

Justin.samsown's picture

Sourdough production without a bakery?

I have been making yeast breads for a local farm to offer to their share holders, about 24 loaves a week.  I have a kitchen in town and I have my house.  Both of which should be considered public and no safe place to store sourdough starters.  I am looking for ideas in ways to construct a safe sourdough staging area that I can: 1. travel with if needed and 2. safe storage at a public kitchen and from curious family members.  

Any thoughts?  I want to produce at least 5 sourdough breads every week.  Not much, right?  

I do have a cool basement, and the kitchen is partly underground and is cool as well.  But I need to construct a physical barrier with a lock and key to keep out curious members of my family and the general public.   

I would also hope someone could share their experience with production off site like this, and ways to both share in the bread making process with family and help them appreciate bread making.  We  make bread together, and I would like to see our schedules fit in the life of a sourdough routine!  




hanseata's picture

Are those regulations in your state? I bake sourdough breads for sale every week from my home kitchen, the starters reside in the fridge, and nobody feels endangered.
My kitchen was inspected, and I have a so-called home processor's license, allowing me to sell breads and cupcakes from my home. Obviously I'm lucky to live in Maine.



Justin.samsown's picture

Well, I also live in Maine.  Lisbon.  And I am not worried about harming anyone.. I was hoping for an idea that I can protect or incubate a starter for the production of sourdough, and keep it safe from unwanted curious people.  Keep starter in the most effective environment and control handling.  I was also curious on how people maintain a starter in a remote location with a schedule that has you there, say...every other day. 

And if I wanted to use the starter for a morning production.  Would I have to feed it even earlier, perhaps before going to bed, then to wake at the right time, to start the sourdough batch? 

I am hesitant to bake a sourdough because of these factors of time when regarding my starter's performance. 



polo's picture

I guess that since I don't have curious family members I can't be of much help in that department (my starter lives in a Mason jar, on the kitchen counter). I may be able to help with the scheduling though.

Once you have established your starter and a feeding schedule for it, you will get a better idea of what your mixing/baking timeline will have to be. You will want to use your starter at peak or just before. For me that means feeding or building about 10 to 12 hours before mixing my dough. I will typically make my final build in the morning before work, mix my dough at about 4 PM, shape and cold ferment overnight, and bake the next morning.

In between uses you will have to feed your starter at least once daily, unless you keep it refrigerated.

MANNA's picture

A food grade plastic tub that could be locked to keep unknown people from contaminating it would be good. I would keep the culture at home and just bring it to the kitchen on bake days though. Follow link for the type of bucket I would use.


Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

such as

...can be locked I suppose (padlock in loop formed when lid is closed).

My starter is much more stable than I expected after reading about sourdoughs.  Contamination or mold has not been an issue.  I keep mine in the fridge and once refreshed, I use it anytime up to 3 days.  I let it warm up before using.


vtsteve's picture

...but you'd need to add your own lock. My 'portable sourdough farm' is a 22 qt. Cambro bucket. I put the flour for the final build in the bucket, and the pre-measured water goes on top of it in a 6 qt. Cambro. My sourdough 'seed' is in a 1-qt. mason jar in a cooler, and I have a dough whisk and a scraper handy. When it's time to build, it takes me 10 minutes to mix everything up, 12 hours before I want to mix dough. You still need a place to stash the bucket, though.

dabrownman's picture

my hand guns and ammo in a large heavy duty plastic box that iis locked with a padlock.  It can be screwed down from the inside to what ever you want so it to doesn't walk away.  It would hold a 22 qt cambro, flour and who and who knows what else but these boxes come in all kinds of sizes.

this would allow you to store what you want where you want but you would need a walk in to keep it cold if you wanted your starter to be cold like I do..

If you are baking every other day I would give consideration to baking with 'old dough' instead of starter too.