SourdoughBreads
                          
...San Francisco Sourdough Bread Starter... Kitchen Things...Toys and Tools for Breadmakers
                                             

 

What Breadmakers Say About the San Francisco Sourdough Starter

Linda,

I just wanted to say THANK YOU! I got your SF sourdough starter via Amazon a while back as well as a wire bail mason jar. I have always liked the IDEA of making my own bread but never really tried it for real. I have tried bread machines in the past as well as those box "kit" breads in the box. Not very good.

So I wanted to give "real" bread a try. I was so excited to find your starter on Amazon but worried that with my busy performance schedule (I am a professional musician - harpist) I might not be able to make it work. But I had a week between engagements so I took the time to study your EXCELLENT book and see if I could succeed at something that has always eluded me.

I had had the packet for over a month before I tried so I was concerned. But everything happened exactly as you said it would. A couple days ago I took 1/3 cup of my starter out of the fridge and did my first ever attempt of real bread making. The process is the exact opposite of how we all live our lives today where we expect instant success and immediate gratification. As you know, the process takes a few days but it is worth it. I just pulled my first two loaves out of the oven and they look glorious. My house smells terrific!

As a busy professional with a hectic schedule, it is SO amazing to stop and slip into a Zen state and make this bread. I will take some of my masterpiece to the orchestra at the next rehearsal. I will become suddenly very popular!

Thank you so much for what you do.

Linda,
You shipped me some replacement starter about a month ago. It replaced some dead starter I got from Amazon. The replacement is wonderful! Within an hour the mixture had greatly thickened and was starting to bubble. Thank you so much and I think your product is wonderful. Bill R

San Francisco sourdough starter shipped directly from Amazon sometimes arrives dead because of the heat of Amazon's transport vehicles and warehouses. That's why I have my "Free No-Questions-Asked" replacement guarantee. Linda

Good Morning, Linda,

I ordered some of your starter on Amazon and am currently working on activating it. I started at 6am yesterday morning and by 10 last night, was certain I had done something wrong. It thickened but I wasn't getting the bubbles. I figured it was working, though, since it thickened, so I tried "feeding it." I started another bowl and, then, fed them both. This morning, the original bowl had lots and lots of glorious bubbles and the 2nd bowl had some hooch! I stirred that one really well and transferred a cup to another bowl to "feed."

I am beyond excited. My extended family is from the Bay Area and I was stationed at Travis AFB for 8 years. It's been almost that long since I've had SF sourdough and I've so been missing that piece of home. I have such high hopes for this bread! Thank you for your wonderful instruction booklet and your website. I placed another order, via your website, last night with additional tools to make this wonderful bread!

Sincerely,
Trish
Landlocked by marriage in Illinois ;-)

After some emails, we discovered that Trish's home was on the very cool side, but since her starter had thickened, she was correct to assume it was alive. The first bubbles are so very tiny, it is easy to miss seeing them. All's well that ends well.

Linda,
The speed of your reply is absolutely amazing! So few have such dedication to service once their products are sold. You earn my highest regard. Thank you and continued success in your business. You deserve it. Pat

HURRAY!!!!! It worked, my first ever true sourdough bread with no commercial yeast. Linda, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me through this trial. The bread turned out fantastic. And the start is still just as active as ever. THIS IS SOOOOOO COOL!!!!!!!! ??????

Hey Linda, Ten or twelve years ago I was struggling mightily to concoct a brilliant starter. Just capture your own wild yeast, the book said. It will be unique (yeah, it was. Yuck). Or use potatoes or apples or grapes (I tried them all). Yuck,yuck,yuck! My sister, in her own quiet way, slipped me a packet of your starter, and I misplaced it.

This past weekend, while rooting around in the back of an old desk drawer, and I found it. I immediately mixed it with three ounces of water and four ounces of organic unbleached white flour, and it was bubbly within twenty four hours.

Just wanted to say thank you for this wonderful product. I’ll be making bread with this new mother over the next month or so, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. So far, the rise is impressive, and I am absolutely astounded that yeast, casually stored in an old desk drawer for more than a decade, could activate so readily.

Thanks again, D

Here's a review an Amazon buyer posted for the San Fran starter I market. You can see it here:

Awesome product!! I left the Bay area 3 years ago and have tried a number of starters so I could have bread from home. None of them produced the the crumb, crust or taste of San Francisco bread until this one! Amazon Buyer

Thanks so much Linda! You have truly been amazing with everything. I'm super passionate about baking with sourdough and so appreciate your help! Scott

I received the starter I purchased from you yesterday and mixed it following your directions. I am an experienced baker and always have sourdough on hand. However, my currrent batch which I purchased from King Arthur Flour was never satisfactory and I failed to feed it too many times and decided to start over.

I like to use my microwave as a proofing oven with a glass pitcher of water heated almost to boiling for warmth and moisture. In one hour, the starter was already bubbly. My previous experience with dry starters has not been good so I am pleasantly surprised.

I did want to share the microwave trick with you as I live in the northeast and the house is rarely above 70.

Will see how this goes but I anticipate success

Barbara.

PS My original "starter" came from Texas from a friend and was reported to be over 100 years old. I treated it like the precious commodity it was and had it for over 20 years. We went on vacation and had someone house/dog sit. When we came home my familiar crock was in the dishrack. My house sitter thought it was spoiled and threw it out. I have never been able to replace it so my hopes are up this will be a good batch.

Barbara

Thank you so much Linda! If everyone ran a business like you do, it would be a better world! Blessings to you, - Katha

Hi Linda,

I bought your starter on Amazon and New Year’s Day began activating it per your instructions. I must say that the inclusion of your booklet made the purchase more than worth it. Great job.

Well, it’s only Jan 5. Your starter has come along like gangbusters. At 8:10 this morning, and following your instructions, I started the sponge. Just ½ Cup of the reactivated starter and 3C flour and 3C water. I couldn’t believe how quickly the sponge took off.

I’m now in the suggested autolysis period and was surprised at how active that mix appears: nice, fat bubbles all over the place.

Monday, January 4, 2016 9:00 PM
To: Linda Wilbourne
Subject: RE: Starter...

Your dedication and wonderful customer service have clinched my decision to buy the rest of my bread making supplies from you. I will be purchasing a rising bucket and proofing baskets shortly.

Good Morning Linda, from SW Ohio. For Christmas, one of the kids got me your starter kit and I started it going Tuesday AM. Being anal retentive, fared me well during my years as a Pharmacist, I followed your directions right from your book. Fed it a number of times and this morning it looked just like your pics on your site. Tonight's dinner will be Steak au Poivre, asparagus, baby potatoes and hopefully a loaf of your Sour Dough Bread topped with a little of my honey (became a small time beekeeper this year) . I probably should throw in a good Cabernet and/or Champagne,

Thanks for writing an easily understood manual.

Have a great 2016.

Tim

Dear Linda:

It was such a lovely surprise to read your note this day.

I will be looking forward to making another attempt at producing this wonderful bread with the new starter.

It is very rare to have a busy professional take a personal interest in a customer's dilemma.

Thank you so much ,

Sylvia

baking is a joy!

Linda,

Thanks for the shipping refund and prompt shipping.

I have never had the continuous success with sourdough until I used your starter and instructions!

Now I have the confidence that when I start a batch, I KNOW it will be GREAT

The Rising buckets are for my sons who want to get starter from me, so they will make great Christmas presents and I will be able to keep some loaves for myself!

Thank you,

Steve

I got the bread bags today and am very pleased. I had just finished baking 2 loaves of Cinnamon Swirl bread and the bag was a perfect fit for 1 loaf. It would have been fine for both if there had been any left.

Thanks again,
Sue

Linda,

Thanks for the info. Your recipe produced an absolutely perfect bread today!!

Best regards,

Deb


Now...that's what I'm talking about!!!!

Hi Linda-- this is Mark, your sour dough stepchild.

I took the batch of starter you sent me last Spring and nurtured it thru the summer--- too hot to bake in Dripping Springs in summer-- but when the cool front came through yesterday, I fired up a double batch. The wife and I are faint from eating so much of the wonderfully sour sourdough loaves. THAT's what I was talking about!!! SOUR DOUGH!!!

Faint here. Hard to verbalize the experience. (Better get some neighbors over to share the last loaf and see if they can put it into words better than me)(I'm out of butter, yikes!)

Thank you

Mark in Dripping


Dear Linda,

What a delightful email - you do care, we can see. Are you really a person or is this a corporation with caring people displaying great attitude? Either way - all this is most welcome!

Hi Linda,

Everything arrived timely and in wonderful condition. I had to write and let you know that my bread is AMAZING! I grew up in the Bay Area so truly delicious sourdough was prevalent. Last year we moved to WI and I've been in search of any type of sourdough ...not to be found. Your sourdough starter answered all of prayers.


Thanks, Linda. I can see why you get so many positive reviews. The personal touch you give to each customer is great.

Pam


HOORAY HOORAY! Graduation day,
I've got my stash put away
Thanks for showing me the way
Your expertise has ruled the day

All kidding aside Linda, your help and patience were invaluable. Jim


Dear Linda,

I have read your booklet over and over and most of the info has made sense and eventually clicked in my head with absolutely no baking experience whatsoever so you have done well.

Thanks,

Gary

I can bake bread with charcoal outdoors. See attached photos.
Are you familiar with Dutch ovens? This is a fine textured sourdough method and the San Francisco sourdough sponge makes it WONDERFUL!!!


Hi Linda,
Been wanting to write to let you know if no one else has done, we have achieved success with sourdough bread where the weather is 105-110° F. Thank god it has been in a warm room.

Three times was the charm! Two loaves and it was pretty darn good. My recipe booklet is well worn. Perhaps what would've helped me although the narrative is great - it is a list of items;
1) Put in frig
2) Watch for bubbles, etc. etc.

Maybe after the narrative - it was like reading a Butterick pattern where the words don't change but reading it again and again finally makes sense.

Once I was able to follow it as you talked about it worked better. It has been the longest baking experience of my life.

Maybe baguettes the next time. My friends from the U.K. had never heard of sourdough. Those Brits...

Thanks and my husband loves it too. We were so happy.
Phyllis

thanks linda, you're awesome!

my mother, gone 16 years now, used to make sourdough pancakes
weekly when i was growing up. i had some of her ancient starter
years ago, then "lost" it during a move, and have missed it ever
since.

though i am a lifelong vegetarian, my mom "kicked it up a notch" for
the carnivores in the family, by frying 1" pieces of bacon on the
griddle (no need to oil!), then pouring the sourdough pancake batter
directly on top of the cooked bacon pieces, so the yummy bacon
was centered in the pancake, then served with real maple syrup.
these were a pretty fantastic hit with everyone who tried them!

can't wait to get your starter and try the bread recipes too!

cheers,

tracey ~

Linda,

I have been making a really delicious bread. I use your recipe with King Arthur baking flour and at the last step substitute whole wheat for white so it has a bit of whole wheat. i add sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. It is delicious. My sister-in-law from NY says it is the best bread she has ever eaten. All that is missing to make it even better is a Baker's Apron, don't you think?

John

Thank u so much for all your help here! Without all your help I do not think I would have been successful in doing this!!! And for that I am very grateful! Ok I will def do this and make more bread :))) Great reason to eat more bread LOL
Sarah G

Hi: For me your sourdough and instructions have been a real boon to my bread making. I made sourdough that was (okay) a long time ago. Started again and wasn't having much luck until I ordered starter from you. The instructions were most useful and have enabled me to make bread that I can brag about. My sister, who is a really good cook, shares my interest in old things and doing things the old way got some starter from you. She has a starter I must have gave her around 35 years ago. But yours seems to have excited her about sourdough again. The last one from you is for my daughter. She is excited about making sourdough bread also. She likes the flavor but it is too expensive for her to buy. She will excel at making the bread. So you have strengthened our family bond by helping us share a common interest. It is a pleasure to do business with someone who takes a personal interest in her customers and serves them well. Thank you so much, Doug W

Hi Linda, Well I was able to bake the sourdough but it didn't last long. I had friends over unexpectedly and it all got eaten in very short order. Many compliments on the bread and it does have the "San Francisco sourdough" taste to it! Thanks so much for your help and the bread was delicious.
Hi, Linda, I'm very impressed so far. The starter settled down after the first day, so I gave it a full three day activation (noting the signs that you said to watch for). It is doing everything you said it would do! Perfect!
The directions you provided are excellent and detailed. I thank you for your passion and providing your expertise to this. Thanks and regards, Daniel

Hi Linda,
I just wanted to let you know that I had my first slice of fresh, hot, homemade sourdough bread last night. By the time the second rise was complete it was already late in the evening, but I wasn't about to go to bed without trying this wonderful smelling bread. It was so amazing, I woke my husband up so he could try it while it was still warm. I had it toasted this morning. Oh my goodness! My loaf had a sort of funky shape, but who cares!? The bread rose up out of the slit on top, so it was poofy in the middle. Beauty is only skin deep, right?

