Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Question: Adapting a Sourdough Starter

I'm often asked some variation of the following question.

A friend gave me a sourdough starter. It is fed with sugar and potato flakes. I like how your starter is fed with only water and flour. Can I adapt my starter to be fed with water and flour? Or is my kind of starter different than yours? Can I use your bread recipe with my starter? - a reader

My answer to this question: "I don't know." I never tried it, and though I'm tempted to do some experiments myself, I don't have a potato-flake starter to do some trials.

So I'm throwing the question out to all of you. Have any of you adapted a sourdough starter from being fed with potato flakes to just flour? Were you successful? Have you used a potato-flake starter in the sourdough recipes I share here?

I'd love to hear about any experience - good or bad, yummy or bleh. If you would rather not let a comment here, you can email me. Thanks.

Looking for general sourdough advice? You can find what I DO know about sourdough at the sourdough page.


  1. I use the potato flake sugar sourdough. I'm not experienced with the type you use. But I tried using my starter in a roll recipe that called for the flour fed type. I needed to use a good bit more flour than the recipe said. The rolls were still good, but from what I've seen i think the flour starter has more substance too it,the potato flake, sugar starter is basically just like liquid. I do not think substituting will work very easily. I'm not very experienced just my thoughts!

  2. I made my starter from potato water almost 6 years ago and it's still going strong!

    Initially (like the first month) I fed it white flour and then switched to hard white wheat flour with no adverse effects. Ideally, you want to feed it wheat because white has no nutritional value and while the starter may be weak the first few weeks of this, it will pick back up and be its usually bubbly self.

    I store my starter in the refrigerator and use it 2-3 times a week for baking and just add however much I take out back twice (so if I take out 1 cup of starter, I add back 1 cup of water and 1 cup of hard white wheat flour). I use a white plastic lid so it can get air or just use the mason jar lids upside down so it can't seal itself)

    King Arthur Flour has some great tips and tutorials and even recipes.

  3. I also was given starter that was fed with sugar and potatoe flakes. I started feeding it water and flour and it is working for me.


I love to hear from you.


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