Finally! Wild bread that ISN’T sour

recipe: feeding and build-up schedule for wild bread

wild yeast bread I did it!!! I did it!!!

(click on image for larger view and more photos)

After weeks of angst with babying my jar of wild yeast, feeling I would never be able to bake a loaf of bread that WASN’T sour (not to mention the several times I was going to throw in the towel altogether), I have achieved my goal.

How do I know? Here are the words from my main critic the other night at dinner as six of us demolished both loaves:

T: (thrilled) You nailed it! When are you making this bread again?

Not only was it not too sour; it wasn’t sour at all! And it was light!! Light as a feather!!

And here’s how I did it: I virtually started over with feeding. Early in the year, I experimented with a two day feeding schedule of

  • 1 tsp wild sludge
  • 2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp water

That wasn’t really satisfactory. I wasn’t getting the bubbles; the smell was largely like yoghurt and the starter was breaking up into alcohol rather quickly.

So some time in March or so, I brought the thing out of the fridge and returning to McKenna Grant’s original formula, and started a twice a day regimen:

  • 2 Tbsp wild sludge
  • 3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp water

And kept at it for days until finally finally, it began to look like a real starter again.

Now the question is whether I’ll be able to repeat the success.

Here is the recipe:

Wild Bread
based on the recipe for basic sourdough in Piano Piano Pieno by Susan McKenna Grant

wild yeast starter . wild yeast starter buildup . bread

wild yeast starter buildup

  • wild yeast starter
  • all purpose unbleached flour
  • water*


  1. Day before Baking – Morning Take 2 Tbsp of wild yeast starter (discard the rest) and stir in 2 Tbsp water and 3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour . Cover and leave in a warm draftfree spot (counter in summer, oven with only light turned on in winter) til midday.
  2. Day before Baking Midday The mixture should have doubled and there should be lots of bubbling. Take 2 Tbsp of above mixture (reserve the rest to add to focaccia, naan, muffins, anything that doesn’t HAVE to rise). Stir in 2 Tbsp water and 3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour. Cover and leave… etc.
  3. Day before Baking Evening Stir ⅓ c (85ml) water and ⅔ c (170ml) unbleached all-purpose flour into ALL of the above mixture. Cover and leave… etc.
  4. Baking Day Morning The mixture should have doubled and be a bubbling mass.

    Reserve a portion for future bread making: Take 2 Tbsp of above mixture (reserve the rest for making bread) and stir in 2 Tbsp water and 3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour. Cover and leave for 2 hours on the counter. Put it into a covered glass jar and store in refrigerator. (Every 3 days: take 2 Tbsp of the refrigerated mixture – discard the extra – and stir in 2 Tbsp water and 3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour. Cover and leave for 1 hour on the counter before putting back into refrigerator. To use the refrigerated starter for baking, begin at step #1.)

rest of the bread recipe


*Tap water is fine to use – just make sure that it has stood for at least 12 hours so that the chlorine has dissipated.

wild bread

This post is partially mirrored on The Fresh Loaf: Whoohoo!! Wild Bread that ISN’T sour!


This entry was posted in baking, food & drink, side, sourdough and wild yeast on by .

* Thank you for visiting. Even though I may not get a chance to reply to you directly, I love seeing your comments and/or questions and read each and every one of them. Please note that your e-mail address will never be displayed by me. Also note that you do NOT have to sign in to Disqus to comment. Click in the "name" box and look for "I'd rather post as a guest" that appears at the bottom of the "Sign up with Disqus". After checking the box, you will be able to proceed with your comment.

"Comment Moderation" is in use. It may take a little time before your comment appears. Comments containing unsolicited advertising will be deleted as spam (which means any subsequent comments will be automatically relegated to the spam section and unlikely to be retrieved). Disqus comment area  wp-image-2332