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"Very smart purchase! "

I am very happy with the Desem starter. I've been baking our family's bread since September and I'm thrilled with the results. There is definitely a learning curve with sourdough, and I still don't have it perfect, but it's still darn good bread, fantastic some of the time, just good others. I...

- Shan

Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter

SKU: 5110
$12.99

Availability: In stock

You Can Do This
When you buy this product you get FREE ACCESS to: 200-page Sourdough eBook including 50 recipes plus hundreds more articles, recipes, and how-to videos.

Description

Details

One of our favorite sourdough starter cultures, Desem Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter is a Flemish-style starter made with organic whole wheat flour. It makes delicious whole grain bread. 

  • Each box contains 1 packet of dehydrated Desem Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter Culture.
  • Store in a cool, dry place until ready to activate.
  • Activate using whole wheat flour and unchlorinated, unfluoridated water.
  • Sourdough starters culture at room temperature, 70º-85ºF. 
  • Once activated, feed your starter using 1 part starter, 1 part water, and 1-2 parts flour daily for frequent use or weekly, if baking infrequently.
  • Instructions for using this starter are included and can be found here.
  • Having trouble activating your sourdough starter? Browse our Sourdough Troubleshooting Articles or contact us for assistance.

 

Desem Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter Instructions and Troubleshooting

 

Desem Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter Ingredients

  • Organic whole wheat flour, live active cultures
  • This product contains no GMO ingredients.

 

Desem Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter Allergen Information

  • Manufactured in a facility that processes products containing gluten.
  • Non-GMO

 

Desem Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter Shipping Information and Shelf Life

Our Desem Sourdough Starter Culture is shipped in a barrier-sealed packet as a dehydrated culture. The starter is best if stored:

  • At room temperature (68° to 78°F): 12 months
  • In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 12+ months
  • In the freezer (0° to 25°F): 12+ months

 

Actual product may differ from image shown above.

 

Reviews

36 Reviews For "Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter"

  1. O M G !!!!

    by Tiger on 01 Sun,2013

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    I am just putting my oven to 400 degrees so that I can make my first two loaves of sourdough bread. I am so excited. I guess you're reading this and thinking, 'So why the five stars if you haven't made the bread yet?' I made waffles!!!! When you are activating your sourdough you tend to have a lot and I mean A LOT of starter develop very quickly. I hated wasting so much of the starter so I followed the recipe for waffles. I added a little extra flour because my starter was softer but O M G!!! The best waffles EVER!!!! I have been enjoying them for about three or four days. I am down to my last one and I am already oh so sad. I have about 4 cups of starter still semi-activated in the fridge soOOooo!!! I am going to pull it out and make some more sourdough waffles!! Excellent dessert, which is how I eat them, but I think they would make a great breakfast too. The bread I am about to bake has risen better than any bread I have ever made and I have been making bread for about 2 years. Now I am just dying to try this sourdough as a bread. I bet it will be awesome!!!

  2. Yum!

    by tiger on 01 Tue,2013

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    I have to admit that I messed up my first batch by not putting enough salt in the mix. However, I just ate this bread with some goats milk bree and WOW!!! Delicious!! It is worth it.

  3. Delicious and easy

    by Ceiba on 01 Sat,2014

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    I had no trouble activating the sourdough from the package and I've been making bread now for a few weeks. I love the texture of sourdough bread. I've messed around with different recipes and even just guessing at quantities and it has always turned out well. I use extra starter to make pancakes sometimes. Sour pancakes with syrup is delicious.

    I wouldn't hesitate to try it. You do need to feed the starter often at first with more flour and water, but then you can keep it in the fridge and the feeding slows down.

    I love it!

  4. Reliable

    by MFritz on 02 Mon,2014

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    I've tried many times to make my own starter from scratch with very little success. I feel this starter actually helped me SAVE money because I didn't have to throw away product and time after failing miserably. I was very happy with the results. My starter started bubbling with in several days and I've now had 4 successful loaves and two amazing batches of pancakes (delicious with homemade strawberry sauce!).

  5. It worked

    by emmaleesee on 04 Thu,2014

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    I followed the directions and was able to make great bread the first week.

  6. Successful Sourdough!

    by Kim Smith on 04 Wed,2014

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    I use einkorn flour with this whole wheat sourdough starter and it has worked really well. It took about five days for my starter to show signs of good health (bubbles, doubling in size), and since then I have been making pancakes, muffins and bread...all have been delicious! My chickens are also enjoying my extra starter :)

  7. Excellent starter

    by Jason on 07 Wed,2014

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    Great rise
    Excellent aroma
    Wonderfull texture
    Amazing flavor

  8. Excellent product!

    by Marilyn M on 10 Wed,2014

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    Received my sourdough starter several weeks ago, and have been making many different recipes since! Using the discarded starter (which there is a LOT of), I have made the pancakes and crackers, which are just awesome! I have made several loaves of bread, the sourdough coffee cake, and banana muffins, as well as chocolate cake - all amazing and my family loves them. I highly recommend this sourdough product, and the great support you are able to get if you have questions!