The FAQs on-line were very helpful. I think I would have gotten very impatient with the time it takes for the rises if I hadn't read all your responses to those questions.

I've ordered some new tools from the website to help with the next batch, which I guess I'll have to start soon since the first loaf is almost gone. Thank you so much for your amazing customer service. You are awesome. I will be a forever fan!!!

Just wanted to let you know my waffles turned out fantastic with the starter. It is a great starter.... Dona

Hello Linda, I’m a’wondering how old your starter is. I know they have to be old for them to be able to sit in the fridge for long periods of time. Yours is so vigorous it’s got me to wondering how old it is.  I love it, btw! This is my second go round with sourdough, and I’ve been quite prolific. I’ve even purchased the pasta maker I’ve been wanting for awhile just so I can make sourdough pasta. We’re reducing gluten around here, and have been insanely enjoying sourdough everything! I made a sourdough cake a couple of weeks ago that was insanely amazing!! So glad you’ve made your sourdough available. I can tell it’s a labor of love for you. :) Thanks!  S

I made my first sourdough bread! It was definitely a labor of love :) I am so stoked! It was such a journey full of mixed emotions! My final test was, of course, to taste my bread and oh man!! It is SOURDOUGH!!!  I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful starter and all your help.

I'm THRILLED with the starter, I have been making the most delicious bread :) thank you,

Just finished my first loaf with your starter. Looks great! I'm going to toss my home made "stash" away. Thanks for a great first loaf.

I have to say I am impressed with your website and the booklet we got with our starter. You cram so much information into the booklet and explain many things I was wondering about but nobody else explained. I will definitely be coming back for some of the items on your site for bread making, also. Thank you for the information.  Sharon

Good Morning, I had submitted a review to Amazon regarding this product, but I do not see it listed with this item just yet. (It would be my 1st review actually, but my husband asked me to submit one because of our great satisfaction with your product. We searched long and hard for what seemed to be the 'real thing' and finally decided upon your product!)

We wish to let you know how delighted we are with your product. The added bonus of an instruction booklet is very nice, too. We read it through and followed the instructions. After approximately two weeks of souring, my husband, Julius, made several loaves of bread, which already evidenced a nice amount of souring; he even made a couple of pizzas, using the starter as the leavening for the pizza dough. He has since then made two more loaves in preparation for a sourdough stuffing for a wood-smoked turkey that we'll finish off in the oven. The starter continues to sour and we are filled with anticipation to find the resulting sourness after a full month's time.

Again, thank you for a wonderful product. Please feel free to post our review to either Amazon or your website (which we also visited prior to making our final decision to purchase).

Sincerely,
Sharon

Linda, thanks for the honesty.....it's so rare nowadays. (Note from Linda:  I sent him a refund for shipping charges he paid that I didn't use--and it was onlly $1) Truthfully, your prices are the best on the items you carry (I do a lot of internet searching). Also......wanted to let you know that I gave up on my first starter (it smelled awful) and started over with the second one you mailed for no charge. It has worked out perfectly! No issues whatsoever. It smells/acts just like it should. This I know from working with various starters of my own for many, many years. The only thing I can figure is I must have somehow contaminated the first one possibly with the container I placed it in.

One other thing, I'll be ordering a few more of your items soon. Your prices and shipping are just the best I can find.

Hi Linda,

Just a quick update to let you know that we dyed the Sourdough Breads flour sack towels in tea and coffee and made them into kinda-sorta Roman shades with grosgrain ribbon to raise and lower them. They look pretty cute! We washed them in hot water and dried them in a hot dryer before dying them and they really didn't shrink a lot or produce very much lint.

There is a rectangular fluorescent light fixture (bleagh!) in the room that my sister hates with just cause. We had one dyed towel left over, so I cut it in half and used a serger to finish all the sides. Then I sewed the halves together to form a long piece -- which I wrapped around the revolting fluorescent object, stretching it tight and tying the corners in artful knots. It looks so great!!! It disguised the fixture and softened the light.

Thanks, again, for such quick delivery of such nice towels,

Mary Jo

Hi Linda,

I received your starter on a Friday, now it's the following Thursday and my first loaves of bread are done. They are very good, the best I've made. I've been making breads for 6 years and tried making my own starter 5 different times. I thought I killed this one then suddenly the next day it was very happy. Thank you for the product and very fast shipping, not to mention your instruction booklet!


Thank you,

Dean

Hi Linda I just wanted to tell you I love the tea towels. Exactly what I was looking for. But what I really wanted to say is I babied 5 sourdough starters. And even though I almost gave up on yours I pushed forward and got it to where it needed to be. And im so so glad I did. It was the one my family loved the most. It beat out King Arthur Flour and Cultures of Health. So again thank you so so much! Wendy

Linda, Thanks for the personalized email…nice touch. Everything arrived on Friday 04/04 in good shape. I am looking forward to working with the San Francisco Sourdough Starter. I bake sourdough once or twice a week to take to work or rotate through the neighbors. There is something about baking bread and sharing that is wholesome and personally satisfying…much like sharing a good home crafted beer, or fresh vegetables from the garden.

I have bookmarked your sourdoughbreads.com site and enjoyed the non-commercialized, non-mega-corporation look and feel of the whole thing. I was most impressed with your shipping ideology. Just for the record, I bought from you *because* of your small look and feel and the shipping statement ‘sealed the deal’ for me. I am a small businessman (I teach girl’s Fastpitch softball pitching lessons) and I prefer to do business with other small businesses. I have been in business for myself since 1997. I recently sold my softball equipment e-commerce store, but after about 12-years of operation, I know first-hand what it takes to own and operate one. So kudos to you and your sourdough niche.

Thanks for what you do.
-Ron

I am writing to let you know I've been successfully baking delicious San Francisco sour dough bread, thanks to your wonderful SF sour dough starter. For your further info, I had very active starter within 24 hours of mixing your dry starter in with the flour and water. temperature was well within your prescribed range(between 78-81 deg.). I want to thank you again for your wonderful work. happy baking, Ahmad

Thank you for the refund. Man, honest people with integrity. Who knew? I'll be sure and do the old word of mouth advertising. And I'll remember to look to you when shopping in the future.


Linda,
Thank you for the email and the kind words. My partner and I have been spreading the word about your fabulous culture. We bake it here, in London, every two weeks, my partner’s parents do the same in Italy and now, with the new order, my parents in Chicago will start to use it.

I’m heading home to Chicago in a few weeks and look forward to introducing my family to your fabulous bread!

Thanks again!
Your fan,
Tim

Hi Linda,

Thanks for your help and optimism. I was ready to quit using natural leaven and stick with active yeast and your encouragement greatly helped me keep with it and keep trying different things.

Thanks again for your outstanding support of your product!

My bread is delicious!

all the best,

Nick

I baked my first 2 loaves of bread today. Oh my God, they turned out so beautiful. I want to thank you again!

Rick

Hi Linda,

I'm so glad I found your website. I wanted to thank you for sending out my order so quickly and especially for going to all the trouble of sending the delayed items separately.

Thanks also for letting me know when I can expect to receive the shipments. The kit will be a Christmas gift, and it is a relief to know that I can count on having it in time for the holiday.

Sincerely, Norma

Thank you so very much for your extremely quick response. I appreciate that you are able to ship immediately. You are truly. An AAAAA+ rating in customer service.

Lynne G

Gotta say that this is the most durable Starter that I have used. I picture the old 49'rs in California did not measure in perfect weight ratios to keep the starter alive and did not have the perfect temps that all of the purist's recommend. I can feed it just by the texture and it's very happy. Also very forgiving to my mid week bake that might not have the time for anything more than a 30 minute autolize, but still comes out fine. I dumped my other Starter today because it was not as hearty as yours. And was very unforgiving as to exact measurements. I feed, I sniff, I bake. All good. Gary

Linda: Thanks for the prompt handling and the unexpected refund.

This info for your “funny sourdough stories” file; On a river trip in the Ukraine this past summer I met a judge from North Carolina (male gender!) who bakes sourdough. I had lost my San Francisco starter a couple of years back and he offered to send me a dried starter from his stock.

He did so, I activated it and used it. First I tried it with Better for Bread flour, as I used with mine (which anybody lucky enough to taste it had always raved about.) It was so tough you could have shoed a mule with it. Tasted OK, after five minutes of mastication. Back to the bread board.

Next I tried with regular flour. Now the crumb was better, though still very tough, but the second rise was a non-event, even with hot water under the pans and the oven light on. Two such batches, not having been born yesterday, or even the day before yesterday, and I threw in the towel, followed by the starter, and ordered from you again.

Thanks for being there!


Hi Linda,
The package arrived today. Wow that was fast. Thanks for your excellent service. Happy 4th, and keep cool! Mar

Dear Linda,

I gave your sourdough bread starter kit and infra red thermometer to my husband for his birthday today. He loved all the items, especially the thermometer and your brochure. He is reading it now! We will be ordering some other stuff soon, I am sure. We will prepare the sourdough starter tomorrow.  Thank you for a fun gift. Will be seeking your advice!!!!

Linda - I have successfully baked my first two loaves of sourdough bread and they are great. I was nervous that I would create hockey pucks but they turned out beautifully and were very tasty. Just wanted you to know that your instructions were easy to follow and well written. Thank you, Kathie

Hello,

I just want to say thank you so very much, my bread came out perfect with lots of holes....just fabulous!!!

Thanks again!!!

Hi Linda,  Thanks for your email and for the shipping refund!
Regards,
Vance

 

HI LINDA,
I GOT MY NEW STARTER ON FRIDAY AND FORTY MINUTES AGO (SIX O'CLOCK SUNDAY) I TOOK MY FIRST LOAF OF BREAD OUT OF THE OVEN. IT WAS EVERYTHING I HAD HOPED IT WOULD BE. IT HAD A BETTER TEXTURE AND A DIFFERENT TASTE FROM THE BREAD I MADE FROM MY OWN STARTER RECIPE. THANK YOU FOR MAKING IT POSSIBLE TO ONCE AGAIN TASTE REAL SAN FRANCISCO SOURDOUGH BREAD..

My first loaf I cooked Sun. pm, and it was AMAZING! I kept the second in the fridge, will cook it today so that it will be hot for supper. This is exactly the bread I wanted, thank you so much!

Thanks, and I am so delighted with this product, and your great support!

Rebecca

This weekend past, my family said the white bread flour sourdough was the best they've had :-) My two boys said "Better than San Francisco, Dad."

Wow and WOW!

Thanks again Linda :-)

Squeeeee! I got the package this afternoon (late evening Monday, US time). Everything was in perfect order.  I have to really compliment your packing skills.  Oh, and the bread knife! I ordered it because it's hard to find afordable bread knives with good blades here. I didn't notice that the bread knife you sell is actually beautiful as well as quality!

I'm so excited to start my culture. Hey, this even solves the pet problem - I don't have time for cats or dogs and I never figured out how to not kill fish. Yeast doesn't need walks, litter box cleaning, 5am tuna treats, or scratching behind the ears. It's a match made in heaven! (Well, the first week will be interesting...)  Thanks a million, both for the excellent products and services you provide and for simply providing them. I never imagined I'd find good yeast online, much less that I could get it in Korea. You're a godsend :)  Have a great week!

Hi Linda,

Just a quick email to let you know how great the sourdough is! Wow, love it! Experimenting with fermenting and rising time-getting good results :-) Matter of fact, I went out and bought a KitchenAid stand mixer specifically for kneading. Way better results with that than hand kneading. Or am I just lazy? ha-ha!

Linda

Just wanted to send you a brief email. I have been using you starter since about 2008. Its seems to stand up pretty good in the refrigerator but last weekend I thought it was dead. The container I store it in got smashed back into the corner of the fridge and the top popped open.

When I discovered it , It was just a cold, hard mass in the container. Thought it was dead. But figured what the heck, put warm water and flour in the container and within 12 hours I had live starter. Just made the following in my bread machine.

So yes there is life after death lol. thanks   Rob

ps. and now visited your web page and found your recipes, the baking adventure continues.

Linda,

I just wanted to let you know that I have now made my second batch of sourdough bread and this batch is really delicious! My first batch had good flavor but I let the loaves rise too long. By the time I was ready to bake them they had fallen. :( I tried slashing one of the loaves & I must have gone too deep because it deflated the loaf. I didn't slash the other loaf, needless to say! Today I baked the next batch and they rose perfectly and baked up just right. I didn't slash them as I was nervous that I'd deflate them & yet they still did fine. I had used the egg wash on the first batch of loaves so I decided to try the cornstarch & water wash on this batch. Actually I think I liked the cornstarch better. I ending up eating two slices tonight after baking them--the first slice was too good to stop there! Thank you for you explicit directions. They really helped! I'm looking forward to baking more & more sourdough in the near future. Thanks again, Linda.

Becky

Thank you Linda!

It was great fun baking the bread. But much more fun eating it! I, too, have 3 stashes in the fridge.....and will be patient for it to "cure" and become more sour.

Thanks for all your suggestions and your booklet....that I followed step by step and could not fail!

