Sourdough Starter (again)

You might be aware that the Cook the Books selection for August/September is Sourdough  by Robin Sloan.   If not, you are now.

Sourdough is a great, quirky, thought-provoking little book.   If you want more information about the book, please click here.

As the host of this round and the one who picked Sourdough for the selection, I feel a bit of pressure to produce a sourdough bread product.

A couple of years ago, I bought a starter and it was rocking along fairly well; that is, until I replenished it with tap water and the chlorine killed it.  I threw it out.

This winter, I tried to make my own starter by capturing whatever culture was wafting around our own environment.  (I was inspired by the Michael Pollan’s Cooked “Air” episode.)   I threw it out.

In July, I ordered a culture/starter.   I followed the directions carefully.  It molded.  I threw it out.

So in hopes of having something to post by September 30 for CTB, I decided to try it again.  My mom gave me a volume of The Kitchen Grimoire for Christmas and since grimoire translates to “a book of magic spells and invocations,” I decided to glean wisdom from its many pages.   Maybe I could create my own mysterious and magical sourdough, just like in the novel.

There, I found a number of sour dough starter recipes.


The “The Hops Starter” sounded intriguing but I had no potatoes.   (I have read that potato starters are the best, though.)   I decided to try the “Honey Starter.”

Instead of using a quart jar which the recipe called for, I thought it would be too full with no room to bubble and ferment (hopefully).   I put mine in a half gallon jar.

Starting to bubble.


I’m really glad I went with the half-gallon jar because check out the foaming action after just 45 minutes.

Honey Sourdough Starter

From The Kitchen Grimoire 


  • 1 pkg. dry yeast (2 1/4 t.)
  • 2 1/2 c. warm distilled water
  • 2 T. local honey
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 half-gallon jar with tight fitting lid


  1. Combine all ingredients in the jar and stir. (A chopstick works best for this.) Make sure all the flour is mixed in.
  2. Screw on lid and let the starter ferment in a warm place for 5 days.
  3. After five days, store in refrigerator.
  4. Replenish using equal parts distilled water and flour.

I hope the this recipe has the magical mojo I knead.  (Pun intended.)

You also have plenty of time to pick up Sourdough, read it and perhaps even start a starter before the posting deadline of September 30.

For more Cook the Book details, click here.

Keep your fingers crossed because I started this on August 19 and it’s still alive and I have even baked with it twice!

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

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