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bread starter recipe

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This Italian bread starter recipe is used for the base of many of the great tasting Italian breads that we know and love.

I would like to suggest that you use weight to measure the ingredients as it will produce a more reliable starter. A cup of flour does not always weigh the same amout.


1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1/4 cup (2 ounces / 60 grams) warm water not hot

3/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons (7 ounces / 200 grams) water at room temperature

2 1/3 cups (11.6 ounces / 330 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil


Stir the yeast into the warm water and let rest until bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the remaining water into the yeast mixture. Add the flour 1 cup at a time. Stir with a wooden spoon for 3 - 
4 minutes. If mixing with a stand mixer, beat with the paddle at the lowest speed for 2 minutes. 

Transfer the starter to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at cool room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, or until the starter is triple its original volume. It should still be wet and sticky. If your family enjoys sourdough allow the starter to rise for up to 48 hours.  

Cover and refrigerate the starter until ready to use. Use within 5 days. You may freeze the starter. To use frozen starter place at at room temperature for about 3 hours until it is bubbly and active again.

When needed, weigh out the desired amount for your recipe and proceed. I recommend weighing rather than measuring it by volume since it expands at room temperature.

If measuring by volume, measure only chilled starter.

We hope that you find many uses for this Italian bread starter recipe.

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