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Sourdough Starter with Potato Flakes

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The term “sourdough starter” provokes trepidation and confusion in many folks, understandably so. This post will explain the different types of sourdough starters as well as show you how to start and maintain a sourdough starter with potato flakes.

The Difference Between Potato Flake Starter and Flour Starter

There are two main types of starter to make sourdough bread: flour based and potato based.

Flour based starter is a precisely measured mixture of high hydration flour and water. The mixture ferments at room temperature cultivating natural yeast that is later used to bake bread.

It’s a bit more fussy, if you will.

Potato based starter is a mixture of dehydrated potato flakes, water, sugar, and activated yeast that ferments at room temperature.

The biggest difference between the two starters is that flour based starters require multiple feedings, multiple times per day in the beginning, and require large amounts of discarded starter.

Discarding starter is a chief complaint of flour based sourdough starter. Yes, discard can be used in other recipes but you are left with copious amounts of discard in your refrigerator.

Alternatively potato based starters are fed once every four days and do not require discarding, unless you do not bake. (But you will because this bread is the bees knees!)

Both starters are aged, or fermented, for several days before use cultivating the good bacteria which gives sourdough that unique tangy flavor.

Neither starter is inherently better than they other. They simply yield two different styles of sourdough bread.

Why are potato flakes used?

Not to be confused with potato flour or potato starch, potato flakes are simply dehydrated potatoes. Typically they are used to make instant mashed potatoes.

Surprisingly, you can do quite a lot with potato flakes! Potato flakes add starch, flavor, and softness to baked goods.

The potato flakes in the starter add starch that replaces the gluten in a flour based starter. You cannot omit this ingredient.

Potato Flake Starter Ingredients

If you do not have access to sourdough starter from a friend or neighbor, making a sourdough starter with potato flakes is very simple.

The first feeding is simply water, sugar, potato flakes, and activated (not instant) yeast. This is the only time you will give the starter yeast.

The ingredients are mixed together in a jar, covered loosely, and left at room temperature for 4 days. I really like these jars for starter.

Then, you will feed your starter a second time but without additional yeast.

At this point the start can go into the fridge until you’re ready to bake or sit out for 8 to 12 hours before baking.

Maintaining a Sourdough Starter with Potato Flakes

For beginner bread bakers, sourdough starter with potato flakes is the most forgiving and easiest to maintain.

After the first feeding, you will store the starter in the fridge and feed every 4 to 5 days if you’re not baking.

You will need to discard about 1 cup of starter if you don’t plan to bake. This is a good time to gift some to a friend.

If you do want to bake, pull the starter out of the fridge and feed it. Let the starter sit at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.

After using your starter to bake bread, put the starter back in the fridge and feed again in four days.

The cycle will continue indefinitely. This starter is truly fool proof.

My easy sourdough bread tutorial is here to teach you how to use this sourdough starter with potato flakes for the best sourdough sandwich bread! You’ll never need to go to the store again!

Sourdough Starter with Potato Flakes

Sourdough Starter with Potato Flakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Properly start and maintain your potato flake sourdough starter for use in sourdough sandwich bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned potato flakes
  • 1 packet dry active yeast (not instant)

Instructions

  1. Warm the water up slightly in whichever glass jar you're going to be using. 30 to 60 seconds in the microwave should suffice.
  2. Add the potato flakes and stir to dissolve.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Cover lighlty with a lid and leave on the counter fo 4 days.
  5. Stir the starter once a day.
  6. On day 5, either feed the starter and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake OR feed the starter and leave on the counter for 8 to 12 hours before baking.
  7. Feed the starter every 4 days for maintanence. If not baking, discard 1 cup of starter at the start of the feeding.

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Katie

Thursday 24th of March 2022

I am so excited to try this out! I do have a question. After that second feeding, and putting in the fridge… can you pull it out any time? Or do you always have to wait the 4-5 days before making bread? If you feed it early does it mess with the starter? And what are signs of a healthy starter? Any warning signs I should look for? I tried a flour starter for about 14 days and gave up. As your article addressed, too much discard.. but also I struggled with getting it to double in size. Will I see the same issues with this starter?

The Easiest Sourdough Sandwich Bread | Keto In Pearls

Monday 17th of January 2022

[…] beloved by many for generations. This sourdough sandwich bread recipe uses clean ingredients, potato flake starter, and is beginner friendly. Add a notch in your homesteading belt and learn how to make the best […]

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