Desem Sourdough Starter

Availability: In stock

Regular Price: $12.99

Special Price: $9.99



Product Alerts

Perishable  

Desem Sourdough Starter

More Views

Share: FB

Details


FREE
Sourdough eBook

Sourdough eBook Cover

  • 200 pages including 50 Recipes
  • Free access to all our Cultured Food eBooks
  • Weekly Newletter

Join 80,000+ Subscribers!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One of our favorite sourdough starter cultures, Desem is a Flemish-style starter made with organic whole wheat flour. It makes delicious whole grain bread. For best results, we recommend feeding your Desem sourdough culture weekly.

Desem 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 or 5 days.

Detailed instructions will be included with your order. Click here to view our dried sourdough starter instructions.

Click here for a comparison of our sourdough starters.

 

Learn More:

 

Recipes for Sourdough:

 


Questions on Desem Sourdough Starter

Sort by Descending

Items 1 to 10 of 16 total

per page
Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  • From Cortney at 7/11/11 11:15 PM
    • I'm on day 6 of activating my desem starter per the instructions that came with the starter and the how to videos on this site. For one thing, discarding all but 1/2 cup of starter twice a day when feeding it has not left me with much to bake with, it doesn't seem that the starter is "growing". And secondly the starter is just getting drier and more bread-dough like the longer it's activating. As I'm reading more about Desem online, it appears that this starter is more of a sponge/solid starter as opposed to a softer, "goopier" starter, is this true? Tonight I reserved more starter and added the corresponding amounts of water and flour and now I have a little loaf-like starter that I'm keeping in a bowl overnight. Am I doing this correctly?!
    • To begin with, it sounds like you definitely need more water, or less flour. The starter should be anywhere from batter-like to spongy, but not denser than that. Different environments can require some adjustment to the basic instructions.

      The reason you discard dough while you are activating is so that the newly activated starter is not trying to do too much work until it has become stronger. Once it is activated and you are ready to begin baking, of course you will want to let it build up.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Lori at 12/4/11 6:30 PM
    • I have been working with my whole wheat sourdough starter for a couple of months now. I feel I've come a long way, but I'm still having some difficulties. Instead of 3 feedings, I find my starter rises better if I feed it at least 6 times before using it. I'm getting better at kneading, too. The dough now fills the pan and rises a bit above it by the time I'm ready to bake it. However, as soon as I poke it with a knife to put the slits in the top, the dough collapses. Is this normal? I'm not using bread flour, but regular flour and I'm wondering if this is the problem. I've read on another website that whole wheat bread will come out softer and rise better if 1/3 cup of gluten is added to the dough. Do you recommend this? Thanks for your help!
    • Gluten is what lets the dough rise high (because it is stretchy and holds the flour together). A long rising time means the dough is really puffed up, and if the gluten is over-stretched, poking the loaf will cause it to collapse. More gluten will help. More kneading is good too, because that's what activates and distributes the gluten. Gluten is a protein, so if there's not an allergy problem, added gluten can provide additional strength to a dense, heavy flour like whole wheat.​
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Victoria M. at 1/19/12 3:13 PM
    • I am new to sourdough and am curious, how is this starter activated and how long does it take?
    • The Desem Sourdough starter is activated by feeding specific amounts of whole wheat flour and water, and it may take from 3-7 days to fully activate and be ready for baking. The starter comes with complete instructions on activating, maintaining, and making fresh starter for baking.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Amy M at 2/9/12 9:08 AM
    • When working with this starter do I have to bake with straight wheat flour as well? For example - can I feed my starter with whole wheat flour but then bake with a mix of whole wheat and spelt flours?
    • Yes. At that point, you could add different flours for a nice multi-grain bread.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Anna at 3/29/12 6:51 PM
    • Can I use whole grain bread flour to activate my starter? Is there a difference between bread flour and regular whole grain flour? Thank you :)
    • Bread flour is high gluten, high protein, and doesn't have the right proportion of carbohydrates for the sourdough to work best. You can use it, but it won't give the best results.​
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Genet at 7/25/12 8:07 PM
    • Can I freeze some of my sourdough starter as "insurance" in case some of it goes south?
    • Absolutely. For long term storage, you can also dehydrate a portion of your starter and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Dorothy at 10/9/12 7:55 AM
    • Can you use the Whole Wheat sourdough starter with white flour as well? Why the different kinds?
    • The Desem whole wheat starter has been fed whole wheat and should be activated with whole wheat. Once the starter is active, you can change it to anther kind of flour, see this article for instructions: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-switch-sourdough-new-type-flour Always keep a backup when you switch types of flour: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/create-sourdough-insurance-backup
      The different sourdough starters include wild yeasts found in specific regions and will have slightly different flavors and characteristics. The product pages include descriptions of flavor and unusual characteristics (short proofing time etc.).
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Moira at 1/14/13 12:09 PM
    • Is this a yeast free starter?
    • Our sourdough starters do not contain traditional baker's yeast. However, sourdough does naturally contain bacteria in symbiotic combination with yeasts.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Bethany at 1/14/13 1:26 PM
    • We use King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour at home. Should I get this starter or a white flour starter?
    • Whole white wheat flour is a variety of whole wheat flour and would be well-suited for the Desem Whole Wheat Sourdough starter.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From jen at 5/9/13 5:54 PM
    • is your sourdough starter dairy and egg free? Want to double check as we have severe food allergies. Thanks!
    • While the sourdough starters do not contain any dairy or eggs, the starters are all packaged in a facility that also manufactures products made with wheat, soy, eggs, nuts, and fish.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