Maureen

Made the first loaf yesterday, came out great. The next one, I did not turn the oven down, to 375, well you know. Thanks for the starter, it is great.

Dave

Subject: Love at first loaf

Linda, Just thought you'd like to know. It came out great. Delicious. Duke

Your advice for having multiple starters going and aging them seems correct. I just ordered 2 more starter jars from you today. I am sure you know, your price is the best anywhere I can find on line. I'm also very impressed with your website design, copy writing and shipping policies. Us folks here in Silicon Valley can be a bit jaded concerning this, but your site is a standout. Bravo.

Hi Linda,

I just had to tell you how happy I am with the sourdough starter I purchased from you. I have never had so much fun making bread, and it tastes better than any bread I’ve ever made – AND at least as good as what I have been buying from a local artisan breadmaker (I do feel a little guilty about not giving the local person my business though...maybe I’ll just eat more bread!). Thanks again.

Ellen

Hi Linda

Just got my yeast yesterday and will activate Thursday. I work four day weeks so having Friday off is great for sourdough making. I have several starters and look forward to trying yours. I've been making sour dough for about eight years now and your instruction booklet sums up activating storing feeding and cooking with sourdough better than anything I've seen.

I have a tip to share with you. I didn't come up with it myself so won't tty and take credit for it. I use a reptile warming pad for activating and for my rise during the colder months. Inexpensive, can be had at wall mart. They heat to 80 degrees. Work great in a cooler or to warm the oven. I set my fed starter in it on the counter to activate. One side is peel and stick to adhere to the bottom of an aquarium so I adhere it to heavy foil and trim.

Hi Linda!

Just had to let you know that I am having so much fun making and sharing Sourdough bread!! Thanks for your detailed instructions and FANTASTIC customer service. For Christmas, I made loaves and Bacon Marmalade for the neighbors. Pretty sure we are their favorite neighbors now! Haha.

Also, have a source for raw milk so have been making my own French cultured butter. So, several pounds later, I am having a ball!

Thanks again. Hope you have a wonderful 2013.  Jane

WELL! THIS YEAST PRODUCED BEAUTIFULLY!!

I was so bummed last week, but extremely happy that you cooperated with me because today was a huge success!

Thanks, Linda.

Hi Linda, I received your package yesterday. Thank you so much for taking care of this so quickly and pleasantly. You made my online shopping experience very easy during the busy holiday season. Have a wonderful Christmas!

By the way my bread turned out fabulous. Your starter was amazing, smells so good, and your recipe is great. Very clear instructions. Jennifer

thank you..remarkable support system...love your starter!!

Now...that's what I'm talking about!!!!

Hi Linda-- this is Mark, your sour dough stepchild.

I took the batch of starter you sent me last Spring and nurtured it thru the summer--- too hot to bake in Dripping Springs in summer-- but when the cool front came through yesterday, I fired up a double batch. The wife and I are faint from eating so much of the wonderfully sour sourdough loaves. THAT's what I was talking about!!! SOUR DOUGH!!!

Faint here. Hard to verbalize the experience. (Better get some neighbors over to share the last loaf and see if they can put it into words better than me)(I'm out of butter, yikes!)

Thank you

Mark in Dripping


Dear Linda,

What a delightful email - you do care, we can see. Are you really a person or is this a corporation with caring people displaying great attitude? Either way - all this is most welcome!

Hi Linda,

Everything arrived timely and in wonderful condition. I had to write and let you know that my bread is AMAZING! I grew up in the Bay Area so truly delicious sourdough was prevalent. Last year we moved to WI and I've been in search of any type of sourdough ...not to be found. Your sourdough starter answered all of prayers.

Thanks, Linda. I can see why you get so many positive reviews. The personal touch you give to each customer is great.

Pam


HOORAY HOORAY! Graduation day,
I've got my stash put away
Thanks for showing me the way
Your expertise has ruled the day

All kidding aside Linda, your help and patience were invaluable. Jim


Dear Linda,

I have read your booklet over and over and most of the info has made sense and eventually clicked in my head with absolutely no baking experience whatsoever so you have done well.

Thanks, Gary 

I can bake bread with charcoal outdoors. See  attached photos.

 

 

Are you familiar with Dutch ovens? This is a fine textured sourdough method and the San Francisco sourdough sponge makes it WONDERFUL!!!

Hi Linda,
Been wanting to write to let you know if no one else has done, we have achieved success with sourdough bread where the weather is 105-110° F. Thank god it has been in a warm room.

Three times was the charm! Two loaves and it was pretty darn good. My recipe booklet is well worn. Perhaps what would've helped me although the narrative is great - it is a list of items;
1) Put in frig
2) Watch for bubbles, etc. etc.

Maybe after the narrative - it was like reading a Butterick pattern where the words don't change but reading it again and again finally makes sense.

Once I was able to follow it as you talked about it worked better. It has been the longest baking experience of my life.

Maybe baguettes the next time. My friends from the U.K. had never heard of sourdough. Those Brits...

Thanks and my husband loves it too. We were so happy.
Phyllis

thanks linda, you're awesome!

my mother, gone 16 years now, used to make sourdough pancakes weekly when i was growing up. i had some of her ancient starter years ago, then "lost" it during a move, and have missed it ever since. though i am a lifelong vegetarian, my mom "kicked it up a notch" for the carnivores in the family, by frying 1" pieces of bacon on the griddle (no need to oil!), then pouring the sourdough pancake batter directly on top of the cooked bacon pieces, so the yummy bacon was centered in the pancake, then served with real maple syrup. these were a pretty fantastic hit with everyone who tried them! can't wait to get your starter and try the bread recipes too!

cheers,tracey ~

Linda,

I have been making a really delicious bread. I use your recipe with King Arthur baking flour and at the last step substitute whole wheat for white so it has a bit of whole wheat. i add sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. It is delicious. My sister-in-law from NY says it is the best bread she has ever eaten. All that is missing to make it even better is a Baker's Apron, don't you think?

John
Thank u so much for all your help here! Without all your help I do not think I would have been successful in doing this!!! And for that I am very grateful! Ok I will def do this and make more bread :))) Great reason to eat more bread LOL


Sarah G
Hi: For me your sourdough and instructions have been a real boon to my bread making. I made sourdough that was (okay) a long time ago. Started again and wasn't having much luck until I ordered starter from you. The instructions were most useful and have enabled me to make bread that I can brag about. My sister, who is a really good cook, shares my interest in old things and doing things the old way got some starter from you. She has a starter I must have gave her around 35 years ago. But yours seems to have excited her about sourdough again. The last one from you is for my daughter. She is excited about making sourdough bread also. She likes the flavor but it is too expensive for her to buy. She will excel at making the bread. So you have strengthened our family bond by helping us share a common interest. It is a pleasure to do business with someone who takes a personal interest in her customers and serves them well. Thank you so much, Doug W

Hi Linda, Well I was able to bake the sourdough but it didn't last long. I had friends over unexpectedly and it all got eaten in very short order. Many compliments on the bread and it does have the "San Francisco sourdough" taste to it! Thanks so much for your help and the bread was delicious.
Hi, Linda, I'm very impressed so far. The starter settled down after the first day, so I gave it a full three day activation (noting the signs that you said to watch for). It is doing everything you said it would do! Perfect!


The directions you provided are excellent and detailed. I thank you for your passion and providing your expertise to this. Thanks and regards, Daniel

Hi Linda,
I just wanted to let you know that I had my first slice of fresh, hot, homemade sourdough bread last night. By the time the second rise was complete it was already late in the evening, but I wasn't about to go to bed without trying this wonderful smelling bread. It was so amazing, I woke my husband up so he could try it while it was still warm. I had it toasted this morning. Oh my goodness! My loaf had a sort of funky shape, but who cares!? The bread rose up out of the slit on top, so it was poofy in the middle. Beauty is only skin deep, right?

The FAQs on-line were very helpful. I think I would have gotten very impatient with the time it takes for the rises if I hadn't read all your responses to those questions.

I've ordered some new tools from the website to help with the next batch, which I guess I'll have to start soon since the first loaf is almost gone. Thank you so much for your amazing customer service. You are awesome. I will be a forever fan!!!

I appreciate the fact that you are an honest broker with the shipping charges. I've yet to find someone refunding unused shipping charges in the e-commerce world. That alone will guarantee repeat business from me. :)

I wanted to drop a note of thanks to you for your excellent online guides and products. Last summer, having been enthused by Alton Brown and Shirley Corriher’s “Cookwise” as well as your outstanding website I endeavored to wrest a sourdough starter from our Iowa environment. I didn’t have a lot of hope since the breads here are lame (For reference, I’m originally from Chicago, arguably a lovely bread city). After 3 tries (one of which was remarkably revolting) I was able to arrive at a fairly decent culture. Alas, the enthusiastically active local yeast overpowered the bacteria after a short time and my breads suffered.

This Christmas, my dear wife, enjoying my struggles, ordered your Sourdough starter as well as a stirrer. Yesterday I baked my first loaves. If you do the math you’ll see I started it the day I got it. These are absolutely lovely, real sourdough loaves. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your starter and guidance.
I’ve only recently begun bread making, having gained the confidence from Alton and Shirley, though I’ve enjoyed baking since I was a child. Corriher’s book will keep me busy for years, lots of exciting challenges there. And your starter, especially as it matures, and techniques will keep me in fine bread for the duration.

Hi Linda,
Well I was able to bake the sourdough but it didn't last long. I had friends over unexpectedly and it all got eaten in very short order. Many compliments on the bread and it does have the "San Francisco sourdough" taste to it! Thanks so much for your help and the bread was delicious. Feel free to put my name out there for a reference if someone is in needed of reassurance before they buy. Teres

it works just like you said i been using starter for over 40years tossed old one and replaced it with the one from you i make a lit of pizza and use sd starter all the time i make a lot of special pizza and sd works the best from sd pizza deep dish middle east and many more me and me new friends are doing well in my 100 tear old mason jar hank i had a stroke 2 years ago and just getting back typing so forgive my typing.

Hey Linda,
Your sourdough starter is quite the hardy travel companion. It traveled in less than ideal conditions for 3 days from CT to Key West. I stuck it in the refrigerator last week and was sure I had done it in. I just bought some flour and fed it and it sprang to life like the Phoenix. Thanks for a wonderful product! Dorothy

Hey Linda,
Today with the slow death of real customer service in this country, you still go above and beyond to provide not only products but also help, advice and the willingness to go the extra mile.

Just wanted you to know it is seen and much appreciated.

Chris

Thanks. It has already been such a pleasure doing business with you and I look forward to a long-lasting, bread making, relationship. You're the tops.


Hi Linda,
Just wanted to let you know how happy I (we) are with the sourdough bread I make every week with the starter you sent. I'm lucky enough to have a local market that sells various types of flour in bulk bins. So I get to experiment with things like rye, high gluten, various grinds of whole wheat, semolina, rice, etc. I, like you, like the salt so I sprinkle some coarse ground kosher salt onto the egg wash just before popping them in the oven. Every Sunday is bread day. We have sourdough pancakes in the morning and fresh bread at dinner. The baguette pan I purchased from you is essential for holding the shape of these loaves and each one comes out perfect!

I experiment each week with something new and, so far, all bread no bricks! Thanks once again for the bowl scraper and razor knife which I use every week....
Take Care and Happy Baking!

John

PS--I did some "geeky" analysis of the costs and found that I'm spending between .73 and .86 cents per loaf...
Sent from my iPad

Hi Linda
It’s been a while since I have contacted you, but I thought you would like to hear my story. I ordered some starter from you about 5 or 6 years ago and have been making wonderful bread ever since. I don’t sell my bread but I sure give a lot of it away. I always say that it keeps my starter fresher if I keep one loaf and give the others away. After much coaxing from my wife I finally entered my bread in the local fair about three weeks ago. It took first place, wow was I surprised ! Last week I entered it in the county fair ( the largest agriculture fair in Pennsylvania ) and guess what another first place!!! I just want to thank you again for the great starter.

Hey Linda,
Just wanted you to know that I made four of the best loaves of bread I've ever made! Friends and neighbors agree... I also just ordered the baguette pan from your website. Thanks again.
John
Sent from my iPad

Okay, Linda, you’ve convinced me! I just tried the first slice from the first loaf made with my starter. I was patient because I wanted that authentic taste. I let the starter percolate in that fridge for about 3 weeks after activation. I’m glad that I waited. This is the real deal. It has that distinctive SF sourdough taste. I’ m looking forward to many, many more loaves from this starter. Thank you! BTW, I placed an order for a few items this morning. Gary
Oh, and I LOVE your funnel cup!!! I use it for everything from filling my coffee maker to watering my little plants hanging tip-toe high in my kitchen window! :-)

Thank you, Linda! You've ALWAYS been the best! I've only yelled for help a few times, but your "customer service" is priceless.

