How To Add Yeast To Sourdough Starter and Maintain It

How To Add Yeast To Sourdough Starter and Maintain It

Did you know that you can add yeast to a sourdough starter? Here’s how you can make a quick pre-ferment at home for tangy sourdough bread!

Sourdough starters are incredibly delicious and flavorful pre-ferments that help add a tangy flavor and open chewy crumb. However, making these can be quite time-consuming. Luckily, we have developed a quick and effective starter recipe that will be ready to use in only 5 days!

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What Is A Sourdough Starter?

A sourdough starter also referred to as a levain, is a type of pre-ferment used in bread-making. Pre-ferments are used as a unique leavening agent in bread. It also adds flavor and an interesting texture to the crumb of the loaf.

A sourdough starter specifically is made using flour and water. This mixture ferments using the natural yeast present in the flour.

Every day, the starter is fed with more flour to help keep it alive and growing. The longer the yeast is alive (the older the starter is) the better the flavor gets and the better texture it will give the bread.

Once the pre-ferment is fully developed (usually after about 7 to 12 days depending on the environment) it is used in a sourdough bread recipe. It functions as a leavening and flavoring ingredient.

Yeast in sourdough starters

Now, let’s look at the yeast part of sourdough starters. Some pre-ferments do contain a portion of or all of the yeast required in the bread recipe.

While a traditional starter can be made using only flour and water, some people like adding dry yeast or instant yeast to their starters.

In a starter, it helps give the pre-ferment a “head-start” and that bit of extra fermentation activity. Essentially, it helps you create a cheat-starter. You don’t have to wait as long for the fermentation process to start and can use it within a day or two.

Anchor Hocking Glass Mixing Bowls, Mixed, Set of 10

Yeast in sourdough bread recipes

Yeast is also sometimes added in addition to the sourdough starter. This does the same as it would for a starter. It gives the dough an added boost and will make the loaf rise more.

Adding yeast to the bread recipe isn’t very common and you are far more likely to add it to the starter itself.

Can You Add Yeast After The Dough Is Mixed?

You can add yeast to the dough after it has been mixed. However, we wouldn’t recommend it.

First, if your dough did not rise as much as you wanted, it is never going to make as good bread as you wanted. So, in our opinion, don’t bother. Rather start the dough from scratch and make the bread with a little bit more yeast.

The additional yeast will also not work as effectively when added in after the dough has been made. The dough is already quite heavy and the yeast won’t be able to create a massive lift.

But, if you really do want to add some extra yeast after the dough has been made, here’s how.

Regardless of whether or not you are using dry or fresh yeast, you will need to dissolve and activate it in some lukewarm water. It will be much easier to incorporate into the dough once it has been dissolved in water.

To control the consistency of the dough, you can adjust the amount of water you are dissolving the yeast in. So, if for example, you don’t need a lot of water (because you don’t want a very wet dough), then only dissolve the yeast in a little. But, if you have an extremely stiff dough that needs a lot of hydration, you can dissolve it in much more water.

The exact amount of yeast you will need to use is entirely relative. We would say start with 5 grams. But, again, we highly recommend just starting a new dough from scratch. You can use the “bad” dough to make cheat flatbread instead.

1) What You Will Need To Make This Sourdough Starter Recipe With Yeast

Ingredients

  • 5 grams active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup bread flour

Equipment

  • Medium glass mixing bowl
  • Large glass mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Rubber or silicone spatula
  • Large glass jar or container
  • Cheesecloth
  • Rubber band or string

Step by step instructions

Step 1: Activate the yeast

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the active dry yeast and the lukewarm water. Do not heat the water too much as it will kill the yeast. Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon until all of the yeast has dissolved.

Step 2: Add the yeast to the flour

Next, add bread flour into a large glass mixing bowl. Add the yeasty water mixture to the flour. Combine the ingredients using a wooden spoon.

You can continue mixing until you have a smooth batter-like mixture.

Step 3: Store the starter

Pour your quick sourdough starter into a large glass container that is at least 4 or 5 times bigger than your starter. The starter should have more than enough space to grow.

