From leftover cooked rice to oatmeal, you can get creative with feeding your sourdough starter! Watch, listen, or read to learn exactly how to do it successfully if you ever run out of flour!
If you don't have flour… can you feed your sourdough starter anything else?
Yes, you can!
On today's #AskWardee, I'm sharing how to feed your sourdough starter with leftover cooked rice, oatmeal, or other non-flour options.
Including particulars you need to know to do it right.
Keep reading or watching below to learn more!
The Question: What Else Can I Use To Feed My Sourdough Starter?
Meghan R. asked:
My mind is blown about the option to feed other things to the starter! Cooked rice, too? My husband loves to cook rice. It is very plain with just butter and salt but he always cooks the same amount regardless of how much we will eat so there is almost always extra. This would be something to feed the starter just once in a while? Would the butter and salt impact the starter? So any cooked grains, maybe apples, potatoes; is there more?
So many new questions are coming to mind. If you haven't already, maybe you could do an #AskWardee about it. With the flour shortages on grocery store shelves these days, many people are asking how to keep their sourdough starter alive. What are the different foods that you can feed a starter? What differences will alternative foods make to the starter? Why does it work? Is this something you would do occasionally or regularly? How would you go about feeding something other than flour to the starter?
Meghan, thank you for your question!
Because we're featuring your question on today's #AskWardee, you're getting a gift — a FREE eBook and Video Package! Our team will be in contact with you so you can choose which one you'd like!
More Than Just Flour!
You can use various flours to feed your sourdough starter and I shared more about that in Can I Feed My Sourdough Starter Different Flours? #AskWardee 021.
Today let's talk about other things you can feed your sourdough starter beyond alternative flours: whole, cracked, or rolled cooked grains like leftover rice, quinoa, barley, spelt, or einkorn. Or, hot cereal like oatmeal or a cracked grain hot cereal.
All of these are options for feeding, too!
Just keep these things in mind…
#1 — Keep Up The Same Feeding Schedule And Amounts
Keep feeding your sourdough starter twice daily. Instead of feeding with ground-up flour, feed with leftover oatmeal or whatever else other cooked grain you have.
Add the cooked grain and water and mix into the starter.
It will probably be a little chunky, but that's okay. The starter's organisms will break it down more as it sits.
#2 — It Should Be A Starch-Based Grain
Since a sourdough starter's beneficial organisms (yeasts and bacteria) eat the starches and sugars in flour… whatever you feed the starter needs to provide that starch.
Which means that non-starch alternative flours like almond flour or coconut flour are not options (none or limited starch in those).
In addition, the sourdough starter we use and teach (here) at Traditional Cooking School has organisms that are nurtured and fed by the starch in grains, rather than the sugar in apples or potatoes or grape juice.
Not to say that the apples, potatoes, or grape juice are bad… just that if you are using my starter instructions and my recipes, you'll want to stick to grain-based starches because that's what your starter is likely used to.
#3 — Pay Attention To How Your Starter Reacts And Performs
Your best guide on what works or doesn't is going to be your starter's behavior. How does it react to a different food? Less or more activity? How does it perform in your recipes?
You might notice that your starter does just fine with oatmeal and less fine with something else. Or, maybe it really takes off with cooked barley.
Take these observations into account when feeding in the future.
#4 — Plain Is Better
Ideally, the leftover foods you feed your starter should be plain… or on the plain side. This means less to none added fat, salt, or sugar.
Does it mean your cooked rice or oatmeal can't have anything added? Not necessarily.
Try it and be sure to pay attention to how your starter acts. Adjust accordingly!
Free No-Knead Bread And Sourdough Starter Instructions
If you or anyone you know might want to know more about a homemade sourdough starter and/or a no-knead artisan bread recipe, click here for my free instructions.
Any Questions Or Comments?
If you have other questions or comments about your own experience with feeding your sourdough starter with alternatives to flour, be sure to leave them in the comments!
- FREE No-Knead Sourdough Einkorn Bread Recipe +sourdough starter instructions
- Can I Feed My Sourdough Starter Different Flours? #AskWardee 021
- The Best & Healthiest Flours For Sourdough #AskWardee 065
What Is The #AskWardee Show?
The #AskWardee Show is the weekly show devoted to answering your niggling questions about Traditional Cooking: whether it's your sourdough starter, your sauerkraut, preserving foods, broth, superfoods or anything else to do with Traditional Cooking or your GNOWFGLINS lifestyle.
I share tips and resources, plus answer your questions about Traditional Cooking!
When: Wednesdays at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern
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Have you ever fed your sourdough starter with leftover cooked oatmeal or rice? Share more in the comments below!
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