I would like to say thank for you providing such relevant info on bread making. I began my search to learn to make good pancakes, biscuits and bread. It's something I have always wanted to do but it ended up being just another item on the long list of things I wanted to accomplish. When I started looking though, I found a lot of people telling "their version" of How to do it. Everyone seems to know something about the process but no one seems to be telling the whole story. Then I stumbled upon your site. Your info made sense to me so I ordered your starter kit and gave it a shot.

Honestly I didn't have a whole lot of faith this was gonna work. It wasn't you or your info that I questioned, it was my ability to make a loaf without it collapsing before or during the bake. I got your kit, read the instructions a couple times and gave it a try. The first thing I noticed was that the starter reacted just as you said it would. I was pretty stoked at that! I worked through the process and admittedly it was a lot of work. And, I over cooked the bread and made a hockey puck. Actually two to be exact. But it did taste quite good and after sitting in a plastic ziplock bag over night, it softened and was actually pretty close to what I was expecting. That was a big victory for me!

The following weekend I tried two more loaves. These were a bit different. I was still getting the feel of what the dough is supposed to be like at each stage. Nonetheless, the bread was really good but I over floured one of the loaves and again, I over cooked them.

This weekend I made bread and it was absolutely, undeniably, unimaginably and completely wonderful!!!!!

I don't know if it's an "aging" thing or what but the starter was WAY active this time. Just as before, I set out my 1/4 cup with three cups flour and three cups water and left it over night. The next morning the mass was bubbly with foam and had increased in volume. I pulled out a 1/4 cup and added two cups of flour and two cups water to make pancakes and set it aside while I processed the bread mixture.

Before I even got the bread processed and in two bowls to rest (about 15 minutes) the pancake batter took off! It was like it had sat over night like the bread batter. I was expecting an hour wait before I could make the pancakes but it was ready to go so I got to cookin'. And yes, they were wonderful too!

The bread rose twice as fast as the last two times. It rose in about 1 hour both rises. The humidity is pretty high right now and I do the rising in the over with the light as my heat source and I put a pan of water in with them for added humidity.

Then I baked at 350 for 30 minutes in a convection oven with a 12X12 ceramic flour tile on the rack for my three layer baking sheet to sit on and a 2 qt metal pan of water and I sprayed the walls and floor of the oven several times as you instruct during the first 5 minutes.

The bread was perfect at 180 degrees internal temp.

I could have baked a little longer to get a tougher crust but I decided not too and am glad I didn't. The bread is flavorful, firm but spongy and best of all, tastes wonderful!!!

Two pics are attached. I didn't get the egg mixture applied evenly and I should have used two different sheets so the two wouldn't touch each other but what can I say: my bread has character... lol I can assure you though, when you get a piece in your mouth, it doesn't matter what it looks like... It's all good!

Thank you so much for sharing all this good info on bread making. You have taken away my major frustration.

I am looking forward to adding your "tools of the trade" as I can.

Jeff

P.S. You are welcome to use my testimony.

 

 

 

Linda, incorporated your ideas using less flour and longer rise time. The result was spectacular. Simply stated, the best sourdough bread I have ever eaten. You created a monster as I rush home from golf and bake a loaf as needed. I miss the 19th hole adult beverage with the guys. Thanks for being there. Dominic

I wanted to write and let you know what an fantastic experience I have had baking with your starter. My mother always had a stash in the fridge when I was a kid, and now at forty, I am reliving it the San Francisco way.

Your FAQ was invaluable. I read it in its entirety before I started, so I saw the common, repeated mistakes others were making before I even began. I have now been baking for more than a month now and have tried different proof times, different temperatures on my oven, different multiples of the recipes and different methods of steaming. I no longer need to consult your detailed instructions, as I know the dough by feel now.

I knew it was time to write when, this morning, I am proud to say I pulled out of the oven THE PERFECT LOAF OF SOURDOUGH BREAD. My friends all thank you too. Lee

Linda

I have my first Sourdough rising as I write this E-Mail. Just a note… everything went like clockwork with the starter. Thanks, John

Linda - Hey, I did it! The starter worked like a charm! It's good and As someone who has used commercial yeast most of my life, it's been an educational process working with a natural strain - and kind of a nice exercise in attention and patience. :-) I used the Cooks' Illustrated sourdough technique with an overnight proof in the refrigerator.  Thanks again!  Jason

Hi Linda, Starter worked this time, you were right!!! 8-) I am on my 3 loaf of bread since I got my starter going. Love the flavor. You were not kidding!! BLESS YOU!! I WILL TRY SOME OF YOUR OTHER HINTS AS WELL. THANKS AGAIN!! WILL SPREAD THE WORD TOO!!
BARB

Hey Y'all,
Crossed another one off the bucket list. From start to finish it took me 5 days, but I finally baked my very own San Francisco sour dough bread. Boy is it ever good. The crust is hard and crusty, the inside is chewy and it has that great sour dough flavor. I doubt it would win a prize at the fair, but it's a winner to me. I have wanted to do this since I was a teenager. It was worth the years of searching for someone who would sell me the starter and all the work. Darn, now I have to clean up all the mess. Oh well, it is worth it to cross off a lifelong goal. Tommie Lou



Hello, Linda-
I've tried the new starter-the flavor and the rise are both just dandy! Thanks again.


A few things I've learned lately:

-cake flour- one cup cake flour in the recipe gives a bit more rise
and a softer bread. The difference is subtle, but it's there.

-the knead- I've always mixed flour into the sponge by hand and I knead by hand for 12 to 14 min. What is different now is that in the past I would stir into the sponge the most flour that I could cram in. Now I stir in the least amount of flour to make the dough kneadable. It can be a bit messy... Again, in the past I would use a large amount of flour while kneading to prevent the stickies. The result was a very dense dough that gave a disappointing rise. Now, I knead using the bare minimum amount of flour and just accept some stickieness. The result is a much softer dough.

One problem--if the loaf is free-form, it becomes a puddle in second rise. -parchment paper- I contain that puddle with a collar of parchment paper. I pull off a sheet that I know will be long enough to surround the size loaf I want, fold it lengthwise, and staple it thoroughly. I put this collar folded side down on the baking sheet and put in the punched down and rounded dough for its second rise. The result is a very round and straight sided loaf. After around 15 min bake I remove the collar. Happy Baking!  JR

Dear Linda --

We have just activated our sourdough starter you sent us, and it is great! We made a loaf of sourdough bread this morning, and have the "fixings" for sourdough waffles for tomorrow morning! Incidentally, we have a favorite 2 and 2 and 2 recipe for waffles (or pancakes) that works well for us. Here it is.

1/4 cup sourdough stash
2 cups warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon safflower oil
pinch of salt and large pinch of baking soda

Mix sourdough stash, water and flour together the day/night before you want to enjoy wonderful waffles. Cover and let the mix work (on the counter or in the oven with the light on). In the morning, work in the eggs, safflower oil, mixing well. Then, mix in the salt and baking soda. Finally, add any other goodies you wish (chopped walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.). If you use a Belgian waffle iron, blueberries nicely fill the holes, and top it with whatever else you desire (maple syrup, strawberry syrup, etc.). Enjoy! Dave and Ada

Thank you so much for responding on a Saturday; you demonstrate a real sense of caring!!! Mike Sent from my iPhone

Hi Linda,
I have much better news today. Last night I started feeding and watching and feeding and watching (and buying more flour haaa, my husband thinks I'm crazy) and I think you're right, I think this is a fast and vigorous starter, just eating everything up so fast! You explain the process very well so this makes sense why it was so thin, all the hooch, etc.

You have been such a big help!! Things are going much better, finally thick and sticky again. The only thing I didn't see are a lot of large bubbles but I'm happy with it and am about ready to refrigerate.

I apologize for thinking that I may have killed your starter. If you already mailed a new starter I am so sorry for any inconvenience and can mail it back.

Thanks again for all your help. I'm looking forward to making bread in a few weeks!

Hi Linda,

First off I want to tell you I have been raising my starter for years now, I may have bought it from you 6 or 7 years ago. And yes over the years I have ignored it longer than I should have but just by instinct I knew to take it out of the fridge and feed it, feed it and feed it until it was happy once again. Other than my first batch arriving "dead on arrival" the second batch has never failed to produce the bread product I have set out to make. Of course it has been a learning process for me and I had to learn the tricks. I do not make as much bread as I would like but when I do I end up with some very nice free form loaves that seem to average 10 inches around by 4 or 5 inches tall.

Well I finally got around to making the English Muffin Recipe that you sent out in your news letter. And I am proud to tell you it was a great success! I ended up with 11 Very nice muffins (I did make them rather large). I followed the recipe almost to the letter. I did not have powdered milk so I used 1/4 cup reg milk. I am not sure what the purpose of the powdered milk is but I have seen other recipes that use actual milk. I also added the optional sugar (I figured the Starter would like a nice sweet treat). I did roll the dough out to 1/2 thick but next time I think I am going to go a bit thinner when they were all done they were just under an inch thick and not as done as they should be in the middle (cooked just a tad doughey, once they were toasted in the toaster they were great). They resembled Hamburger buns more than English Muffins (I guess my starter is really good at raising). Speaking about Hamburger buns!!! How about a Sourdough Hamburger Bun recipe???

Anyway thanks for the Starter and years of fun Baking. Richard O

Hi Linda,

Thanks for the great recipe! Here's a picture of my 1st loafs; they taste just as good as they look. I took your advice and I now keep 2 containers of starter in the fridge using them alternately. I also left my starter in the fridge for 2 weeks before trying your recipe to get a more sour flavor; it was well worth the wait. Anyway, thanks again! John O


Thanks, Linda.
It's a cool thing when you expose your children to something and then when they get out on their own they ask you how to do it themselves, and that's the case with this. I live in Philadelphia. Marie, age 24, moved to Ft. Collins, Colorado this past September and is putting down roots. I am glad to see her interested in sourdough. Thanks for your help in getting her started.

Hi Linda,
I think in the accompanying leaflet, you said you were interested in feedback. Well, my son and I had an excellent experience and some fun in the process. It took 24 hours until bubbles began to happen, but then things went along very nicely.

He makes the Sullivan St. bakery no-knead bread; it is left to rise for 14 hours on its own. After only a day and a half, he couldn't resist using some of the starter to try a loaf, because it seemed so lively. We kept feeding, but he took off 1/4 cup. It did work well on the dough and if anything gave him a better rise in the oven than he had been getting with dry.

We did two more feedings of the starter and then refrigerated. It was before 3 days had elapsed.

Hi Linda

Mom (me) and babies are doing fine. I am on my third day of activation and am ready to put into the fridge. I was wondering if I have to 'feed' before putting into the fridge? Thank you for 'great' service. I will also bake a loaf today and will advise you of the results. Everything seems to be, however, as you describe in your excelent instructions. Liz

SUCCESS!!! J Thanks for the extra packet of yeast, this time it worked…72 hours later. Just put my 1+ cup starter in the crock and into the fridge. Smells wonderful!! And so bubbly and active! I grew up on sourdough pancakes, so that’s my main obsession with this. I had some kind of copy-cat starter these last few years, but it died. I figured it was time to get the real deal, not just some cup of “friendship bread” mix. J I remember as a kid my mom’s starter bubbling up and foaming, I never saw that with mine…until now. Wow! We had sourdough pancakes this morning, not bad…the starter needs to sour a bit, but they were decent tasting. My kids enjoyed them!! I can’t wait to make pancakes for my mom, she’s going to love them!! I got a bread machine for my wife for Christmas, so I’ll be trying out the bread machine recipe on your website soon. I might try to bake a few loafs the real way first, although it looks intensive. Can’t wait though!!
Hi Linda,

Well, it took all day Saturday but it was well worth the effort. I never tasted better bread…
Are you familiar with outdoor camp Dutch Oven Cooking techniques?
The bread in the center of the picture located at webpage
http://www.dutchovendoctor.com/whatcanyoucook.htm
was made from sour dough starter purchased from you. More pictures and things of interest can be found at
http://www.dutchovendoctor.com/

Hi, I just ordered another starter to take with me when I visit my grandchildren in October. I am going to teach my granddaughter to make bread from scratch! I purchased one from you early July and Cisco and Frannie came into their own bubbly world on July 13, 2010. Your recipes are easy, your instructions clear and easy to follow and best of all the bread is everything I hoped for, I had only made bread in my machine till now, but I am convinced the old way is the best and thanks for a great web site.
Pat
Hello Linda,
Your sourdough starter is great. I come from a big family and my mother would always bake bread in this large dutch oven…it is 13 inches wide and 6 inches deep. She would make this huge loaf of sourdough and it would always be gone at the end of the meal. My sister inherited the Dutch oven and her starter. The starter disappeared and I coaxed the Dutch oven from her last year. This is the first time I have used it for bread and the results were great.
Attached is a picture of my version of my mom's big loaf. I made is this morning. I usually bake bread in either clay or cast iron. I proof on parchment paper and transfer to the cold vessel and start in a cold oven. This one was baked covered at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, I removed the lid, glazed with a cornstarch wash and browned for 10 minutes more. It tastes great. Thanks for your starter. Pete

Hi Linda,

You can post my picture and email on your web site. If you try the cold vessel method you can proof in the dutch oven on parchment paper with the lid on, spray the bread with water, then transfer to the cold oven.