Cover the top of the container with 2 layers of cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band or string.

quick sourdough starter

Storing your sourdough starter

You can either keep your sourdough starter in a warm spot or inside the refrigerator. The fridge will slow the growth of the starter. This means you won’t have to feed it as often to keep it alive.

But, as we have mentioned, you can store it at room temperature. Just make sure you keep it away from any extreme temperatures (like the oven) and away from direct light.

When the starter is stored at room temperature, it should be fed at least once a day. This will keep it healthy and ensure it doesn’t die.

2) How To Feed Your Sourdough Starter With Yeast – Every Day

Ingredients

  • 1 cup starter
  • 1 cup (110 grams) bread flour
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water

Equipment

  • Large glass mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Rubber or silicone spatula
  • Large glass jar or container
  • Cheesecloth
  • Rubber band or string

Step 1: Measure out your starter

You only need about 1 cup of starter. Whatever remains can be used to make a loaf of sourdough or other baked goods. You can also discard whatever you don’t use, especially if you aren’t baking anything at the time.

Add the starter to a clean glass bowl.

Step 2: Add the flour and water

Next, add 1 cup of bread flour and 1/2 cup lukewarm water to the sourdough starter. Gently mix them together until you have a smooth mixture.

Step 3: Store your fed starter

Finally, place the now-fed starter back into the cleaned glass jar and store it as previously instructed.

Tips And Tricks On How To Add Yeast To Sourdough Starter

  • First and foremost, this quick sourdough starter recipe with yeast will be ready to use after 5 days (when kept at room temperature). Much quicker compared to a flour-water-only starter that could take up to 2 weeks to properly develop!
  • We highly recommend only using clean glass containers. This will ensure your starter (which is very porous) doesn’t absorb any off colors and flavors from stained plastic bowls.
  • Do not forget to feed your starter. If you cannot do so every day, store it in the fridge so that it grows at a much slower pace.
  • This sourdough starter recipe with yeast also freezes very well. Freezing it will essentially inhibit all growth without killing the bacteria.
  • Whichever flour you started the initial ferment with, keep using it to feed your starter. Changing flours will change the flavor and characteristics of the starter itself and the sourdough you are making.
  • add yeast to sourdough starter

Servings And Preparation Time

Prep time Time until ready to use Makes
5 minutes 5 days 3-4 cups per day

Final Words

As you can now see, it is incredibly easy to add yeast to a sourdough starter. It will allow you to get baking in no time and still have deliciously tangy bread! If you know of anyone wanting to get into making sourdough, share this article to help get them starter!

How To Add Yeast To Sourdough Starter and Maintain It
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How To Add Yeast To Sourdough Starter and Maintain It

Did you know that you can add yeast to a sourdough starter? Here's how you can make a quick pre-ferment at home for tangy sourdough bread! Sourdough starters are incredibly delicious and flavorful pre-ferments that help add a tangy flavor and open chewy crumb. However, making these can be quite time-consuming. Luckily, we have developed a quick and effective starter recipe that will be ready to use in only 5 days!
Prep Time5 mins
5 d
Total Time5 d 5 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: add yeast to sourdough starter, can you add yeast after dough is mixed, quick sourdough starter, sourdough starter recipe with yeast
Servings: 4 cups per-day

Equipment

  • Medium glass mixing bowl
  • Large glass mixing bowl
  • Rubber or silicone spatula
  • Large glass jar or container
  • Cheesecloth
  • Rubber band or string

Ingredients
  

  • 5 grams active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup bread flour

Instructions

  • Activate the yeast.
    In a medium mixing bowl, combine the active dry yeast and the lukewarm water. Do not heat the water too much as it will kill the yeast. Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon until all of the yeast has dissolved.
    5 grams active dry yeast, 1 cup lukewarm water
  • Add the yeast to the flour.
    Next, add bread flour into a large glass mixing bowl. Add the yeasty water mixture to the flour. Combine the ingredients using a wooden spoon.
    You can continue mixing until you have a smooth batter-like mixture.
    1 cup bread flour
  • Store the starter.
    Pour your quick sourdough starter into a large glass container that is at least 4 or 5 times bigger than your starter. The starter should have more than enough space to grow.
    Cover the top of the container with 2 layers of cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band or string.
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