The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Converting a potato based sourdough starter to flour

raleighkris's picture
raleighkris

Converting a potato based sourdough starter to flour

Hello bakers,

Question 1: can I get a really good sourdough taste on a potato based sourdough starter?

 I was gifted a mature starter that uses: 1c water, 1/3c sugar, 3 Tb potato flakes.  I feed it once a week and pull out one cup of starter to make weekly 2 loafs.   I take it from the fridge, stir it really good, mix the above, let it sit all day, pull out the one cup and return the rest to the fridge until the next week.  I then create a levain of my 1cup starter plus 1.5c water, 3c flour and let it sit for half a day before put it in the fridge for 3 days.  I then add 2 cups flour and 2.5 tsp and let it rise all day; divide and bake.  It takes good but not sourdough-ey.   I saw that I can increase that flavor by manipulating flour during the starter but I'm potato based.

 

question 2:  how do I convert from potato starter to flour and can I still keep my once a week schedule if Im using flour as a starter base?

thank you.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

But you can conduct a simple experiment...

Take some potato starter and feed it some flour and water in equal measures by weight. Or 1 cup flour + 1/2 cup water. Leave for 12-14 hours and see what happens. I imagine it'll bubble up nicely as it does leaven bread. Now you've converted to a flour starter I'd keep feeding it for a few more days with just flour and water. Should it go from strength to strength then you've got yourself a starter. Keep this in the fridge and build a levain from it to make bread. Top back up the remainder. 

Now whether this new starter is exactly the same as a sourdough starter I'm not sure. But overtime and with maintenance like a sourdough starter I think it'll become one. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Years back I used a starter identical to yours. I think lechem has a great idea.

I never did convert mine like that but it is worth a try.

Let us know if you try. I have a friend who still keeps one.

If you succeed with question 1, we can help with question 2.

***** Maybe you could try adding only flour since your starter is all liquid. 1/2 cup starter to 1 cup of flour. Or better yet, if you have a scale, use equal parts starter and flour by weight. What do you think lechem?

Dan

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Missed that one? Agreed! First feeding just potato starter + flour and subsequent feedings starter + water + flour. 

As an idea (which you can alter to your needs)

First feeding 15g potato starter + 15g flour

Subsequent feedings 30g starter + 30g water + 30g flour

With each feed keep 30g and feed 1:1:1 by weight. Keep this up and I'm sure after a while it'll be a regular sourdough starter. 

raleighkris's picture
raleighkris

thank you for the help! I’ve divided my original 2cup starter into separate 1 cup containers.  Now originally I am to add 1cup water + 1/3c sugar + 3Tb flakes.  Therefore, In starter 1 container (my backup):  will put 1/2c water + 1Tb, 2 1/4tsp sugar + 1.5Tb flakes.    In starter 2: (the soon-to-be-flour-based starter):  I should mix the the 1/2c water, 1Tb, 2 1/4tsp sugar, 1.5Tb flakes weigh it (which is 126g combined) then pull out  15g of the mixture add it to starter 2 along with 15g flour. add Water?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Raleigh, you can try that. It might work, but if you want a sourdough starter you don’t use sugar.

if you want to try another starter test, take equal parts of MATURE original liquid starter and mix with bread flour. For example 30 grams liquid potato starter and 30 grams of Bread Flour. Lighly seal container to keep from drying out. Try to find a warm (75 - 80 degrees) place and give it a day. Check on it from time to time, watching for bubbles and growth.

Let us know how it goes. Once it starts we can help with maintenance.

Dan

Donuttybaker's picture
Donuttybaker

Question 1) I have used a starter similar to that except mine also included equal parts flour and water And no sugar. I would feed it once every 24 hours and and it tasted sweet after feeding and the next day sour but still good. Works well. I don't think you need to make one that just has flour I think you should just include flour in your next feeding and you'll get a nice starter. Hope this helps. 

raleighkris's picture
raleighkris

I separated my potato starter into two and mixed one container with the regular (albeit half dose) potato base and it did its rise thing ok.   The second was my "experiment".  I mixed equal part starter mix and flour and water mix.  It's bubbling with about a 2/3" foam on it.  I keep stirring it and it keeps about a 2/3 foam on it.  What do I do next?  Do I take out one cup of each and discard and feed them both again tomorrow or the next day just to jump start both and then make my way over to trying actual bread making with the discard?

I'm so nervous Im going to kill all my starter and be left with nothing!!

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

The half which you have kept as a 100% potato starter will be fine. Just carry on treating that starter as you aways have done. No need to change anything there and there's no reason why it should be lost. Treat as normal and focus on the other one. 

With the other one you should have just added flour only, equal to the weight of the potato starter for the first feeding, as the potato starter is liquid. No matter. 

With the newly created flour starter... each time wait until it bubbles up then keep half a cup of starter and feed it a half a cup of water + one cup flour. Do this a few times. Once it is strong, active and bubbles up on cue then find a recipe to attempt.