San Francisco Sourdough Starter

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$12.99


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San Francisco Sourdough Starter

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If you crave sourdough bread from San Francisco, this is the starter for you.

Our San Francisco Sourdough Starter Culture contains Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis bacteria and wild yeast Candida humilis giving this sourdough starter that famous San Francisco taste. Easy to care for and use. For best results, we recommend feeding your sourdough starter weekly.

San Francisco sourdough starter is available as a dried culture. Dried sourdough starters are shelf-stable and do not have to be fed or cared for immediately. Dried sourdough starters can be ready to create baked goods within 3 to 5 days.

Detailed instructions will be included with your order. Click here to view our San Francisco Sourdough Starter instructions.

Click here for a comparison of our sourdough starters.


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Questions on San Francisco Sourdough Starter

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  • From Lisa Renich at 6/26/11 6:25 PM
    • Is your SF Starter Gluten-free. I have a sneaking that it isn't so I need to know how to wash out the wheat flour & make sure it becomes GF. Also, what kind of GF flour would be best to use? Thanks.
    • Our SF sourdough starter is not gluten-free, as it has been grown with regular wheat flour. The only gluten-free sourdough starter we carry is the Brown Rice Sourdough. Whether or not your starter contains gluten as you work with it would depend on the kind of flour you feed it. You could use any gluten-free flour and convert the starter to work with that flour. We have an article on how to convert sourdough over to a different flour: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-switch-sourdough-new-type-flour/
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  • From dee at 4/26/11 7:01 AM
    • I just had to follow up...thank you for the quick answer! I was about to give up on this whole project but this morning I awoke to a lovely blob of starter on the counter - finally some bubbling over action :) The stuff is cooking away beautifully now so I'm glad I stuck with it. Looking forward to making some pancakes with the leftover starter!
    • So glad that it is working for you!
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  • From dee at 4/26/11 8:25 PM
    • i have two boxes of the sourdough starter. I went through the first steps where it sits for 12-18 hours, then you discard all but 1/2 cup and start feeding every 12 hours with 1/2 water and 1 c flour.
      question: the instructions say that to cover loosely as it might "bubble over" what level of bubble are we talking about? My mixture never rose nor did i see bubbles above the surface. However, the mixture looked like it was bubbling beneath the surface, sort of. there was no "bubbling over" to be had in either batch.
      Is it dead perhaps? please let me know as I dont' want to commit to days of feeding/stirring only to find a lifeless blob of dough.
      thanks!
    • The note about "bubbling over" is a precaution - not all sourdough starters will bubble over. If your starter looks active - as you say, bubbling under the surface - it is working and you should continue with the feedings. Be sure to email us at customersupport@culturesforhealth.com if you run into any difficulties!
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  • From Kathy at 2/3/11 8:42 PM
    • I bought San Francisco Sourdough Starter and have lost the directions on how to activate. Was hoping to find directions online. I also have the Parisian started and have started it. Are the amounts of water and flour the same? thx...
    • You can find the instructions for any of our products on the product description page. For sourdough starters, the instructions are pretty much the same regardless of the strain.
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Customer Reviews

Great Product Review by abbie
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Still learning my way with making sourdough. Starter is quite vigorous right out of the box. I'm still in learning mode. (Posted on July 8, 2014)
Love The Flavor Review by Nancyz
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I am originally from California and took good sour dough bread for granted. Then I moved to New England - no good sour dough to be found. I experimented trying to make my own and was disappointed. When I found your website I decided to try again. I followed the directions that came with the San Francisco sour dough starter and have been making the most amazing bread ever since. I have called with a couple questions and everyone was so helpful. Can't thank you enough!!! (Posted on May 13, 2014)
San Francisco Ex-Pats Thumbs Up Review by NavyMom
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Followed the instructions that came with the product and online videos.
My now ripe starter helps me produce a bread that is so authentic my friends who are SF ExPats were fooled.

Flavor, crust and crumb are all perfect. Thank you for making it possible for me to bake a perfect sourdough bread. (Posted on April 10, 2014)
Great! Review by Maggie
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After years of wanting to bake good sourdough I'm finally able to do so! (Posted on March 26, 2014)
Didn't work for me. :( Review by Laney
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I was very excited to use this starter. I followed instructions and waited for it to grow. . . . Nothing. Tried for a week and yet nothing happened. I am very disappointed. I have experience with other starters with no problems and I was expecting to have this grow and be used within a week. Disappointment all over the place.

Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting advice before discarding product. Many cultures can be saved with minor adjustments. (Posted on March 10, 2014)
Great product Review by Flysmith
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I struggled several months with home-grown sourdough starter with little success. This one worked great. Just follow the instructions closely (Posted on February 26, 2014)
I found a new hobby! Review by Connie
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Baking sourdough isn't for everyone, I find it extremely challenging. I live in a high altitude town and am still trying to make an acceptable loaf of bread, but I'm not giving up! It took a full 7 days for my starter to be in a perfect state for baking. In the meantime, we really enjoyed a couple of mornings of pancakes! This starter made this project easy to start and came with a few basic recipes . . . It's up to me to perfect it, and I've taken on the challenge! (Posted on February 17, 2014)
Very easy to work with! Review by BUSY MOM IN AL
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I have tried several times in the past to make my own starter and it did not work. When the San Francisco Starter went on sale, I decided to give it a try. The directions on the starter were easy to follow and when I had a question, the online chat support was very informative.