  9. awesome first time starter!

    by Sara on 11 Sat,2014

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    I love my sourdough starter! I had been wanting to make bread, and finally got the sourdough starter. I was nervous at first, but it was surprisingly easy. Definitely recommend!

  10. Yummy

    by Kris on 11 Tue,2014

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    Have had good success with the starter. Baked 6 loaves and they just keep getting better and I am getting the hang of the process. Called for help twice and they were very kind and gave great suggestions.

  11. Great Product

    by JLM on 11 Thu,2014

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    Company stands behind their product. Will recommend and patronize Cultures of Health

  12. Great starter!

    by Keenmom on 11 Wed,2014

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    This starter works really well! I've tried to make sourdough bread a couple of times before with a homemade starter but when I did, my bread turned out like bricks-even my chickens didn't like it!
    With this particular starter however, my bread turned out nice and soft. I am very pleased with it and look forward to making more things with this starter.

  13. Great Product

    by Lisa on 03 Sun,2015

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    This is a wonderful product. I especially love that they have video and detailed description of how to manage your starter and how to make bread from your starter. I have had no issues with my starter.

  14. Very smart purchase!

    by Shan on 01 Mon,2011

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    I am very happy with the Desem starter. I've been baking our family's bread since September and I'm thrilled with the results. There is definitely a learning curve with sourdough, and I still don't have it perfect, but it's still darn good bread, fantastic some of the time, just good others. I think a lot has to do with timing, but the starter works great - very active and "happy". I will never go back to store bought bread!!

  15. [email protected]

    by Rebecca S on 12 Thu,2011

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    I am new to making sourdough but I've had nothing but success with this starter. My starter is bubbly and happy, easy to work with and literally everything I've made has turned out perfect. I just wish I'd tried it sooner, it is pretty much foolproof!

  16. Great sourdough starter

    by Ashley on 01 Sat,2012

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    I've been using my desem starter for a few weeks now and I love it. It has a great sour flavor and rises well. It is much better than my previous sourdough starter. It is a little more expensive than some other companies out there but it is a great product, so worth the price.

  17. Very satisfied!

    by elizrbaldwin on 02 Thu,2012

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    The upfront price may seem a little high, but when you consider how much using the starter over time will save you, it is well worth it! Had no problems with reactivating the culture, and it is very vigorous. Raised the first loaf of bread in around 3 hours, and has a nice complex taste, with very little tanginess. So much better than store bought breads!

  18. Amazing results

    by joyful on 12 Mon,2012

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    I love my sourdough starter and would defiantly recommend it to anyone. Thanks so much for an amazing culture to make my sourdough experience so great.

  19. Very happy

    by Ktb on 01 Sun,2014

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    I very quickly had a happy, healthy, active sourdough culture!

  20. That's sourdough for ya!

    by Crystal on 06 Wed,2014

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    This starter created an awesome "sour taste" in the first two loaves I made. I did have to detour from the instructions a bit - as my starter was coming out as thick as un-risen dough! (But I live somewhere really dry.) After adding a bit more water to each "feeding" my starter is just right.... now to find the perfect recipe...

  21. makes great einkorn bread

    by Candace on 07 Fri,2014

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    I had some frustrating failures with trying to make my own sourdough starter, so I was very happy to learn that I could use Einkorn wheat to feed this starter. I made my first loaf of bread yesterday... absolutely delicious!

  22. Quick start

    by Brant on 08 Sun,2014

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    Culture took off like a rocket. It did take me a while to get the hang of sourdough. It isn't really hard, but there are a few tricks you need to know. Once I mastered those I started having success. The product arrived on time and in good condition. Starter is very high-quality.

  23. Oustanding starter for whole grains!!

    by Connie on 12 Mon,2014

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    I have used various sourdough starters over the past 12 years, some I started, some I borrowed, and some I bought. This starter is by far the best I have ever used and it is my absolute favorite. I use almost exclusively whole grains - wheat, spelt, and rye. The Desem starter works so well with all of my whole grains. I also love a really thick starter and I keep this one very thick so it is ready to use at a moments notice. This starter was easy to activate and was ready for loaf bread within a week. I really love it!!

    My four star rating on price is because money is tight for me and the cost kept me from purchasing this starter before. I wish I had known that it was well worth the money and I would have saved up and made it a priority sooner. :-)

  24. Excellent Product!

    by Nora on 02 Mon,2015

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    Amazing product...it was easy to activate, and once activated I have had enough starter to quickly bake with! After feeding it while in maintenance mode the starter bubbles up like a shaken up soda. Since I am new to baking with sourdough, my loaf wasn't exactly perfect, but the flavor had that delicious soury tang I was hoping for. Looking forward to more baking with this product!!

