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Easy Recipe for Sourdough Starter with Honey for Reduced Acidity

Updated: Jul 8

The beauty of this recipe for Sourdough Starter with Honey is that it produces a "SWEET" SOURDOUGH YEAST (to be exact, a Sourdough with reduced acidity), which reduces the acidity in the final product.

Sourdough Starter With Honey
Sourdough Starter With Honey

I have been trying to create a sweet Sourdough Starter for a long time. The process is pretty simple, but the results depend on what you use as a starter. I have spent months trying several sourdough starters, from the classic water and flour (the easiest one) to more extravagant ones like raisins or strawberries. Still, none of them got the result I was looking for until I tried using Honey and created this Sourdough Starter with Honey.

The difference among all these attempts was mostly the level of acidity they were giving to the bread; the beauty of this Sourdough starter with honey resulted in a SWEET SOURDOUGH YEAST, which was my objective to be able to make Pandoro and Panettone for Christmas.

Since I had it, I have produced all sorts of things: panettone and Pandoro, wholemeal bread, doughnuts with raisins, pizza, and more.

Now, there are hundreds of opinions about Sourdough Starter with Honey, some saying that Honey is just a waste of time and others saying that it is the best thing in the world, and I am not here to convince anyone, one way or another.

My suggestion to you is to embark on your personal sourdough journey, test this Sourdough Starter with Honey, the classic water and flour, and decide what works and what doesn't for you.

You'll need a few simple ingredients: flour, water, honey, and patience. Begin by combining equal parts flour and water in a glass or ceramic container. Add a tablespoon of honey and mix until fully incorporated. Honey is a natural sweetener and food source for wild yeast and bacteria.

During the initial stages, you must feed your starter regularly to cultivate a robust and balanced microbial community. Feed it by discarding half of the starter and replacing it with fresh flour and water, maintaining equal ratios.

The sourdough starter will gradually develop a distinctly sour aroma and become more active, ready for the bread-making process.

Ingredients Required for this Easy Homemade Sourdough Starter with Honey

  • 100 g of very strong flour (I have used Very Strong White flour from Marriage for mine)

  • 1 teaspoon of Honey,

  • 100 g of room temperature water (better if bottled water because it does not contain chlorine).

How to Create Your Homemade Sourdough Starter with Honey Step-by-Step

Step 1

  • In a bowl, pour the flour, honey, and water until you have a lumps-free mixture. Once done, move it into a Jam jar or, if you don't have one, in a tall glass. Cover the container loosely with a clean cloth or plastic wrap, allowing airflow while avoiding contaminants. If your container cannot be closed, cover it with cling film and make some holes with a toothpick, as the mixture needs oxygen to start working, then let it rest for 48 hours in a reasonably warm setting but away from direct sunlight.

Step 2

  • Place your dough in a warm spot, ideally around 70-75°F (21-24°C), for 48 hours to encourage microbial activity. After this time, take 100 g of the mixture, add 100 g of flour and 100 g of water, and let it rest for 48 hours.

Step 3

  •  Repeat the same process every 48 hours. In a few days, you will notice bubbles on its surface and signs of fermentation, indicating that the wild yeasts and bacteria are thriving and multiplying.


NOTE: This process is called "Feeding" Sourdough Starter with Honey (Rinfresco in Italian) and helps to feed new simple and complex sugars to the microorganisms that naturally form in the dough.


Step 3

  • The dough starts to swell, and the bubble should be more pronounced at this point, a sign of the Sourdough Yeast's activation.

Step 4

  • For about four weeks, continue the refreshments until the yeast can double its volume within about 4 hours; at this point, the Sourdough Yeast should be ready to make your first Sourdough Bread.

Step 5

  • At this point, you should keep your Sourdough Starter with Honey in the refrigerator and feed it every week to keep it healthy and alive. With our busy schedule, I forgot to feed the yeast for as long as three weeks and still managed to revive it by doing several "close refreshes" on the same day, adding honey for strength.

Maintainance of Your Homemade Sourdough Starter with Honey, what to do to keep it strong and healthy

A consistent feeding schedule is crucial to maintaining the vitality of your sourdough starter. Depending on the ambient temperature and the activity of your starter, you may need to feed it daily or every few days.

Regular feeding your Sourdough Starter with Honey maintains the balance of acidity and microbes, ensuring that your starter remains strong and healthy. Remember to discard a portion of the starter with each feeding to prevent excess acid build-up.

You'll notice its unique personality as you develop a nurturing routine with your sourdough starter. Each starter is a living organism with its quirks and characteristics. Factors such as temperature, hydration level, and the specific strains of wild yeast and bacteria in your environment contribute to your bread's distinct flavour and texture.