When I use my Schlemmertopf clay baker I proof in it with parchment paper and a towel. I soak the top in cold water for 15 minutes, then put it in the cold oven. The crust comes out great with all the steam. My next loaf will be a Sourdough Pesto bread my favorite.


Note from Linda: Pete’s recipe and further tips and instructions are on the Recipes page of the site.
Hi Linda,
I thought you might like a progress report on my sourdough bread experience. I am now baking three loaves a week (can't stand to throw that beautiful sponge away!). On bread day, my husband and I discuss where two of the loaves will go. We have delivered them to friends who are having a low period in their lives, friends undergoing cancer treatment, our new pastor—you get the idea. The bread is delicious and I can't thank you enough.
Helen
Just a quick thank you, the starter proofed up great, amazing foccacia!!....take care...Mike.....


Hi Linda, I now have successfully baked two beautiful loaves of bread. Thanks for your help and guidance. Helen
Hi, some months ago I got your sourdough starter from you, including your manual. I have made a number of loaves, although I still find it necessary to read the manual carefully each time. My daughter has to avoid normal wheat and uses only spelt flour but this makes no difference to the bread - it is still very good. So good in fact that she has asked me to make some for her wedding breakfast - only for her I am glad to say, and not 120 guests who can have shop rolls.

A friend is making a book of pictures of her previous life and recipes to mark the occasion, and I would like to include in the book either your complete manual or a list of the main stages in loaf making, I hope she will take up making her own bread in this way. If you are willing for me to do so your details at the beginning and end will of course remain intact, and you may well get another customer. Can I include your manual in this book which will be only a single copy to be presented to my daughter on her wedding day, together with a loaf made according to your instructions? Yours sincerely, W.S.Bailey. Suffolk, England.
Hi Linda, Thanks to you I made the perfect loaf of sourdough bread!

Hi Linda,
I am having SO much success with my bread, thanks to your mentoring and instructions. I'm going up to Iowa next week to visit my daughter and promised to bring her some of my starter and wanted to send her some of the necessary tools to get her started. Everyone needs the wonderful stirrers that your husband makes. They make clean-up so much easier!
Thanks,
Anne

Dear Linda

I recently came across your website.

93 yrs. ago, my sourdough starter originated from an Alaskan miner. 43 yrs. ago, it was given to me by a local nurse who then told me it was 50 yrs. old. At the time, I was a tad skeptic.

However, I've used and shared my starter for 43 yrs, so I truly believe her story. I've shared my starter with friends from one end of the USA and Canadian coasts. It is the BEST.

Another little tidbit. When I was a young girl, (I am now a senior citizen of wonderful 76 years)after Sunday Church, I stopped by my friend's house to devour her dad's delicious pancakes. Little did it know then, there were sourdough.

Not sure if you are interested in my story but I love sharing it with people.

Take care. God bless

Anita McIntosh

Linda, We received your starter and immediately went to work “reviving” it. We have baked two batches of bread already and are very very pleased with the taste of the bread as well as the texture. One of our friends grew up in CA and had sourdough regularly. His remark was that it was like being back home. Thanks!

Linda: Yesterday I made the best sourdough bread I've ever tasted! Thanks for your help.

Linda!  I've had your sourdough starter since Jan '06. It's still growing here in Massachusetts. It's excellent, and more forgiving than others I've tried. My prior experiments were merely two conventional foil packet yeasts, fast and regular. They soured but needed too much feeding, too often. Forget a feeding, and they died. Also some were invaded by resident airborne yeasts, and lost the desired sourness. Sometimes they croaked and got moldy for no apparent reason. With yours, as you recommend, it is important to keep a stash as backup in the refrigerator. I renew my stash every ten days or so, perhaps more often than necessary.
Your yeast rises more slowly than the conventional types, as you say. But slowness is a benefit in a starter, I think. To compensate, my bread making begins in the morning. I kick up the starter the night prior. I haven't lost a batch yet, thanks to you!
Regards,
Tom Andrews

Linda, You make doing business with you very pleasant. Thanks. Bill

Linda, I thought I'd wait until I got through the activation step before saying thanks for the starter and the encouraging email. This is really a tough part for the guys to stay with you on - all those steps and instructions that have to be ignored or modified. But the mixture has been climbing out at night and creeping over my counter top as in an old Ed Wood movie. (You really put the extra stuff down the sink? Job security for the Roto Rooter, I guess.)

I know it's not cost effective for a mom and pop business, but you really should do some kind of background check on the people you sell this stuff to. No end of possibilities for mishaps, especially if a lot of people start hauling it around in their cars and taking it to work, say if they work in the operating room, etc. Now comes the hard part, remembering why I ordered this stuff in the first place. Even if I succeed with the elephant snot, I'm not sure if I even like sourdough bread. Best regards, and many thanks. Doug Jewett.

Dear Linda,
I just want to take a few moments to thank you for all the wonderful information on your website. It saved my home-made starter!!

Four weeks ago, I followed the instructions in "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon for making sourdough starter from scratch with only rye flour. Seven days later, my first batch of whole-grain sourdough bread was incredible.

Continuing with her instructions, and separating starter and doing pancakes and such, the second week's loaves rose more slowly and were a bit more dense, but still very tasty. It was during this week that I first found your site, while seeking sourdough pancake recipes.
Week three was almost a disaster. I continued following her instructions and made pancakes, too, with info from the Web, so the reduce and re-feed concept was in play. There was a LOT of hooch each day, and I hadn't found the info regarding starving my little pets...
so, when it came time to make bread on Thursday morning last week, I was in trouble but didn't know it.

Four hours later, when I had NO rise, I began plowing through your site.  That was when I learned my starter was starved or dead and my proofing area was too warm. :( I cooled the proofing area down and, 12 hours after I started (9 a.m.), I had 1-1/2 volume and baked the bread. One loaf may have actually been classified as unleavened!

When I put the loaves in the oven (using your 'water in the custard cup' advice, which I hadn't known before) - at 9 p.m. instead of 1 p.m., convinced I'd killed my starter - I followed your advice to reduce and feed. Voila! I refrigerated the starter an hour or so later (it WAS bubbly, so there was hope). Two of the four loaves may be better used as a weapon, especially when frozen :-) VERY dense bread and less sour than prior two batches.

Early the next morning, I closed the lids on my two refrigerated starters (I am using quart wide-mouth mason jars) while we headed out of town a day late because of the failure to rise... my grandchildren were only slightly disappointed, but I don't want to do THAT again.
Everybody liked the bread (I took the best-risen loaf)!

Yesterday, I pulled the starter out and followed your advice... TOUGH to toss all but a 1/4-cup down the drain, but lo and behold, the starter WASN'T dead... I put myself to bed last night with well-fed starter, woke up with one jar "hooched" and the other in the hungry stage. I followed your instructions again (oh, my septic take should be sooooo happy to have all that starter in it) and feel like I am in the "activation" stage now, checking every hour or so and tossing and feeding, still using rye flour (freshly milled and cooled). I'll let you know what happens and want to order some equipment from you when my budget allows me to.
I grew up in San Francisco, so sourdough bread is a life-long love. We walked by one the sourdough bakeries on our way home from school each day. It was on Geary Street, at 6th or 5th Avenue I think. Parisian? Can't remember. Anyway, I'm in Idaho now and am excited to get my i-da-ho so-ur-dough going.

Thank you so much for posting all your wonderful information on the Internet available for the curious-and-determined. I may have given up, disappointed and feeling like a failure if your generous heart wasn't out there for me to "google" :)

Hi Linda!
I bought the starter from you several years ago. I had the booklet that came with it, but don't anymore. I recall there was a wonderful recipe in it that used mashed potato and buttermilk. Do you have it available anywhere?  The starter is magnificent! It has survived several rounds in the freezer, and is still unbelievably vigorous. I named it Fabio originally but renamed it since , it's now Hank. ( Hank the Sourdough, after Hank the Cowdog..) Thanks! (even if you don't have the recipe!)  The great thing is that my husband and I recently moved to Texas after many years in NY City and 18 months in Providence, RI- we know good bread and always took it for granted- and you can't find it down here. You can find tasty bread, but none that has the right texture and heft- baguettes and loaves just squish down when you cut them. Strange! Now that we can have heavy, crusty sour dough again, we're in heaven!

Hello Linda,
My family loves the sour dough bread.  Best wishes  Dan K

Hi Linda--Touchdown!! I am at this moment happily munching on my first slice of sourdough from the oven. Chewy, crispy crust, heavy, sour insides with the right texture. I look forward to an even more sour taste as the starter ages. I baked 2 loaves today- one is going to be given as a birthday present! Thanks for your help- and starter!! Charlene

Linda, I thought I'd wait until I got through the activation step before saying thanks for the starter and the encouraging email. This is really a tough part for the guys to stay with you on - all those steps and instructions that have to be ignored or modified. But the mixture has been climbing out at night and creeping over my counter top as in an old Ed Wood movie. (You really put the extra stuff down the sink? Job security for the Roto Rooter, I guess.)

I know it's not cost effective for a mom and pop business, but you really should do some kind of background check on the people you sell this stuff to. No end of possibilities for mishaps, especially if a lot of people start hauling it around in their cars and taking it to work, say if they work in the operating room, etc. Now comes the hard part, remembering why I ordered this stuff in the first place. Even if I succeed with the elephant snot, I'm not sure if I even like sourdough bread. Best regards, and many thanks. Doug Jewett.

Hi Linda, I just wanted to let you know I've been having fun making SF sourdough since I received the starter from you. I've not had as much success using WW flour, it does rise as much and is more dense and does seem as sour as using bread flour. Anyway, I'll keep experimenting. Have a happy and safe New Year. See attached photo of our Christmas dinner bread!!!  Best regards, Darryl

Hi Linda,
Just wanted to drop you a note. I'm the guy a couple of weeks ago that had the weird mold in my starter after the first day and you sent me a fresh batch of flakes (thank you very much for that, by the way). The second starter took off great and I made my first loaves of sourdough bread last weekend. It tasted great and was a big hit with my family. I still can't believe I can make my own sourdough bread at home! I'm getting ready to make a couple more loaves today because the two loaves I made last weekend is almost gone. Thanks again, Greg
Hi Linda!
I just wanted to let you know that I received your starter ingredient last Monday and had my first loaf of sourdough bread on Thursday.
Tomorrow I will make up another couple of loafs so I'll be sure and get my "Sponge " going tonight.
I currently still own a home in Sacramento California where you can go to almost "any" grocery store and buy outstanding sourdough bread. My wife and I are now spending about half of our time here in Mineral Wells TX helping to run the "Family" business. Here they don't even know what decent "Bakery Bread" is let alone what "SourDough" bread is. We find that the only way we can get real good bread is to go into Ft. Worth every couple of weeks and go to Central Market . I'm thinking that once I get the "hang" of this we will feel a lot more "at home" here in Texas.  At this point I even have enough "starter" that I will give a jar to my sister for a Christmas gift!  Many Thanks! So far I'm lovin it! 

Hi Linda,
My family and I have enjoyed our new project in bread making. I made our first loaves over the Thanksgiving holiday. Fabulous taste, excellent crust & texture.

Hey Linda!
Whoo hoo!!!! My starter is now up and running and today we had our first loaf…..Oh my goodness! Best sourdough starter I’ve ever tasted and I’ve had several in years past. I watched my guys (56, 25 and 18) demolish a loaf in less than 15 min. I definitely learned that cooking just one loaf at a time will never work.
Hello Linda:

I am loving the S.D culture more and more...it has become a family!..with the name "Sylvie Sourdough" Sylvie for short! No-one can believe the amazing creations that she makes! Thank you for your wonderfully informative website and also the personal touch that really sets you apart!

Linda,

It is such a pleasure to do business (even though I realize it was a small order) with someone as professional as you. Everything from the organized fashion of your responses, your shipping info that was right on and especially the true beauty and quality of the drill bit holder.

Thank you again for your wonderful attention to detail.

Dear Linda,
After a month of making nothing but glue instead of starter on my own, I broke down and ordered yours. I just cut my first loaf of sourdough bread from your recipe. The loaf was almost too pretty to cut. My daughter said it was the best bread she has ever tasted. Your secret for making the crust thick and chewy was soooo worth the effort. Thank you very much for the great sourdough starter. It was easy to do and your instruction manual covered my every question! I hope to keep "Edgar Sourdough" alive and well for many more loafs to come.
Karen P.S. - We call it "Edgar bread" because if my husband or sons hear sour anything they run in the other direction. Guess what is their new favorite bread? That's right - Edgar bread. KEM

Instead of butter in the pan, we used the bacon grease. If you haven't tried that, give it a try, we really like the taste, just enough bacon grease to keep the flapjacks from sticking.

I doubt if you need anyone giving you a great recommendation, but if you do, you can use our name!!!