  25. Great starter, but don't listen to the tutorial videos.

    by Laura on 03 Wed,2013

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    I've been feeding and caring for my starter for a couple of weeks now. It rehydrated just fine, and been bubbling (which is so exciting!). I made pancakes with it yesterday that turned out great! I haven't tried bread yet. (I still need to buy a loaf pan.)

    I do want to say that in the tutorial videos, I was told that my starter would be twice the volume when it's ready to use as it is when I first feed it. I didn't find this to be the case. I've fed it faithfully twice a day since I got it, and it only increases by 50%. (1 cup of starter becomes 1 1/2 cups.)

    Also, the tutorial video instructed me to use too little water. When I measured the ingredients out as instructed, my starter was way too dry, like a dough. I doubled the amount of water until it resembled a thick smoothie, and that looked much better. Beware! The tutorial videos don't seem to include instructions that are appropriate for whole wheat starters.

  26. not bubbly, but tasty

    by oldexercisejunky on 12 Mon,2013

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    I've been feeding this starter for over a week now. It never gets very bubbly, and it doesn't rise much in the jar on the counter, but it was able to make a loaf of bread rise in 7 hours, and it tastes great. I like the crepes recipe in the online ebook. And I tried some quick yeast rolls with a cup of starter for flavor -- that came out good too.

  27. Great flavor and clear instructions.

    by Ruthless on 03 Thu,2015

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    About 25 years ago I made all our bread with a sourdough starter. Thought I would try it again with whole wheat. This starter had a rough time due to dry air and dry flour at high altitude and a house that gets down to the 60s at night. I need to play with the starter when I am home to watch. Love the flavor made one loaf of bread. Too dense. Plan to have it rise in oven with the light on next time and check every hour or so. I also had to add more water to the starter, could not stir flour in without extra water. At 8,000' you usually need extra water. May take a few tries, but I will stay at it until I figure it out. The flavor is worth it!

  28. successful sourdough

    by Lisa K on 04 Wed,2014

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    Last year I followed Sandor Katz' instructions to get "wild fermentation" started and was very successful at it. I got tired of maintaining the starter and so let it die. Doing research on "wild" yeasts vs. tried and true cultures, I saw advantages and disadvantages to both. I decided to order the desem sourdough starter and make a comparison between it and the wild yeast in taste, texture, and rising ability. Please bear in mind I'm comparing the attributes of (warm)summer wild yeast and (cold)winter desem yeast. The taste between each is comparable, where each have a distinct sourness to them. The texture of the wild sourdough dough is smoother and easier to work with in the kneading process. The desem is real sticky, despite adding mass quantities of flour beyond the recipe. As it rises in the bowl, it stays sticky. For the final rise in the loaf pans, the stickiness stays and because so much extra flour has been added it's heavier and can't rise as high as the wild sourdough. The finished product of the wild yeast is fairly light and high. The finished product with desem is lower and denser. The desem bread appears to stay mold-free longer than the wild yeast bread. I also have made several batches of desem sourdough pancakes and I have to say that they are delicious! Would I recommend the desem sourdough starter? Absolutely!

  29. Lots of time committment

    by rancherdee on 02 Tue,2015

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    This is like having a baby in the house again--always needing a feeding. I did finally bake my first loaf of whole wheat sourdough bread yesterday. It made a large loaf. I couldn't see purpose in making the "X" nor was I sure what size it should be (made it corner to corner with an exacto knife). I look forward to enjoying a slice for breakfast today. Hope to try some of the other recipes because It is difficult for a frugal person like myself to through starter away, but I can't bake all the time, unfortunately.

    CFH Note: The "X" is to keep the loaf from tearing as it continues to rise, a very sharp knife or exacto knife works great! Store your starter in the fridge to minimize feedings. It should only need to be fed weekly in the fridge and the amount you remove for baking will be active and ready for baking within 3 feedings.

  30. Vibrant fermentation and Great Customer Support

    by Will on 12 Thu,2015

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    This was my first time making sourdough. This culture was fermenting and bubbly within about 3 feedings. I had questions on what I was doing and received quick, to the point and friendly responses and education. I'm a customer service representative supervisor at a beekeeping supply company and am very impressed with Cultures for Health's service!

  31. first time

    by don on 02 Sat,2015

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    I have no premise for a review being my first attempt at maintaining a starter and making sourdough, but Sarah has been great at answering my questions and my starter is getting consistently better at CO2 generation after i feed the monster!!

  32. very good

    by rupert on 07 Wed,2014

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    very easy to activate

  33. Just Could Not Make It Work

    by dean on 12 Sat,2013

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    I tried with two different starters and followed the directions to the letter. I also watched the videos multiple times but just could not make this work for me.