Sourdough Starter With Honey as Licoli
Sourdough Starter With Honey as Licoli

To discover how Solid Sourdough Yeast and Licoli differ, refer to this Article.

Interesting Facts and Background about Sourdough Starter with Honey and Yeast in General

The Enchanting Alchemy of Sourdough Starter with Honey

With its characteristic tanginess and open crumb structure, Sourdough bread owes its magic to wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria. Unlike conventional bread, which relies on commercial yeast for leavening, sourdough utilizes natural yeast bacteria in the environment. The symbiotic relationship between these microorganisms and the flour-water mixture creates a vibrant and living sourdough starter.

The Role of Sourdough Starter with Honey

Adding honey to your sourdough starter enhances its flavour profile and infuses it with antioxidants, enzymes, and trace elements. Honey contains natural sugars and nutrients, nourishing wild yeasts and bacteria and fostering a healthy fermentation process. The enzymes in honey aid in breaking down starches into simpler sugars, thereby fueling the growth of the microbial community. The result is a starter brimming with vitality and a delightful hint of sweetness.

Since ancient times, sourdough has captivated bakers and bread enthusiasts with its tangy flavour, distinct aroma, and tender crumb. By harnessing the natural power of fermentation and adding the touch of honey's sweetness, you can cultivate a living ecosystem that will breathe life into your bread creations. Join us as we explore the art of creating a homemade sourdough starter with honey and delve into the magical world of sourdough baking.

Sourdough Yeast Origins

The first traces of the use of sourdough date back to ancient Egypt, about 4,000 years ago; at that time, fermentation phenomena were considered mysterious and often associated with deities and sacred rituals. Subsequently, sourdough spread to various parts of the world,

The Egyptians were skilled at bread making and used a sourdough starter made from flour and water to help the bread ferment. The sourdough tradition was then passed down and, via cross-cultural contamination, spread throughout the countries that overlook the Mediterranean Sea, with each culture developing its bread-making methods and traditions. For example, sourdough was already used to make bread in ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. In Europe, during the Middle Ages, monastery monks played a crucial role in the preservation and dissemination of knowledge about sourdough.

Significant advances were made in the scientific understanding of fermentation during the Renaissance.

In the 17th century, the microscope allowed scientists to observe yeasts and better understand fermentation. In 1857, French chemist Louis Pasteur identified yeasts as living organisms responsible for fermentation and developed the concept of active yeast.

With the advent of the food industry in the 19th century, commercial yeasts increasingly began to replace sourdough in bread making, as they offered faster and more predictable leavening. However, in recent decades, sourdough has been growing interest as many seek a more traditional approach to baking and appreciate the health benefits and unique flavour that sourdough can impart to bread.

Similarly, in France, sourdough is used to produce baguettes and croissants. Health Benefits of Sourdough In addition to its role in baking, sourdough offers health benefits. During the fermentation process, the yeasts and bacteria in the sourdough starter contribute to the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins in the grain, making them more digestible and nutritious. Furthermore, the fermentation of sourdough creates lactic acid, which can contribute to the better preservation of bread and the prevention of unwanted mould, which was very important for conservation in ancient times.

Modern rediscovery

With the advent of commercial yeasts and faster bread-making methods during the 20th century, sourdough lost popularity. However, sourdough has been rediscovered in recent decades, and there is growing interest in its health benefits and unique flavour. Many people have begun developing and using sourdough at home, paving the way for a renaissance of homemade bread and pursuing traditional bread-making techniques.

Conclusions on Sourdough Starter with Honey'

As you create your homemade Sourdough Starter with Honey', embrace the wonder of this living ecosystem. Marvel at the symphony of flavours and textures that will dance on your palate with every slice of bread you bake. Nurturing a sourdough starter is a labour of love - a captivating alchemy where nature's magic combines with human hands to create something extraordinary.

With each loaf you bake, you carry on an ancient tradition and become part of the timeless lineage of bakers and bread enthusiasts. From the sweet aroma of honey gently permeating your dough to the tangy delight that tickles your taste buds, your homemade sourdough bread will be a testament to the power of patience, skill, and the nurturing touch of honey.

So, gather your ingredients, embrace the enchanting potential of fermentation, and embark on the incredible journey of creating your homemade sourdough starter with honey. Let the harmonious dance of wild yeast, bacteria, flour, water, and honey guide you as you craft bread that encapsulates nature's sweetness and the artistry of your hands. Allow each slice to bring joy, connection, and a taste of your newfound sourdough mastery.

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