Your Questions About Making Sourdough Starter Without Yeast

Carol asks…

How often can you bake friendship bread without taxing the yeast?

I am baking an Amish friendship bread in a cafe and I bake generally twice or three times a week. I feed it every time, but it seems like the yeast is becoming weaker now. That could just be my ignorance of friendship bread. Ideas, advice or suggestions?

sourdough answers:

I feed mine twice a week and bake the excess each time. If you need to bake more often, perhaps you should have more than one batch going. I find it advisable to make up a new starter once in a while.

The mythology of sourdough is that you are capturing yeast from the air. However, there are many reasons to believe that doesn’t happen very often. When people take care to sterilize the flour and water they use to catch a culture, it fails much more often than not. When they don’t sterilize, it almost always works. In short, the flour has wild yeast in it, and chances are you are providing the lactobacillus from your skin when you knead the dough. All you need to do is encourage their growth.

“How will I know when my starter is ready to use?” There are two tests I use for a new starter. (1) I wouldn’t use a starter that is less than one week old. Before then, chances are there are too any strange critters still in the starter. (2) I wouldn’t use a starter that can’t double in size between feedings.

Sourdough Starter for Amish Friendship Bread

1 c. Flour
1 c. Sugar
1 c. Milk

Day 1: Stir and knead (do not refrigerate mix), cover with plastic wrap..
Day 2: Stir.
Day 3: Stir.
Day 4: Stir.
Day 5: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk and stir.
Day 6: Stir.
Day 7: Stir.
Day 8: Stir.
Day 9: Stir.
Day 10: Stir and again add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk.

NOTE: A starter can be fed as often as twice a day.

Recipe for Amish Friendship bread

1 cup starter
1 c. Oil
1 c. Sugar
1 t. Vanilla
3 eggs
1-½ t. Baking powder
½ t. Salt
2 c. Flour
½ c. Milk
½ t. Baking soda
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
2 t. Cinnamon

Pour into two large, greased and sugared (with cinnamon and sugar mixed) loaf pans. You can sprinkle some extra cinnamon and sugar on top. Bake 325°F. For 45 – 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Opt.: add 1 c. Chopped pecans and/or ½ c. Raisins, if desired

This recipe makes 2 loaves.

Betty asks…

Is there any way to make friendship bread WITHOUT yeast?

I’m trying to make it but I don’t have yeast and im CRAVING it. :p

sourdough answers:

You can make a starter based on sourdough bread like in the recipe on this page…


It does, however take a few days to create the starter.

Lizzie asks…

How long will bread take to rise without yeast?

How long will it take if it’s just salt, water, flour? If egg is added? Just milk or water and flour?

Which would help water/flour/salt rise better, baking soda or baking powder?

sourdough answers:

The bread won’t rise fast enough for you to make that bread that day. It will however, if left out, get “wild” yeast from the air. It will eventually grown and start multiplying. You’re supposed to feed the dough with more flour and water. What you’re trying to do is make a “starter.” It will take days and days.

Look on the Internet for “sourdough starter” and you will find lots of information and lots of opinions about how to do it.

If you’re interested in a bread to make that day without yeast, find recipes for things like Irish Soda Bread. It is leavened without yeast, and many people enjoy it. It does not, however have the same texture as yeast bread. Breads that use baking powder and/or soda are called “quick breads.”

Thomas asks…

I have a bakers yeast allergy, is there a good substitute?

I have just been diagnosed with many allergies, one of them is Bakers yeast. It’s kind of hard to make bread without it, and I have to make my own now. Is there anything that makes a good substitute? Keeping in mind that I am also allergic to gluten, and wheat and soy.

sourdough answers:

I would say to make a sourdough starter and use that, but I am not 100% sure if it would work with non-wheat flour. I’d think it would so you could always try it, substituting a non-wheat, gluten free flour. The link I am including also has substitutions for other things like wheat flour in addition to the sourdough starter recipe for people with baker’s yeast allergies.

Helen asks…

What kind of business can I start that will make money when the depression hits bottom?

I don’t have too much money to start with.

sourdough answers:

Some stuff just off the top of my head: make diapers and sell them. Mom’s will go for cloth vs. Disposable to save money and cloth diapers are cheaper. They expensive initially, but work out cheaper over the long run.
If things go really south it will be good for you to have access to the little things that people can’t go without. Like soap, toothbrushes, toilet paper. Kind of like getting stocked up on stuff that would be good to trade.
People are growing their own gardens now more. Maybe you can offer help with canning, or fall clean-up.
In order to save money people may make their own bread. Take it one step further and people may use sourdough starters in order to save money on yeast. Get your hands on a really old one (like my 120 year-old sourdough starter) and sell it in portions. You may not make much, but you may have something that will fill a niche.

You could learn how to repair hand tools, as more people will be using them and doing their own manual labor to save money.

Check out sites where you can loan out your items like rototillers, weedwackers, tools, etc… For people to use for a price.

Http:// This site is one of a few that you can list your items on to loan out.

If you’re smart at a particular subject, do some tutoring for a fee. There’s lots more homeschooling families out there than there use to be!

When we ever hit peak oil there will be a demand for alternative energy sources. When the oil platform that support these alternatives collapse out from underneath, we may see a return to bikes and horses. Could you repair a bike or a harness?

Some of this stuff is probably away from what you’re looking for, but it’s something to think on. For me, I teach piano, buy and resell on ebay and craigslist and earn money on a gpt site. The gpt stuff gets me anywhere from $40. To $100. A month. There’s a link in my profile if you are curious. Anyway, goodluck figuring something out. There will always be people who other people need to go to for something in order to survive. Question is, will you have that something? 😉

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