    Perhaps that was my problem since two other reviewers said NOT to heed the advice in the tutorials. But after wasting that much time and effort and resources, the frustration level is just not worth it.

    Response from CFH: For sourdough, feeding with freshly-ground flour is not recommended. Age the flour first or save your freshly ground flour to use as the ingredient in your recipe.

  34. Desem

    by MeMe on 06 Mon,2015

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    I'm new to making sourdough starter so I bought the Desem. It may have been my einkorn wheat flour but I am still waiting for some real rise. This is my 12th day. I contacted CfH a couple times and the girls were delightful and tried very hard to help. Because I was having bubbles they said it was working. Last Saturday I decided to just try organic all purpose flour and, Praise the Lord, finally it is starting to really rise and show life. Your blog is very informative and I will continue to be a great fan.

  35. sucks

    by Rob on 01 Mon,2014

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    did not work at all

    Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting advice before discarding product. Many cultures can be saved with minor adjustments

  36. Didn't work for me at all

    by Scott on 12 Fri,2013

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    This starter never worked for me. The company was very kind and actually sent me tons of information and even a free extra starter to replace the original one I bought...so great customer service...but to no avail. First time, I tried it with the oven light. After numerous days it still wasn't working, so I figured it must be because the over light was too hot. Second try, I left it above the fridge in a room that was 69 degrees F. The starter is said to work only in 70-75 degrees...so perhaps that's where I went wrong. However, I've made wild yeast starter in this temperature and it worked more than fine. Everything else I did was exactly following directions. The Desem starter didn't bubble at all for me...it was like the "anti-starter". After probably 10-15 days of trying, it started to develop an off smell. So basically, be aware that it might not work if your conditions aren't absolutely perfect.

    Response from CFH: The Desem Starter should culture well at 68-85ºF. We are always happy to troubleshoot and help resolve any issues.

Write Your Own Review

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Ingredients

Desem Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter Ingredients

  • Organic whole wheat flour, live active cultures
  • This product contains no GMO ingredients.

 

Desem Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter Allergen Information

  • Manufactured in a facility that processes products containing gluten.
  • Non-GMO

Questions

Questions on Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter

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Items 1 to 10 of 20 total
  • From Susan at 4/14/2015 7:37 PM
    • Can I use white whole wheat for the starter?
    • Either red or white whole wheat can be used for this starter.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Michael Reilly at 1/5/2015 2:07 PM
    • Hi - Will the desem starter work with Einkorn flour? Thank you.
    • Yes, that's a great flour. If you need assistance, let us know!
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Dawn at 12/28/2014 3:59 PM
  • From tabby at 9/1/2014 10:55 PM
    • hi, can I use sourdough starter in my bread machine. is there 1 starter more suitable for bread machine? thanks.
    • Sourdough is tricky to use in a bread machine as it does not behave as breads using traditional yeasts. For example, your rise time likely will be very different from what your bread machine settings are. See here for more info: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/using-bread-machine-make-sourdough
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Heidi at 4/12/2014 3:36 PM
    • I have a grinder that I grind grain into flour with. Can I use that kind of flour for this? I am new to sourdough so have no idea what it would do. Thanks!
    • We have found that fresh milled flour does not work well for sourdough starter. It is best to use a flour that has aged for at least 2 months. You can also purchase a flour at the store.
      Fresh milled flour can be used for baking with your starter with wonderful results.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From sharon at 11/12/2013 6:42 PM
  • From Anne at 10/19/2013 10:19 AM
  • From Joell at 10/16/2013 10:25 PM
    • What is the shelf life of this dried starter?
    • The shelf life of our dehydrated sourdough starters are as follows:
      At room temperature (68° to 78°F): 12 months
      In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 12+ months
      In the freezer (0° to 25°F): 12+ months
      Maximum culturing temperature: 90°F
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Stephanie at 7/5/2013 7:29 AM
    • I am wanting to give sourdough a try again, and I was wondering about the tanginess of this starter? I so want to make sourdough work for our family, but the first time around was a disaster!
    • You'll find tips for manipulating the "sourness" here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-make-truly-sour-sourdough-bread/ If you have a problem with a starter, put an airtight lid on it, put it in the fridge and send an e-mail to: [email protected] The fridge will slow things down and give us a chance to figure out what is happening.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Suree at 5/23/2013 6:10 AM
    • I have been thinking of purchasing this starter. I grind my own wheat so it is completely whole grain. Will this work for this starter?
    • Yes, Desem will work well with your whole grain flour. Note that freshly ground flour is not ideal for feeding your starter, but is fine for using as the ingredient in your recipe. Before using for feeding, age the flour on the counter for at least a week.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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