An endless supply of loaves

Do you have a supply of yeast in your prepper’s cabinet for making your own bread? Nothing better than a homemade loaf of bread. What if you are running out?

Baker’s Yeast is sold in lb. packages or envelopes. It’s good to have on hand for scratch loaves of bread, but if you have a sourdough starter you are set for life. Before yeast was commercially grown and sold in packages, people would capture “wild yeasts” from the air to make raised cakes and bread.
It’s more likely that some of the yeast comes from your hands and the grains in the flour itself, so don’t go all sterile and cleaning crazy before you make starter and bread. (Note: I’m not responsible for any resulting gastrointestinal distress -use good judgement)

You can also ‘make’ yeast from scratch

Potato Sourdough Starter


3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups water, for boiling
2-1/4 tsp (1 pkg) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 tbsp salt

Peel and cube 3 potatoes. Boil potatoes in 4 cups of water until soft.

You’ll be using both the potato water and the potatoes in the starter. Drain the liquid off into a large bowl. Mash the potatoes and add mashed potatoes to the liquid. Stir and set aside until lukewarm.

After the liquid potatoes are slightly warm, stir in yeast and warm water.

Mix in the remaining ingredients.

Cover bowl with clean kitchen cloth {or cheesecloth} and let set for 24 hours at room temperature.

Pour starter into large jar or jars, cover, and store in the refrigerator.

Use starter as called for in sourdough recipes. 1 cup of potato sourdough starter can be used in place of 1 package active dry yeast.

Use the starter up within 2 weeks. At the end of two weeks, make a new starter from scratch or follow the starter directions above, replacing the dry yeast with 1 cup of leftover starter.

You can also buy a premade starter here

There are other sourdough starters that don’t call for potatoes, you can try a few to find one that suits your tastes.
I use a small crock about flower pot size to start the starter in. If it is successful, you might have overflow, so don’t fill to the top. Keep it in a warmish place to get it going. Lidded plastic ice cream containers work well for frig storage.

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5 Responses to An endless supply of loaves

  1. serfer62 says:

    For bread baking soda works just as well, stores forever and is cheap.

    Boiled potatoes cooled will forment a yeast, varible, but yeast. Makes good sour dough. Just replace the flour.

  2. Notamobster says:

    I’m quite certain that I don’t have to tell an industrious lot, such as yourselves, the most important use for yeast which man has ever contrived?

    Yes, bakers yeast will work. It won’t taste as good, but it’ll work.

  3. R.D. Walker says:

    One small packet of baker’s yeast ($0.35) will do as much to keep your septic system active as a bottle of more expensive treatment.

  4. Notamobster says:

    Well that definitely won’t taste as good!


  5. Jim22 says:

    I have been keeping a sourdough starter for quite a few years. I don’t think it makes much difference how or where you get a starter but there are a few important things I have learned over the years. They are:

    1. Use it frequently or it will spoil. For that reason I have started making sourdough pancakes every Sunday. We share them with friends and family. It has become a reason to get together once a week.

    2. Keep your starter in a non-metallic jar with a non-metallic lid. I use a pint mason jar with a plastic lid.

    3. Using it, especially making bread, takes forethought. For pancakes I start the batter the night before. For bread you should start it earlier so the yeast has time to multiply. Bread dough made with sourdough starter takes a lot longer to rise than if made with packaged yeast.