Ms. Wilbourne,

Thanks for your e-mail. We did make our starter, and last Wednesday we made the sourdough flapjacks. They were great! I don't know what it is about them but I love them. We are going to make flapjacks for lunch tomorrow, and I know I won't forget to take the sourdough out of the frig. tonight. We have another family that will join us for lunch. Thanks again.

Roy Davis

You have the best starter! I have one that I have managed to keep alive for 2 years or so! I like to gift the starter fresh from you to my special friends- the ones I know will make an effort to keep going.

Your store is one of my favs!

Debbie

Hi Linda!

First off, I've gone ahead & left you some well-deserved positive feedback already, although there wasn't enough room to say all the added nice things I wanted to include! And thank you so much for your detailed instructions as they came in handy & helped immensely at every step of the procedure!

WOW! What an adventure I've had this past few days! You know I haven't been this attentive or doting to anything or anyone other than my son when he was a baby & a youngster or my poor kitties when they were ill over the years (luckily hubby never gets sick)!!! Anyway, after I added the extra half cup of water as mentioned below, I stirred it all up & covered it & left it on the counter . . . Even after about 20 hours, when I checked it there were NO BUBBLES at all plus lots of hooch AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CONTAINER, which I've never seen happen before! I really thought I'd done something awful to it, but couldn't come up with anything! I'd followed your instructions to a T & even used bottled Evian water (our own tap water is very hard & Evian was the only one at the store that said 'spring' water) plus I even bought a few small bags of Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour too just to make sure I was using only the best unadulterated ingredients . . . Well, I was going to stop right there after finding no activity in the starter & give up, but thought I might as well just proceed & see what happens . . . So I stirred it up & left it for another hour or two & when I came back, there were about a half dozen bubbles -- So I just continued on with your instructions, reducing the starter & feeding it with my 'special' flour & water so that by the end of the 72 hours I had the MOST INCREDIBLE frothy, bubbling MASS of sourdough you could ever possibly come across!!! You could SEE that it was alive, vigorous & just itching to become SOMETHING! By the time I should have been using more good flour & water for the actual bread, I was all out so I had to use my regular bread flour & regular tap water, but it all turned out just fine . . . The first sour dough was just about the most silky, soft thing I've ever come across & felt so wonderful to knead & form into a loaf . . . I could not believe how much the dough rose being such a simple mixture, each & every time too!! I've never seen that in a sourdough recipe, so it was such a divine pleasure to work with it! And the bread itself has such a PURE flavour with just a hint of tartness! I can't tell you what a thrill it has been to work with this starter right through to a finished product that is so PERFECT in its simplicity . . . I'm just in total awe & can't wait to make some more! Hubby might not be quite so enamoured as my 'hobby' kinda took over everything for the last few days -- I could barely think or talk of anything else plus I had flour, water, instructions, bowls, measuring tools & stirrers all over the place -- & lots of goo going down the drain too! Towards the end, I just couldn't throw any more out so I DID use it in other bread recipes that also use small amounts of commercial yeast -- Everything turned out fantastically, but there was nowhere near the joy as what came with that first real, uncontaminated SOURDOUGH LOAF -- & nothing else tastes that good either! . . . The only really strange thing after I got going was that within about an hour or so of any reduction in the starter mixture & then feeding it, any hooch that formed was at the bottom of the container, not on the top -- even my refrigerator stash is like that . . . My other starters have always formed hooch on top, so this is quite unusual . . . & within an hour or two of stirring it all up, it still does the same thing! Ever heard of this before? I'm sure it doesn't matter at all, but thought it was worth mentioning anyway!

Well, right now I've got enough bread & buns for a month or more as there's only hubby & I here to gobble it up . . . I'm actually not supposed to have it at all as I break out in fat almost immediately! And most of the neighbours are all on some kind of carb avoidance programs these days, so my freezer will be filling up quickly! Anyway, I thought I'd express my sincere gratitude for your superb product! It's been an absolute delight to meet & work with you! Should I come across any difficulties, I'll be sure to get in touch as I KNOW you'll have the answer!

Sincerely & most gratefully,
Pat

Hi Linda:

The S. F. Sourdough starter arrived intact last Tuesday (11th). I started making it up early Thursday morning and everything went really well. Your directions are clear & concise and easy to follow. I have made bread many times in the past and even experimented with regular sourdough (the kind passed from a friend) and always found it difficult to work with. I was ecstatic to find that the San Fran S. D was totally cooperative and so very easy to work with. We have all just enjoyed the fruits of my labour of love(!) and the finished product has far surpassed my expectations in every way!

Thank you so much for marketing such a fabulous product!

Sincerely,
Clare McQuaid

Hi Linda,

It's almost midnight my time but I had to write to thank you for the starter. I just baked my first loaf in 10 years - it took a several hours longer than I anticipated in my 68 degree kitchen but it was worth the wait. I followed your instructions to the letter and the bread is superb! My wife and I ate 3/4 of a small loaf in one sitting at 11:30 pm - and neither of us
eat bread regularly anymore.

I've tried other starters and none have worked; either they didn't rise properly or the flavour was just sour (like bad milk) and not appealing at all. Yours is the real deal; the loaves rose beautiful, the bread was moist and chewy and light all at the same time and the flavour was classic San Francisco delicious. Oh yes, and this crust was thick and crisp, thanks to
your steaming instructions. I honestly could sell these loaves if I wanted!

Thanks so much,
Peter

Hi Linda, Thanks for the refund for shipping charges that I paid that you didn't use...I am so pleased at my progress in bead making since I received my sourdough starter from you a few months ago. I had tried to make it from instructions found on the net but I guess my area just doesn't have the right bugs, anyway your starter is powerful stuff it made bread after two days and is still doing it...I think your lecture on feeding and your starter made the difference...Big THANK YOU.
Roger

I followed your excellent instructions and for the last two weeks I have been in bread heaven with a new loaf every 2 days.

I found your starter when I did a web search because Walmart quit carrying sourdough bread machine mix. Using your starter I get a much better bread and its much cheaper than buying the packaged mixes. Thank you, Dave Kysar

I'll let you know if things go awry. Your customers are right - you rock at c.s.

thanks - Marian

Hi Linda,

I received the Starter promptly, thanks.

I've had my own starter for six months, cultured from a fantastic local flour. Since then I haven't bought any commercial bread products... until a recent trip to Los Angeles where I tried a number of wild yeast breads.

That's what inspired me to order your San Francisco Starter. I've been baking with it for a week and it's great. It's got a better taste and smell than mine but otherwise they have the same leavening and baking properties.

Last night I dumped my old starter and will continue with yours.

Regards,
Barry

Just to let you know I received the starter as you have promised and have been making each week thereafter. Each week is a new adventure and I am getting better with experience. For me I have found a hotter oven produces a better loaf. Your recommendation to add a little whole wheat or some rye adds a great taste. Thanks for the help. Now I need to go on a diet because we eat more bread than before.

Oh my goodness, I love my new knife. It cuts so good!! Thank you sooo much!! I is perfect for both my sourdough bread and our daily wheat bread that I make.

Hello Linda!

I have been so thrilled with your starter and various items that I have purchased from you! Thank you! Many years ago I had used another starter and did not have as good of results as I have had with yours. It took a long time for rises and was so sour that my children stopped eating my bread! This does not do a mother's heart good to have her kids not like her bread! So.........recently reading things on your website, I decided to give sourdough another try. I'm so happy that I did! Your starter works beautifully and I don't have to let it rise all day to get a beautiful loaf, just about an hour and a half! The best part is that my kids (I have 6!) LOVE this sourdough!

I've been using your tomato slicer knife to slash my loaves with great ease and have been experimenting with baking my loaves in a cast iron Dutch oven inside my oven. Such incredible crust!

My latest experiment is making up a large batch of dough and placing it in the fridge to pull a hunk out as needed during the week. I made my first loaf from it this morning and although it takes it a long time to come to room temperature and rise, it did work well and I think will serve to help me cut down on the time needed to make bread during the week.

I've also loved the bread knife, rising buckets, and towels!

Thanks ever so much and God Bless you!
Barbara B.
Sherman, TX

I was amazed to receive the starter already today after ordering it Saturday afternoon. Will begin it today and hope to have my first loaf next weekend! Thank you for the fast service!

Hi Linda

Just to let you know we had our first loaf of Sourdough tonight. SCRUMPTIOUS! Delicious, Tasty, and the crust came out just like I was hoping for and well, thanks so much. Having grown up in San Francisco and eating sourdough my entire life, this was a close as I could get to my memories. No other times I’ve tried making sourdough came out this well.

Again, thanks

Richard

My order arrived on Monday and the starter is now "bubbling" away.

Thank you so much for the quality products, the personal attention you gave to my order, and the very prompt shipping.
Thanks,
Martha

Linda

Thank you so much, that was a pleasant surprise to find a business with your character and ethics. I shall definitely order from you again.

Richard

Hey, Linda!

Is there anywhere you have where feedback can be left? I just want
more people to know that you ROCK!

Thank you so much

Annette Swear

Hi Linda,
My sourdough dough that I kept in fridge overnight was amazing, thank you! I made them and put some clam chowder in the bowls for friends and it was yums abound, ha! Honestly it was the best sourdough I had ever had....the crust was delicious as well. Also, I just wanted to let you know that you may want to tell people to avoid their bulb housing when spraying oven because mine shattered, but not in bread. It's common sense I guess, but I wasn't thinking about it when I sprayed so you may just want to add an FYI in instructions :)
Thanks!
Jon

Hi Linda,
I wanted to thank you for prompt shipment of my starter and instructions! I got them within 5 days! I also see your a Alton Brown fan, as am I :) I am activating now and look forward to making bread soon!

I just wanted you to know how excited I am about your product & website. My grandfather was a rancher in Nevada & Idaho who had his own starter for decades. Unfortunately my mom never picked it up and the starter was lost over the years. I can still remember his sourdough pancakes from when I was little--I hope mine are at least half as good!

Thank you for providing this product & support, and for the excellent customer service.
Below is a copy of a post that I uploaded to the following website:   http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=145#comment-1306 It is filed under Misc. Bread Questions.  "After purchasing your book in March and making bread every other day I realized that my bread knife was not able to cut through the crunchy crust. I did some research online and a found a fabulous, inexpensive bread knife along with a wonderful tomato knife. I have since purchased 2 bread knives and 3 tomato knives. I thought I would share this website with your readers. http://www.sourdoughbreads.com/"

Thanks again,
Barbara Runkel

Linda,

It took awhile since my first order many months ago, but I have made a couple loaves of bread from my second order of starter from you. The bread turned out magnificent.

Friends said it was "best since I moved here from Ireland," and "Perhaps the best bread I have ever tasted." And a close relative who never says many nice things said, "Pretty Good, where did you buy it?"

Anyway, it came very close to tasting like the real stuff when I lived in California near Oregon. Just a nice FYI,  Richard

Linda:
Since I last wrote you, I think I have somewhat mastered my weekly sourdough project, as the size and quality seem to peak each Saturday!
The note below was the result of a conversation that took place at a local health supermarket this past hour. I was purchasing items for an attempt at Squaw Bread and the customer behind be asked what I was making – she had a loaf of Sourdough in her hand. Long story short, I mentioned that I have nailed making my own SD and my “starter” has been living in my fridge for over 9 months. She told me she has attempted numerous times, but failed to do the same.

At that point, I spoke up about your product, the support I received, and the simple maintenance that is required once the stash is in the fridge… I think the deal breaker was me describing the recipe from Susy on waffles, which I made this week (yummy). Anyway, she wanted the info and gave me her e-mail address so I could send her info… I sent her the info below knowing that she’ll be joining your “family” of satisfied customers that includes myself!
Have a great weekend!

Jennifer:
It was a pleasure chatting with you at Henry’s Market today. The sourdough starter I began with 9 months ago and still use every weekend is from San Francisco Sourdough Bread company. You can order some starter at http://www.sourdoughbreads.com for only $9.99. While on the site, read through the “Instruction Booklet” link, as it is the same instructions that come with the kit and will explain in detail the entire process, along with the basic instruction on making bread. Also check out the FAQ and other recipe’s – I made waffles on Tuesday!

Be patient, as it will take a few days to get the first batch of starter – follow the guide and you’ll be set. As I said, I have become an expert in a short time, but was blown away that the owner responds to ANY questions you pose to her via e-mail. This helped, as I now make killer bread each weekend that rivals the local favorite at Tom’s Farms! The owner is Linda Wilbourne and she’ll provide support once purchased quickly at Linda@sourdoughbreads.com usually within 24 hours… That said, this kit was given to me as a gift from a friend in the bay area who knew I loved bread and I have no vested or monetary gain with this company, other that a great hobby of mine as a single parent raising 2 kids on my own for 12+ years ?
Let me know if you have any questions – I’ll be happy to respond. Have a great weekend.