I am keeping mine on the counter and feeding it in the morning and evening. It is healthy and bubbly. I wanted to experiment more with it and not have to pull it out of the fridge and work with it a few days before. It makes awesome bread, pancakes, croutons, and muffins! I learned that I can substitute the "discarded" starter for the milk in my regular muffin recipe. They turn out just as good!

I would recommend this starter, the flavor is wonderful and my whole family loves it. (Posted on February 6, 2014)
Great starter Review by Kim
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This is the first time I have tried managing a starter. The more I learn about the food industry and all the additives and crap that go into commercial products... the more I want to make my own foods from scratch!

This was a great New Year's 'science project'. At first the directions seemed intimidating but once you get started it's easy and fun! My starter woke up after about 3-4 days and has been what I call "Happy" ever since.

I have shared it with a few others who have all reported great success. I learn something new with each batch I make.

A few points: the bread flour definitely gives a better rise than all purpose(a big difference), inside the oven with the light on seems to give a perfect environment and my rise times are much shorter than the one's quoted in the directions. I am getting full proofing with good flavor after 3-5 hours. When letting rise longer, they collapse from overproofing :( I live in AZ so not sure if the drier climate is a factor.

Overall, a great product and I plan to purchase other variations! (Posted on January 30, 2014)
fantastic product! Review by sarah
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the san francisco starter is amazing! i have been baking bread with commercial yeast for years - the quality of the breads i've made with this starter is vastly superior, in both flavor and texture. it's also really easy to maintain; i have been feeding mine roughly once weekly, and it is thriving! (Posted on January 22, 2014)
Excellent starter Review by Bill
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Real San Francisco flavor and aroma. Has developed beautifully over the last two weeks and makes a great loaf. (Posted on January 15, 2014)
Arrived the very next day, I used the cheapest shipping also! Review by HaleighBaleigh
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I am super impressed with their incredibly FAST shipping. I bought it on wednesday morning, and paid for the cheapest shipping which said it would take 3-5 days or something like that, I got it NEXT DAY!!!! I have never had that happen before! Incredible customer service also! I can't wait to make bread with it! (Posted on January 10, 2014)
Excellent product! Review by LanDebLew
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Best bread, most active starter, I love it! (Posted on December 26, 2013)
great Review by mamie
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Easy to active and the bread tasted good. This was my first try with sourdough and it worked out well. (Posted on December 23, 2013)
Vigorous Review by Lori
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Very vigorous right out of the package. No slowing it down either!! :) Good stuff (Posted on December 16, 2013)
The Best Review by Tracie
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The bread I make with this starter has the best flavor of any sourdough I've eaten. Have been making sourdough for years and absolutely love this. I plan on trying other starters as well. (Posted on December 11, 2013)
Perfect! Review by Angel
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Love it! I am making einkorn sourdough bread, it's exactly what I was looking for! (Posted on November 16, 2013)
It lives!!!! Review by HarryK
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When trying to decide, which starter might be best for me, I read the description of each starter. I couldn't decide on just one, so ended up ordering four different starters.

That was about a month ago, so far I have only used one, "The San Francisco Starter." I can tell you, it works like a charm.

Although, it isn't necessary, I put the starter in a dough proofer box and kept the temperature at a constant 85 degrees. The starter is growing like mad!!! At first I didn't want to discard any of the starter so I ended up with three containers of starter. It finally dawned on me that if I kept adding jar after jar of starter, I would soon have to make an addition to the size of my kitchen. I suggest following the directions and discard extra starter as directed or make lots of pancakes.

My dream was to have all four starters going at the same time. I pictured myself baking lots of bread and comparing the flavor of each starter. Well folks, that was one dumb idea. At the age of 71, taking care of one starter is about all I can handle. I will keep the other three starters in the cabinet and use as needed, that is if I ever need another starter. I might end up giving the starters as gifts to friends, but darn, I am not for sure I want them baking better sourdough bread than I am baking,,,lol.

I have a feeling all of the starters are delicious, I can assure you the San Francisco Starter is terrific and I highly recommend it.

(Posted on November 10, 2013)
I have enjoyed my sourdough starter immensely!! Review by Kelley
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I've been on a gluten free diet for about a year now, but I still crave good bread. I wanted to start a sourdough starter so that I could make healthier breads that are soaked and easier to digest. This starter has been so easy to maintain, and the breads I have made are wonderful. I now regularly make pancakes, waffles, tortillas, and a rustic bread loaf. All of these are soaked over night, and none of them bother my stomach! The texture is amazing and the flavor is delicious! (Posted on January 10, 2013)
LOVE IT!!! Review by Nutrition.Nazi
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I got this starter for free with an ebook promotion. I had never done anything with sourdough before, but with all of the health benefits, I was excited to try it. It was very easy to set up. I love the fact that it is the only starter that I will ever need to purchase and that I can share some with friends so that they can have their own starter. I am going to try a yogurt culture now. (Posted on December 19, 2012)
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