Ask Your Own Question




Back to the product page

Write Your Own Review

You're reviewing: Desem Sourdough Starter

How do you rate this product? *

  1 2 3 4 5
Price
Value
Quality

Customer Reviews

Excellent starter Review by Jason
Price
Value
Quality
Great rise
Excellent aroma
Wonderfull texture
Amazing flavor
(Posted on July 9, 2014)
very good Review by rupert
Quality
Price
Value
very easy to activate (Posted on July 2, 2014)
That's sourdough for ya! Review by Crystal
Quality
Price
Value
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... (Posted on June 18, 2014)
Successful Sourdough! Review by Kim Smith
Value
Quality
Price
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 :) (Posted on April 9, 2014)
It worked Review by emmaleesee
Value
Quality
Price
I followed the directions and was able to make great bread the first week. (Posted on April 3, 2014)
successful sourdough Review by Lisa K
Value
Quality
Price
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! (Posted on April 2, 2014)
Reliable Review by MFritz
Quality
Price
Value
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!). (Posted on February 17, 2014)
Very happy Review by Ktb
Price
Value
Quality
I very quickly had a happy, healthy, active sourdough culture! (Posted on January 26, 2014)
Delicious and easy Review by Ceiba
Price
Value
Quality
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! (Posted on January 25, 2014)
sucks Review by Rob
Quality
Price
Value
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 (Posted on January 13, 2014)
not bubbly, but tasty Review by oldexercisejunky
Quality
Value
Price
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.
(Posted on December 23, 2013)
Just Could Not Make It Work Review by dean
Price
Value
Quality
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.
(Posted on December 21, 2013)
Didn't work for me at all Review by Scott
Price
Value
Quality
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. (Posted on December 6, 2013)
Great starter, but don't listen to the tutorial videos. Review by Laura
Price
Value
Quality
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. (Posted on March 13, 2013)
Yum! Review by tiger
Quality
Value
Price
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. (Posted on January 8, 2013)
O M G !!!! Review by Tiger
Price
Value
Quality
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!!! (Posted on January 6, 2013)
Amazing results Review by joyful
Quality
Value
Price
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. (Posted on December 17, 2012)
Very satisfied! Review by elizrbaldwin
Quality
Value
Price
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! (Posted on February 23, 2012)
Great sourdough starter Review by Ashley
Quality
Value
Price
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. (Posted on January 21, 2012)
rlschumaker@yahoo.com Review by Rebecca S
Quality
Value
Price
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! (Posted on December 22, 2011)
View More Reviews >>


Free eBook Library Access & Weekly Newsletter


Sign up today for free access to our entire library of easy to follow eBooks on creating cultured foods at home, including Lacto-Fermentation, Kombucha, Kefir, Yogurt, Sourdough, and Cheesemaking.
  • Library of eBooks for making your own cultured foods
  • Weekly newsletter filled with tips & tricks
  • Expert advice articles, recipes, and how-to videos
  • Join 150,000+ other health-conscious readers
  • We never share your information!
first name last name email address