How Do I Convert Recipes To Sourdough? #AskWardee 043 (2024)

How Do I Convert Recipes To Sourdough? #AskWardee 043 (2)

“How do I convert recipes to sourdough?” Amy B. asks. I’m sharing my thoughtsbelow in today’s #AskWardee.

I broadcast #AskWardeeliveeach Wednesday at 10am Pacific (1pm Eastern) on Periscope and Facebook Live. Both the podcast and video replay of this week’s show are below. Enjoy!

Subscribe to #AskWardee on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, or the Podcasts app.

The Question

Amy B. asked me:

Do you have any advice or starting points on converting “regular” baked goods recipes to sourdough recipes? (If you’d recommend doing that at all…) I have some favorite recipes that I’d like to convert, and I’m wondering if you had any suggestions for modifying the liquid and dry ingredients to give me a foundation for changing the recipes.

My Answer: How To Convert Recipes To Sourdough

You have a bubbling sourdough starter, and it seems like such a betrayal not to use it when you’re baking, right?

So sooner or later, you might find yourself wishing you knew how to take the tried-and-true non-sourdough recipes and adapt them for sourdough.

Itcan take some trial and error to convert recipes to sourdough, but if you can grasp the overall principles and practice… I think you’ll soon be off to the races!

Here’s how I would approach adapting recipes for sourdough…

By the way, if you want to know how to make your own sourdough starter (you can get it going in 5 minutes) go here for my easy instructions.

Yeasted Recipes

A quick rule to adapt recipes to sourdough is: Substitute 1 cup of starter for each package of yeast, and then subtract about 1/2 cup of water and 3/4 cup of flour from the recipe to compensate for the water and flour in the starter.

You will need to play with the consistency of the dough — adding or subtracting liquid or flour. Aim for how you know the recipe should look and feel.

And, you will need to add a rising time. Sourdough needs more rising time than quick yeast. Instead of an hour or whatever the original recipe calls for, aim for at least 5 to 8 hours total of rising. Which might be broken up into a first or second rise (when you punch down the dough in between).

See note below for baking soda and liquid acids.

If you’re looking for a tried-and-true yeasted bread recipe, try my no-knead artisan sourdough einkorn bread. You can get the free recipe here!

Quick Breads

Conventional quick breads probably don’t have a soaking stage already worked in. If they did, this wouldbe really easy.

Here’s how to adapt recipes to sourdough for quick breads with and without soaking stages:

If there is a soaking stage: use sourdough starter in place of the acid medium. Proceed with the recipe. No other changes should be necessary.

If there is not already a soaking stage (most likely): at the beginning of the recipe, combine just the flour and liquid (and maybe the fat if there’s isn’t enough liquid to wet the flour) and also add 1 tablespoon sourdough starter for each cup of liquid. Let that batter/dough sour 5 to 8 hours. Then add everything else in the recipe and proceed with the directions for baking.

See note below for baking soda and liquid acids.

Alternate Quick Bread Adaptation

Rather than adding a small amount of sourdough as above, you can replace more of the flour and water with sourdough starter (sourdough starter is a mixture of flour and water after all).

Let’s say you tend to feed your sourdough starter equal parts flour and water — 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water at a time, for example. Then use 1/2 cup of your starter to replace 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water/liquid in the recipe.

If you tend to feed a bit more flour than water (which is what I do), you can use your starter to replace a bit more flour than water in the original recipe.

Create the batter with as few ingredients as possible — starter, flour, liquid. Let sour for 5 to 8 hours. Add the rest of the ingredients and bake.

See note below for baking soda and liquid acids.

Pancakes, Waffles, & Crepes

Pancakes, waffles, and crepes are very easy to convert to sourdough because starter is just right for these batters and there’s no need to add additional flour. This means you can skip the soaking! (This article explains the beauty of no-wait sourdough and also gives links to 4 tried-and-true no-wait sourdough recipes.)

Pancakes and waffles — sourdough starter can replace all the flour and liquid in the recipe as is. It is usually already the right consistency for batters like this.

Crepes — use the sourdough starter in place of the flour and water and then thin (after mixing in the other ingredients) with milk or other liquid to a crepe batter consistency.

See note below for baking soda and liquid acids.

The Baking Soda Issue

Baking soda reacts with acids and puffs it all up. But… sourdough starter is acidic. So keep in mind that if your original recipe has baking soda and there was no acid in the recipe (like yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar), sourdough starter will act as an acid and cause a reaction that you may not have seen before in your recipe. This is ok most of the time and will actually allow your quick bread or breads to turn out light and fluffy!

You want to add that baking soda at the very end, or maybe just before mixing in any add-ins like chocolate chips or dried fruit. Then bake while the batter is still billowy. This isn’t a batter you want to let sit around.

You can also choose to reduce the amount of baking soda (if too much fluffy happens). Or use baking powder instead (which creates both an immediate and delayed rising action).

The Acid Issue

If your original recipe depends on using an acidic liquid such as buttermilk or yogurt, you could use milk or even water along with sourdough starter. The sourdough provides the acid and the milk/water provides the liquid.

For More Information:

What Is The #AskWardee Show?

The #AskWardee Show is the live weekly show devoted to answering your niggling questions about Traditional Cooking: whether it’s your sourdough starter, your sauerkraut, preserving foods, broth, superfoods or anything else to do with Traditional Cooking or your GNOWFGLINS lifestyle.

I share tips and resources, plus answer your questions about Traditional Cooking!

The Details

When: Wednesdays at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern

Where: @TradCookSchool on Periscopeor Traditional Cooking School on Facebook

What If You Can’t Make It?

Don’t worry. You can catch the replays or listen to the podcast!

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Do you know how to convertrecipes to sourdough? Have you done it successfully?

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How Do I Convert Recipes To Sourdough? #AskWardee 043 (2024)
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