Sourdough Starter with Potato

by Feb 6, 2017



Let these cinnamon rolls be your motivation:


Seriously, the most tasty homemade cinnamon rolls, and they’re the easiest ones I’ve encountered in terms of both mixing and especially, timing.  No setting the alarm to let these rolls proof before baking.  Simply let the dough rise overnight, then in the morning, roll it out, spread on the butter+sugar, cut into slices, and pop them in the oven.  You’ll be enjoying them within 45 minutes of waking up.  (Here’s my post for the Cinnamon Rolls.)


The magic?  Sourdough starter made with a potato.  The easiest sourdough starter I’ve encountered (thanks Tom!)  Adapted from Ruth Allman’s original, published in the Newsminer.  (Please keep in mind that once you have your sourdough starter, you need to keep it fed so it will be bubbly and active and able to give that puff to what you’re baking.  Feed it once per day if you’re keeping it at room temperature (do this if you are baking frequently, like every few days) or keep it in the refrigerator and feed it once per week.  When you feed your starter, discard all but about 1/2 cup (I use a gram scale and keep about 200 grams of starter and feed approx. 100 g water and 100g flour) then feed with 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup spring water.  Please read through King Arthur Flour’s how to care for a starter for a good overview.


Sourdough Starter with Potato

Adapted from Ruth Allman's original recipe published in Newsminer


  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into quarters or two small potatoes
  • 4 cups water, or enough to cover potato chunks during boiling
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour I use Wheat Montana
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan add potato chunks, water to cover, bring to boil over high heat, then lower heat to maintain a slow simmer. Cook until the potatoes are so tender they fall apart, about 30 - 45 minutes. Cool and purée with an immersion blender. You'll want 2 cups of thick "potato water", so add additional water if too much has evaporated during cooking.

  2. Add to the 2 cups "potato water": the sugar and flour, and beat until you have a smooth, creamy batter. Place batter in a ceramic bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel or piece of plastic wrap. Allow to ferment at warm room temperature for at least 3 days (I keep mine on top of a radiator), or until you see lots of bubbles. (Refer to the original recipe linked in post for more details.)

  3. At day 3, you're probably ready to bake! If you don't see lots of bubbles, feed the starter and wait 12 - 24 hours. Your starter is "active" when it smells acidic and you can see lots of bubbles.

Recipe Notes / Tips

  • To feed your active starter: remove 1/2 cup starter (use it to bake the cinnamon rolls, or bread, or pancakes, or toss it) and feed the remaining starter with a couple heaping tablespoons of flour and about the same amount of water. Stir and allow to sit out at room temperature if you bake regularly, or cover the starter and put it in the refrigerator.
  • At room temperature, you need to feed your starter every day or two; refrigerated, once per week.  (Don't panic if you forget for even a couple weeks, just check it out — if it doesn't have an off aroma or weird colors (pink?  throw it out), you're probably good.)


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