Dear Linda,
Please quote me on the following message. I had neglected my starter for a couple of months and decided it was time to start over. I contacted Linda and she told me how to revive it. She was Great... it worked perfect... and here is the finished product after the first revival! Hope the picture tells the story. Thanks so much Linda, Jeff

Hi Linda,

The starter and knife arrived in record time. Love the knife--just in time for home-grown tomatoes.

And the starter! I got it going yesterday afternoon, saw lots of bubbles, and fed it again this morning. It's taking off like gangbusters! Can't wait to bake the first loaf!

Thanks for your great directions and great service!

Cheers,

Cornelia

I'm very thankful you still have everything available. I've had greater success with my baking ever since my first order.

Thanks again,
Carol

Thanks for all your support and your wonderful products and starter!

Blessings,
Bonnie

I made my first loaf of sourdough bread this weekend and I am very proud of myself, it was absolutely delicious!!!! Thanks for having your website and offering these products!!!

Kara

My pleasure - your products are the best I've used bar none, particularly the sourdough critters - thank you!

Jenny

Hi Linda,
I received the bread knife yesterday. It is amazing! Cuts through the crust of my homemade artisan bread without any effort.

Wow!!! I have had the best time with the sourdough starter I bought from you. After 72 hours I put it in the refrigerator and just today about 4 days later worked with it to make four small loaves of bread, WOW they are beautiful about to cut it 30 minutes from now and I am sure it is glorious. I also ordered the things I now know I need... more later.
I am a fan and will send others your way.


You may want to refer this idea to your design engineer friend so he can disect it scientifically and hopefully confirm my theory. When looking at your sourdough recipes for both the mixer method and the bread machine recipe, I noticed that they were remarkably similar. No big surprise there. Mr Wagner went through a great deal of experimentation to shorten the time on your bread machine recipe. Here is what I did. I took 1/2 cup of starter and fed it with 1 cup bread flour and 1 cup water before I went to bed. In the morning, I put the sponge in my bread machine, and since I had already added a full cup of water, I added 1 cup flour and the fruit fresh. I set my machine on the dough cycle and let it do it's thing. I left the dough alone for the 5 hours as Joe recommended. Then I disolved 2-3 tsp (not really measured except by hand) in 1/4 cup hot water. I added this to the dough with 2 cups bread flour, and did the dough cycle thing again. This time I let the dough rise until it was about 1/2 inch above the pan as Joe recommended, took about 3 hours. My machine has a bake cycle so I used that for 1 hour 20 minutes. I assume you could take the dough out after the kneading portion and put it in whatever form you wish to let it rise. My bread came out so crusty on the outside and aireated on the inside that you would write your kids out of your will if they cut off the end before you could get it. So. please pass this on to the engineer and let him compare it to his results and see if it is viable. As a disclaimer, I am new at this, and do not have enough knowledge to judge my results fairly. Dennis Griffin

Linda,

I'm glad to come back with a product as reliable as yours! My starter had to be sacrificed when I was remodeling our house and living in one temporary place after another. I'd been given another starter as a gift from someone, but it never performed as well as yours did, so I decided to come back to the proven success. I'm looking forward to making my own bread again!

 

Hello Linda,

Just to let you know that I just ordered your sour dough starter. Several weeks ago, prior to finding your site, I ordered some sour dough starter from someone else. I followed the very minimal instructions (about 3 sentences at best) for the starter. I thought it worked but was never sure. I emailed them for some help/advice and they never replied. I tried to make my first loaves today. I mixed the starter with flour & water last night. It kind of looked like it worked this morning as there were some bubbles in the mixture. I went ahead and added more flour, salt and sugar and mixed. Covered and set in warm spot for 2.5 hours. The mixture did not rise. Flat as a pancake. I think the starter was dead or close to it from the beginning. Am throwing out as the starter in the jar as it is just taking space in my fridge right now.I am already impressed with you and your service (never did hear from Y... H...).


Hi Linda –
I ordered sourdough starter and a package of goodies from you several weeks ago. I love everything, and the instructions were really helpful in telling me what to expect. The bread turned out great, and I have been using the starter for biscuits and pancakes also. I have made sourdough cornbread from scratch with a Food Network recipe, and it is very good. But I am going to try the pancakes and biscuits from a mix suggestions that you have on your website.

we are LOVING the bread, everyone is so impressed that’s its actually like “sourdough”!! ha! (my other starter called itself sourdough, but it was really more of a Hawaiian bread but not so sweet….)


I used to work in Sunnyvale, CA right near the Boudin Sourdough Factory. I'd go there for lunch and watch the factory floor through the glass windows in the cafe, where they served sandwiches on their sourdough. The bread I made with your starter is exactly like I remember that great bread. The thing I like best about this bread is that the ingredient list is so short. Jeff

Oh one other note for those who don't like to waste. I keep the leftover egg wash in a bowl in the fridge covered with plastic wrap. The next morning, I zap it in the microwave for about 30-35 seconds. Ultra fast scrambled egg. Then I place it on a piece of the fresh sourdough with chunks of tomato and basil, and salt and pepper to taste. MMMMMMMMMMM. Jeff


Wow!!! Best bread I've ever baked. Thank you so much for your support and instructions. I shared half the loaf with my editor and my family loves it, too. Stash is asleep in frig. I'm enclosing a photo. Best, Judy

Thanks….I am having fun actually….its a “simple” starter which I appreciate…my last one was water, flour and potato flakes…..but I lost the starter over the years, and I can’t get the new one to stay alive more than one feeding….it starts with yeast and I buy new yeast each time….so I know its not that….. my friend asked me to start one from the LA Times column…. OH MY GOSH was it a pain….. and it was horribly particular….. so it got tossed out the window after two weeks….and I had to read, reread, reread etc. just to figure out where I was….then I had to track each step, mark the date and time etc….. forget it!

So I am enjoying your starter, and happy to see that I didn’t kill it the first try! Hahahahaha ?

Thanks for all your guidance….I DO APPRECIATE it!

Bonnie

I have been baking bread using the starter I bought from you for about 4 years now. My family absolutely loves it and my neighbors love when I double or triple the loaves and need to share. Your love of the craft and customer service is unmatched. Thank you.

I am very happy with the results I am seeing. Training the starter for 3 days was key I think. I had tried another starter without the 3 day feeding and reduction routine and the starter ultimately died. My first loaves were terrific and my second attempt is shaping up (literally) to be another success. Thanks. Kirk

Hi Linda:

First of all it is so refreshing to have such personalized service. I am really glad I found you online. The Banneton that I bought last time is wonderful and now my daughter says she would like a weekly loaf, as well. I also decided to invest in some really good French butter to go with my sourdough bread and your butter keeper was just the ticket. All the best, Nancy

Dear Linda ~ what a pleasant surprise to receive a personal note. An unusual occurence these days when placing orders over the internet. I was chatting with my daughter earlier today and she asked that I send her or bring her on our next trip East my sourdough starter. I checked out the internet and was impressed with your site and decided to do her one better and order a starter from you ~ kind of a Valentine’s gift. If you have a chance while packaging it write a “Happy Valentine’s Day from Dad” on it.
Thanks again for such great service!
Mike

Hi Linda,

Check out my latest work! Your starter is bold, to say the least. Your starter actually blew the top off my culture jar. Below is a sequence of pictures showing what happened. I've still got some work to do on getting the crust to "crack" open better. This loaf is simply awesome. It is getting consumed at a rapid pace. Thank you so much for your help. The proof is no longer in the pudding, it's in the sourdough! Catch up with you later.

Marc G

New bread makin’ guy here! Your website is refreshingly down to earth, straightforward, almost but not quite “down home”. Thanks so much for that. I haven’t bought yet, but will become a customer soon.

Thanks again,
D in Pensacola, Fl


Hi Linda...Thanks to you I am baking awesome sourdough bread every single week. Susan K.

Linda,

Your responsive service and assistance will bring me back to SourdoughBreads.com the next time I need bread baking supplies.

cheers,
Loriee


Hi Linda,
The new starter is doing well, I now have a feeding schedule on the fridge door so I don"t starve the little beasties again.

I'm getting pretty good with the final rest and shaping routine, the straight wall rise bucket is a great tool along with being gentle with the final shape. Punch down doesn't mean hammer it.

Offering great home made bread is quite special. I've actually been accused of substituting store bought artisan fare as it couldn't be so that I made it. Thanks for the help. All the best to you and yours. Peace.


I have been meaning to get back to you since I got your email (below). Thanks so much for the refund. I sure appreciate it.

I have made literally 'hundreds' of loaves of bread since the first of October. There certainly is a learning curve as one of your articles stated -- my bread is getting better with each batch. I don't have a stand mixer with a dough hook so tried my Cuisinart and my bread machine -- the bread taste was great but quite coarse - can you knead this stuff too much??. Soooo, I decided to start doing it by hand -- it really isn't that bad of a job (and I am making 4x batches). Focacia bread is great as is cinnamon bread. And the regular loaves are marvelous. Got all kinds of compliments when I took a large French size loaf that I made into garlic bread to a recent Italian party. A number of CA folks recognized it as SF Sourdough !!! I was surprised (but I haven't lived there and had a steady diet of it). It just tastes plain old good to my hubby and me!!!!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, and Safe New Year!!
Sandy Dunn

I needed one of those fantastic tomato knives for the fifth
wheel, but I ordered two just in case. It is the most fantastic knife I
have ever used. We have searched countless kitchenware stores for a
good tomato knife, but have never found one that comes even CLOSE to the one you so graciously gave to me. I must disagree with your description of it though -- I use it for many other purposes in addition to slicing tomatoes, which it does amazingly; and every time I use it, I think of you. I am now eating a lot of salad, which requires the use of the
knife for tomatoes, but I use it to slice chicken for my salads also. Lamar

Linda,
Thank you for your reply. In a day and age where so many business don't deliver what they say they will it is a joy to find one that does, and more!!

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and yours; Dave
P.S. I have already had a request for the sourdough pancakes! Thanks again.


Linda;
I just want to take a minute and tell you how much my wife and I are enjoying our sourdough bread. I love to cook and want to think I'm pretty good at it, but have never baked a single loaf of bread. After reading your instructions the first loaf was great, the second was better, the third is proofing while I'm writing this but I'm sure it will be better yet !! I'm learning the technique !! Pizza crust will be comming soon.
Thank you so much; Dave in Idaho

Dear workshopwidow,

Fantastic results! The starter is certainly 'vigorous', like WOW!!! Family can't get enough of the baked results. Thanks so much. Sharon -mummywoo (starter on Ebay)
We're still lovin' our sourdough. I think we ought to name our "sponge," since it has become a member of the family. We care for it, watch over it, feed it, try to keep it happy, and enjoy the gifts it brings. What a fun addition to our life! Thanks, again, for everything. Traci
Dear Linda, Just a note to let you know that your San Francisco Sourdough yeast is still going strong here in Osoyoos, BC. We've enjoyed many batches of sourdough bread and so have our friends!! Dan P.
Linda, I meant to add that my Mother In Law went bonkers when she opened her early Christmas Gift! Thank you for the personal touch you add to customer service. I feel as though we have been a patron of yours for a long time. You can bet all of our friends and family will know about your website!
Your products arrived in a very very reasonable amount of time, and they are all of high quaility for a great price. I myself am looking forward to sourdough bread for my christmas gift.
Hi Linda. I've been making bread from your starter and it's fantastic!! I'm using the rye flour that was sent from Denmark and the flavor is really great. Valerie

Linda - bought my starter last week & have been having soooo much fun !! the critters arrived lively, bouncing around like jumping beans in their styrene packet. (i have a litter of 7 wk collie pups that aren't that active!)
Started with sourdough breadbowls for soups, which i took to work... got gobbled !! Had sourdough English muffins next, the best !! this weekend will put a roast on rotisserie & make sourdough rye & try sourdough-sour cream white baguettes for football/nascar watching. Have been to San Fran many times, but never had it that fresh & yummy... Just wanted you to know this is fun ! So sorry my children live out of state, can't share the wealth !! thanks again, Barbara

Thank you Linda; we need more online merchants like yourself, Rodney

Linda,
I purchased starter from you about 3 or 4 years ago. I’m still baking and loving it. Mary Margaret


Hi Linda

I have just made the best loaf of bread with (organic) all purpose flour. Everyone loved it. I’m hooked! Thanks for the starter and information.

Cheers
Sue


Linda,

I received the starter, activated it, and made my first loaf of bread yesterday. OUTSTANDING! Thank you for the clarity and precision in your accompanying booklet. Jan

 

Linda,

Thanks for the refund...not sure how it happened, but certainly appreciate your ethics.

I've received my package, and I'm so excited to get started. I love the way you offer the kit...I feel so confident having everything I'll need in one package. Keep up the good work! I'll let you know how things progress.

Impressed and appreciative customer,
Traci
Dear Linda
I recieved your starter about a week and a half ago,and after a day or two of activation I was already impressed with how active your starter was. I made sourdough bread about 20 years ago, from a starter that I started myself. It worked, and made good bread, but it took forever to raise the dough.I baked my first bread with your starter on 10-05-07. The first raise took less than two hours and the dough more than doubled in size. wow! And the bread taste fantastic!
thanks;
Art Borger


Linda,
We just finished eating our first loaf of San Francisco sourdough. It was fantastic!


