The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is there such a recipe for a one-time / one loaf sourdough starter??

Eldemila's picture

Is there such a recipe for a one-time / one loaf sourdough starter??

I may be thrown off the boards with such a question from real sourdough connoisseurs, but here goes...

Would love to be able to make a 100% whole wheat sourdough bread from scratch and would like to know if there's such thing as a one-time / one loaf recipe?

At this point in time I'm not really interested in keeping and feeding a sourdough starter, just want to see if I can be successful in making at least one.  Also, the thrifty part of me can't seem to get past throwing out portions - with the price of flour, as with all food, it just seems to be so wasteful to me.





ehanner's picture

The tiny amount of flour used starting a natural leavening product that will last a life time hardly seems like a waste. However, if you want to sour up a whole grain dough, add a Tablespoon of vinegar for a 1 pound loaf. It's not sourdough but a step in the right direction taste wise. King Arthur also sells a sour additive that is added to replicate the sour flavor. From reading German recipes, I see they often build up a sour over a few days at room temperature from scratch.

 Hope this helps.

brewster's picture

In his book "The Complete Book of Breads" Bernard Clayton has quite a few recipes which, I guess you would say they are levain based with extended fermentation. He will start with a commercial yeast, but then the levain sits out at room temp for three or more days. Then you make the bread on the third or fourth day. I have tried several of those recipes and they are great. To my taste buds they certainly taste like sourdough and have that wonderful long fermentation developed flavor. It's a several day operation but avoids the production of a true, on-going type "starter" which then has to be maintained. I don't have time to copy over a complete recipe right now, but the book is readily available and I think this gets at what you are asking?

Happy baking,



Janedo's picture

Find someone nice who'd like to give some away. You could maybe ask around and be surprised to find someone. I give portions away all the time and people either keep them or just use it once, no big deal.

audra36274's picture

I sure hate throwing out part when I'm feeding and not baking. It seems like such a waste. Unfortunatly I never have friends that want starter- only bread! But thats OK too! It gives me more reason to bake.


KosherBaker's picture

That's a great idea Jane. People who make sourdough always have extra to give away. Where do you live Eldemila?

Another thought is you can start your starter with a small amount like two table spoons and just double that for 5 to 7 days. Then store that in the fridge for once a week baking. See SourdoLady's instructions right here:


LindyD's picture

I also dislike having to toss starter, especially given the price of flour. I've wondered about putting the discard in a container each time I refresh, then using that with some flour, water and a bit of salt to make a demi-baguette or two.

I've used the discarded sourdough starter for fried onion rings and even as a coating for breaded chicken breasts. Why not bread?

Janedo's picture

I'd say it's a better idea to make muffins or a cake because the starter is usually a bit unactive when we are ready to throw it away. Liquid starter makes mean muffins!


LindyD's picture

I bit the bullet tonight and tossed my discarded starter into the mixing bowl then mixed up a ciabatta dough, adding a bit more water to compensate for the extra flour in the starter. Came together nicely, windowpaned nicely, and now I'm waiting for the dough to triple. Maybe I'll get it in the oven before midnight.

Used Harvest King instead of my KA BF; will see how this turns out.

If I made muffins and cakes, that means toppings and icings and my clothes are already getting a bit snug from all this bread I've been eating!

Kuret's picture

In swedish cook books, sourdough is usually prepared as follows:

 1. Put a small amount of yeast together with flour and water (essentially making a poolish), let this ferment for 48 hours or more stirring now and then to incorporate air.

2. Use this together with additional yeast to bake your loaf.

 I realise this is not real sourdough, and I have real sourdough for baking my own bread but that could probably be a easy route to go. It will taste and smell sour and probably your bread will be as good as with "one shot sourdough"!

Eldemila's picture

Thanks for all the ideas.

RUDY, you asked where I live - hate to admit it, but in Miami, FL.  There's definitely not a lot of bread bakers down here that I know of - not to mention those who make sourdough.  Give or get some SD starter - you're lucky enough to know who your neighbors are!

I may just give it a try - it's nice to know there are things that you may be able to do with your "throw aways"

 Looked at the link provded above - maybe it's me, but it's not so clear on what to do after day 7?  I think others had a question on day 5,6,7 yet it wasn't answered?  How many days should you feed the starter, according to her?  Maybe I didn't read it correctly, but didn't see any set amount of days.







KosherBaker's picture

Hi Eldemila.

After day 7, you have an option of putting the starter in the refrigerator. If you leave your starter at room temperature, then you have to continue feeding it on a daily basis. Put in the refrigerator it needs to be fed twice a week. If you aren't going to be using your starter extremely often, i.e. more than once a week. You may be able to put it into the refrigerator sooner than 7 days. Like on Day 6, if your starter proves to be nice and active.


Oldcampcook's picture

if you will email me at oldcampcook at, i will get your address and send you some of my dried starters and instructions for reviving and feeding them.

I sent starters out all the time to members of my yahoo bread group.