Vintage sourdough

Reflections from the custodians of really long-lived sourdough mothers. Having committed second degree “matricide” several times, I doff my hat to these bakers!


I’ve been using my starter for over 10 years. It’s Maggie Glezer’s “stiff” starter, so it only has to be refreshed 3-4 times before baking with it. I save all the discards and use them in other breads.

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I inherited my starter from a family in Mojorca. It’s generations old. Naughtily I keep it in the fridge and feed it once a week or if it’s getting low. I should use organic flour but don’t. I do use bottled water though.

I have some frozen in case something happens. :roll_eyes::astonished::cry:


Really entertaining read, thanks!

Do you make much Sourdough Gretchen?

No. My father did for many, many years. He was very cavalier with his starter as I recall. I believe his started with the water left from boiling potatoes, left out overnight for the yeasts to develop.

Has anyone tried Oregon trail sourdough starter from1847? I have not but it sounds interesting.
Google it.

How to Get Carl’s Starter

USA Residents
Send a self-addressed, stamped (55¢ or forever) #10 envelope [SASE49] to:

Oregon Trail Sourdough
P. O. Box 321
Jefferson, MD 21755 USA

A #10 envelope, also called, in the USA, a “business-size envelope”, measures about 9-1/2 inches by 4-1/8 inches (24 cm by 10.5 cm). European size DL is close enough. If such an envelope is not available, simply send postage (or currency as below) plus your postal address, and we will provide an envelope.

Please write your address carefully and neatly. When filled envelopes come back marked undeliverable, there’s nothing we can do about it.

Normally, it could take up to six weeks for your start to get to you, but it probably won’t. See why

Potato water is conducive to the growth of sourdough yeasts and bacteria, but by boiling the water to cook the potatoes, all the yeasts and bacteria would have been killed. Leaving the water out overnight has no effect on the growth of a sourdough starter. The starter grows from the yeasts and bacteria on the flour that is used.

It is also inaccurate to think that a starter from 1847 is different from one you make yourself in your own kitchen. It may start out different, but the flour(s) you use to replenish it will, in time, completely dominate the flora in it.

You know, that makes perfect sense. :slight_smile: All I know is his sourdough was tasty…

Ya buying a starter has never been something I’ve needed. I always have some form of dough/sponge in the fridge. I used to have a mobile pizza catering business so always had sponge on stand by. Now I have two camp chef pizza ovens for small groups. If and it has happened I lose my sponge I pick up some sourdough from a local pizza shop and make a new sponge from that. Or just make a new sponge and feed it till it sours up.