Do you know how to convert yeast recipes to sourdough? It’s not very hard to do. In fact, I’d highly recommend trying it.
Why would I want to take a yeast recipe and convert to it sourdough?
Here are a couple of reasons:
- Sourdough is free. Once you have it, you don’t need to go out and get it. For that matter, even if you don’t have it you don’t have to go out and get any. Sourdough is super easy to start for yourself! My kids know that if I visit in their homes, we’ll probably be making sourdough before the visit is out, as I can get a sourdough culture started and be using it in as little as 24 hours. To learn how, see my article on Fast & Easy Sourdough. So, would you like to save some money? Try sourdough!
- Sourdough is renewable. If you choose, you can keep it going for a lifetime. I’ve heard of starters which have been maintained for hundreds of years. Here’s an article about 160 Year Old Sourdough Starter still being used and maintained. This is an advantage as it’s not necessary to buy it repeatedly, but as already mentioned, you don’t have to buy it at all. It’s entirely doable to simply start a new culture whenever needed.
- Sourdough has a unique flavor! Many people prefer the flavor of sourdough bread. Did you know you can enjoy that sourdough flavor even in pancakes? You can! We have two recipes for sourdough pancakes in our Sourdough Course. I cannot recall ever seeing sourdough pancakes offered in a restaurant, yet they are one one of my favorite breakfast foods. One might be able to purchase sourdough English muffins, but they are so very easy to make and taste so good, why not make your own? We also have that recipe in our Sourdough Course.
Principles For Converting a Recipe to Sourdough
- Start with your liquid. Don’t start with dry ingredients, start with the liquid. Usually it’ll be water. Measure the liquid into the mixing bowl first.
- Next add sourdough starter. If in doubt, add a cup of starter. One can use more or less starter, depending on how long they want to wait for it to rise. No knead recipes use as little as a teaspoon of starter, but we’ll write about that another time.
- Add salt and baking soda. If the baking soda is clumped, then place it with the salt in a bowl and use the salt to grind it finely before adding it to the liquid and starter.
- Add whatever flour is called for by the recipe, but not by the quantity it calls for, if it uses a quantity. Just bring the mix up to a dough like consistency, using however much flour is necessary to accomplish it. While doing this, add egg, if it’s in the recipe.
- Once you have the dough at the right consistency, knead it, if kneading is part of the recipe. Treat it as you would any other bread dough.
Tip: You know bread dough has been kneaded enough when, if pushed out (down), it pulls itself back in. If it stays “smushed,” without moving, it needs more kneading.
What You can expect when converting a recipe to sourdough:
- You’re going to have to experiment. No one can give exact measurements that will always work.
- You will acquire a feel for it, if you do it enough.
- Most sourdough breads tend to be a bit heavier than those made with regular yeast.
- Lighter sourdough bread can be obtained by making a wetter dough, though, this will often produce a flatter loaf.
- You’re likely to become hooked on sourdough!