What puts the SOUR in Sour Dough?

by on June 5, 2013 » Add the first comment.
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There is a lot of speculation about the sourness of bread. One idea is every once in awhile use dark rye flour to feed the starter or some in the bread dough. Another is to let it rise at a lower temperature (60?) so it rises longer and gives the bacteria a longer time to do their work. I have been told that the special San Francisco flavor is created by the bacteria they have in the water there which comes from the Sierra Mountains under the ground. Maybe so ????



The history has been asked for. All I know is that it started west in 1847 from Missouri. I would guess with the family of Dr. John Savage as one of his daughters (my great grandmother) was the cook. It came on west and settled near Salem Or. Doc. Savage’s daughter met and married my great grand father on the trail and they had 10 children. It was passed on to me though my parents when they passed away. I am 76 years old so that was some time ago. I first learned to use the starter in a basque sheep camp when I was 10 years old as we were setting up a homestead on the Steens Mountains in southeastern Oregon. A campfire has no oven, so the bread was baked in a Dutch Oven in a hole in the ground in which we had built a fire, placed the oven, scraped in the coals from around the rim, and covered with dirt for several hours. I used it later making bread in a chuck wagon on several cattle drives – again in southeastern Oregon.


Considering that the people at that time had no commercial starter for their bread, I do not know when it was first caught from the wild or where, but it has been exposed to many wild yeasts since and personally I like it. I hope you enjoy it.

Editor’s note


This document was OCR scanned from Carl Griffith’s 1996 brochure, and mildly edited to modify some unique spellings. The unit designations are as given by Carl. The following equivalencies seem evident:

Tablespoon (½ fluid ounce): T, Tb

Teaspoon (1/6 fluid ounce): t, ts

Package (of dry yeast): pk, pkg

Cup (8 fluid ounces): c

Pound: lb

Fluid ounce: oz

Elsewhere, Carl recommended the use of organic flour and bottled water. The following recipes were included in later brochures:

Find more like this: Grandpa's Use Only

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