Monday, November 18, 2013

Making Your Own Sourdough (Friendship) Starter

I really like the idea of making my own sourdough starter. The problem I have with starters is the need to continuously feed them. When you know how to make your own starter, you can create it on demand and not be burdened with continuous feeding. 

If you use your sourdough starter in place of packaged yeast all year round, then it would be worth it to continuously feed and care for your starter. But for people like me who only use sourdough starter on occasion, it is a waste of flour (and money) to continuously feed it. It is much more useful to learn how to make it yourself when you want to use it. I have previously posted about how to make sourdough starter for bread. You can see that here

Today's post is about how to make a friendship starter. Friendship starter is a sweet sourdough starter and used for quick breads, cakes, muffins and other types of sweet breads. You can see many kinds of recipes that use a friendship starter here. (It is also called Amish Friendship starter.)

Here is how you make it:

Just like all starters, you can not use any metal containers or tools with a friendship starter. Wood or plastic tools with a glass, plastic or ceramic jar are best. This is what I am using.

I got the container as a gift. It is from the King Arthur Flour company. It is specifically designed to hold sourdough starters. The key to the container you choose for your starter, is to make sure it has a loose cover. You want air to get in, and bugs to stay out.

Day 1:
Place in the container:
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar

If you search the Internet, you can find friendship starter recipes that include instant yeast. Just as when making a regular sourdough starter, if you add the yeast, your starter may be ready a little bit faster - but it really isn't necessary to add it. For my starter, I did not add any yeast.

Also, I used fresh milk and white all purpose flour from the store. While using fresh ingredients from the store isn't really 'cooking with food storage', after I use this starter in a recipe, I am going to feed it with powdered milk and whole wheat flour.

Stir the mixture well. Mine got all bubbly right away!

Day 2, Day 3, Day 4:
Stir the starter well.

Day 5:
Add to the starter:
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar

Stir well.

Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9:
Stir the starter well.

Day 10:
Stir the starter well and add:
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar

You starter is now ready to use. Save one cup of starter (to start the 10-day process over again) and use the rest in your recipes! You will probably have a cup or two left over to give away to friends, if you would like. (Maybe that is why it is called a friendship starter?)

Here is a picture of mine before I added the new ingredients on day 10.

Personally, I think this starter tastes better than regular sourdough. It may be because it is sweeter, the sweetness seems to help take away a strong sour flavor. I have use this starter before, in the basic Amish quick bread recipe. Although it has been a long while since I made one, I recall that it had a wonderful flavor! I am looking forward to making it again!

I will post my results with that recipe soon!


  1. This may sound stupid but I'm wondering if you can use the inside of the crockpot to use as a crock?

    1. I don't think it is a stupid question at all! Thinking outside the box always saves money! I think it would be a great idea to try. You may have to double the starter recipe since a crockpot is so big. But then, on Day 5 and Day 10, add the normal ingredients as listed in the recipe.

      Please let us know how it turned out!


To help eliminate spam on this blog, your comment will be moderated.