Linda,

I had a bit of a time reviving the starter as our room temperature was
rather low but I stuck with it and succeeded.

I made my first loaf ever of sourdough today with your starter. It's 3
lb. and 7 oz.. Thought you might like to see the pics.

My wife and the boys love it (me too). Our youngest who just turned 7,
ate 2 pieces of bread and hadn't touched his soup so my wife had to put
her foot down and say no more bread till you eat your soup!

Thanks and best wishes,

Jim K.
Easton, Maine

IF YOU WANT GENUINE SAN FRANCISCO FRENCH BREAD, YOU MUST HAVE THIS STARTER OR GO TO BOUDIN BAKERY. THIS IS A LOT CHEAPER AND FASTER. LARRY L in New Castle, Indiana

Thanks for all your help and support. You are one of the best Internet people I have ever met. Thanks so much ! Mike M., Independence, MO

Dear Linda,
I received your starter 4 days ago. We made our first loaf of Sourdough Bread today and just had our first piece. It was WONDERFUL. Thank you for the great starter and for your very, very easy to follow directions. I could not have done it without you.

Sincerely,
Helene Wagner

Somehow I hope to meet you face to face. In all my 20+ years with a PC, I've never dealt with anyone as efficient, reliable and most of all sweet as you are. I told my wife I've fallen in love on the internet.

You won't believe I just got an email from Boudini wanting me to order, NO Thanks I'll do it my Self....thanks to Linda, you just saved me $30 bucks....thanks


Subject: Happy-Ness

I used to live in the San Francisco Bay area for 20 years and am addicted to the bread. About once a year I would order from Boudin @ about $10 a loaf, but it was a treat and worth it. I got your starter abut 2 weeks ago and my third batch was just as good as my first, as good as Boudin's as a matter of fact. Thanks Mike from Indep, MO

Hi Linda,

Thank you for processing and shipping my fathers order so quickly. He was very surprised to get it so fast.

Thank you!

Karyn


Linda,

Before I tell you about your product, I'd like to tell you something about myself. I'm an Executive Chef and Patissier with more than three-decades experience in Michelin-ranked venues ranging from Nassau and Miami to Manhattan and Moscow. Hence, I have more than my fair share of experience in running and managing the bakeries and pastry shops of many hotels, all of which maintained 55-gallon drums of sourdough starter (which I was necessarily obsessed with feeding each day).

Regarding your product, I say a hearty "Brava"! I have never seen as lively a culture as what you sent and let me assure your readers this is the real thing! In fact, my current restaurant is also a brewery and I took a sample of your starter to our brew master who promptly placed it under his microscope. Even he was impressed with the culture you supplied!

More than that, your companion recipe and technique booklet was excellent, especially for beginners. You did an artful job explaining each step in the process, thus saving your students from having to pour through volumes of expensive and often technical books on bread. My only caveat is that you might want to consider advising the use of Vital Wheat Gluten in the mixing of the dough as this does a remarkable job of strengthening the gluten structures of sour dough, thus providing increased rise while maintaining a free-form shape (and I do think Vitamin C is essential).

What an excellent product you have! Thank you!

Ron Hokanson
Utica, MI


Dear Linds:

E U R E K A!!! I just tasted my first slice of S.F.Sourdough bread made with your starter. It is "out of this world!" Thank you so much. It has just the right "boquet" of sourness and came out looking beautiful too. Thanks again and bye for now - I have to have another slice!!

Tom in Homestead, Florida


Linda,

I got on eBay to try and leave you feedback but I cannot seem to find where I can leave it… I think I bought the starter from you too long ago to leave feedback now, but I’ve activated it and made my first loaf. AMAZING BREAD!! Just like Boudin Bakery’s sourdough bread. Definite sour taste…. LOVE IT! My mom (who is EXTREMELY picky with sourdough as she is from San Francisco) absolutely loves it too! Thanks again for answering my questions so quickly and shipping my starter so fast… great experience!

Ciao~

Angelina


You sent me the starter in February, but I didn't have time to reactivate it until last week. True to your guarantee, it came alive with no problem at all. I will have to say that on the third morning of feeding, I couldn't resist making a loaf with the excess starter that I otherwise would have flushed down the drain. Excellent rise, even with just two days of enlivenment. The starter that was fed for three full days was even more active. Kudos on a good product.

As for putting your site in my favorites, of course I will, but I'll do you one better. You're on the homepage of my website right now (http://ginpetty.com) and in my journal entry for last week, too.

Thank you!

Gin
http://ginpetty.com


Hi Linda,

Today I made my first loaf of bread from your starter. We have around seven bakeries in Eugene and the loaf I baked today is better than any I have tried. Even better than those costing almost $4. It might even come close to what I’ve had in San Francisco.

People at one shop argued about whether I should put the dough directly on the baking stone, or put it on a baking sheet and onto the stone. I followed your directions and it is very good.

Thanks, Wayne


Hi Linda,
First I want to thank you for the speedy shipment of my order. I got it last Friday and enjoyed my new toys over the weekend. The French bread pan is wonderful! My daughter (16 years old) commented that the loaves looked “professional.” I also love the chopper/scraper/dough divider. My daughter is already asking if I can get one for her when she moves out (not for a few years yet, but she likes to think ahead). I found in addition to being great for dividing dough and scraping the counter, it is also marvelous for cutting bar cookies.
I tried your suggestion about putting the dough in the refrigerator. I took out and fed the starter in the morning, made the dough and shaped the loaves that evening and then put it in the fridge. My daughter took the loaves out when she got home from school the next day and I baked them after I got home from work. They were AWESOME! Nice tangy flavor, plus this allows me to make sourdough during the week instead of waiting until the weekend. I am thrilled with the results!! Thanks so much for your advice! Karen Harmon, Iowa


Dear Linda - I made two loaves at the weekend they were excellent! - Thanks for the yeast and all your help - Sally

Still having fun here! Here are two shapes I tried yesterday and today: It is just soooo yummy.

Hi Linda! First of all, I'd like to tell you that I have been using my starter now for 1 1/2 years. I LOVE IT! We use it all the time - for all of our bread, pancakes, waffles, pizza dough, and biscuits. It makes the best bread. I usually make 6 loaves at a time. I don't think my family would ever want to go back to "regular" store bought bread. Cara


Linda,

The bread is absolutely wonderful,, will tell all my friends! thank you!
Lauren

I hope you open this. I am sooooo pleased. Thanks for the great starter.

Thanks for your great directions. This was my first use of the stand mixer as well as my first sourdough bread-making adventure. I doubled your recipe. I used just a "tad" of whole grain kamut flour in this bread, which gives it the color, I think. Those two scrapers were a lifesaver when I started removing the dough from the kitchenaide too. I would have been sticky up to my elbows without them. Thanks again.
Best wishes,

Betty


Hi Linda,
I just got through placing an order for some of your great baking helpers. Before that I had been in your "Reviews" section reading all the wonderful comments from your customers. That's when it occurred to me that I think I forgot to sign my previous message to you. I e-mailed you a message the other day after perusing your website. I'm the one
who's sister, Mary, introduced me to you and, even though I have a tendency to get easily discouraged and I face some interesting baking challenges with a rural Colorado winter, I was thrilled to report fantastic results with my first two loaves of SF sourdough bread (and I
attached a picture of the first one). I took out some starter this morning in preparation for another happy day of baking tomorrow.

I had noticed in some of the messages to you that people were giving you permission to post them on your website. So in case you wanted to include my previous e-mail in your "Reviews" section, by all means, YES! And now you can add my signature!

Thank-you again, Linda! I just wanted you to know that in reading all those reviews, I noticed a "feeling" that came across cyberspace from all the people who write to you...that feeling of being connected with a good friend who's there to help you if you need it and rejoices with you in your successes. Thanks for being that "friend" to so many people!

Warmest regards,
Tricia Kauffman
South Fork, CO

Hi Linda,

I have just spent the last hour navigating your website ~ what a wonderful way to spend my afternoon teatime break! I logged on to look for recipes but first found my way to FAQ's and really enjoyed reading the comments from you and others. I wanted to share with you my excitement about my newfound hobby/passion, thanks to you and my big sister, Mary, who found you first. Like Connie, I also used to grind my own wheat and bake my own bread, but that was years ago. Since moving from California to Colorado, I haven't had the motivation to face the challenges of bread baking here, which include an 8400' elevation, living off the grid on solar power, and heating with only a wood burning stove. Also, I have a tendency to get easily discouraged when I try something new and it fails. But my sister in Atlanta, Georgia encouraged me to try my hand at this. With winter temps in the sub-zero range, our house gets down to the 50's at night, so I was skeptical about trying this now. But I just couldn't wait, so I went for it! I just got up in the middle of the night to stoke the fire during the first 72 hours to keep that optimal temperature for my yeasty babies and followed your great directions. When it came time to bake my first bread, I had to give myself a mini counseling session which went something like, "It's OK if it doesn't turn out perfect...in fact, even if it's a disaster, don't get discouraged. Just try again. And even if you bomb on the first 10 tries, don't give up - you'll eventually be successful if you just KEEP TRYING!" So, bracing myself for failure, I proceeded with the step-by-step instructions. And guess what? My very first loaf, a free-form round, was so beautiful I had to take a picture of it! But my little nay-sayer voice was telling me that yeah, it may look pretty, but will it taste good? Well, Linda, it was not only good, it was absolutely delicious! My husband, son and I had warm slices with butter for an evening snack and then finished off the rest of the loaf grilling it on the stove for breakfast the next morning. I couldn't wait to make my next loaf, so I made another the next day. I didn't think it could turn out any better than the first one, but it did! I'm sure it was the vitamin C I added to the second one, which was listed as an optional ingredient in the instructions - it really did enhance the rise. Two successes in a row - I'm stoked!! Now I'm so excited about experimenting with new shapes and added ingredients. And my friends are all standing in line to get a loaf as a gift - and I'm thrilled to be able to give them something so wonderfully wholesome and delicious, that I made myself! Thank-you, Linda, for being there for my sister to discover you and in turn, for providing me with a great gift - a passion for San Franscisco Sourdough!

Dear Linda,
I appreciate you, your website, your detailed instructions, conscientious customer service..and your unlimited tech support !!! I'll continue to be a faithful patron, and I'll spread the word about you to all willing to have a sourdough critter colony in order to enjoy the BEST bread !!!
Blessings,
Sandy Amoroso
Mechanicsburg, PA


Made my third batch, and this was by far my best loaves! Beautiful browned tops, wonderful sour dough with great irregular holes in it. I'm in heaven with my sourdough!


Hi, Linda!

I’ve been taking some terrible liberties with the starter, and the results get better and better. All recorded (almost) as it happens on the page you’ve looked at before.

Thanks so much for getting me ‘started’ on this. I’m having a lot of fun and the friends I give loaves to are very positive.

Regards – Paul

See Paul's Sourdough Adventure Journal at
http://www.paul-marsden.com/professionals/cms/sites/site197/page.php4?page=198


Linda,
This was my 3rd batch of sourdough. I used enough flour and starter to make a 2-lb. loaf, using 1/2 cup semolina, and 1 cup a/p, the rest bread flour, with fruit fresh. I proofed it in the fridge overnight, and baked this a.m. This is magnificent in flavor. The crust is chewy and crisp, and the interior is fluffy with large holes. I couldn't be more pleased. It's grand. Thanks for the help !
Sandy Amoroso

Linda,
Thank you so much for your very informative tips on sour dough starters. I am new to sourdough baking, but have baked my own bread for many years. Your site offered me invaluable information. My first loaf turned out like you wouldn't believe! Can't wait to try my hand at another one today!!
Sincerely,
Susan K

Dear Linda,
I received your starter 4 days ago. We made our first loaf of Sourdough Bread today and just had our first piece. It was WONDERFUL. Thank you for the great starter and for your very, very easy to follow directions. I could not have done it without you.

Sincerely,
Helene W

Somehow I hope to meet you face to face. In all my 20+ years with a PC, I've never dealt with anyone as efficient, reliable and most of all sweet as you are. I told my wife I've fallen in love on the internet.

You won't believe I just got an email from Boudini wanting me to order, NO Thanks I'll do it my Self....thanks to Linda, you just saved me $30 bucks....thanks


Subject: Happy-Ness

I used to live in the San Francisco Bay area for 20 years and am addicted to the bread. About once a year I would order from Boudin @ about $10 a loaf, but it was a treat and worth it. I got your starter abut 2 weeks ago and my third batch was just as good as my first, as good as Boudin's as a matter of fact. Thanks Mike from Indep, MO

Hi Linda,

Thank you for processing and shipping my father's order so quickly. He was very surprised to get it so fast.

Thank you!

Karyn


Linda,

Before I tell you about your product, I'd like to tell you something about myself. I'm an Executive Chef and Patissier with more than three-decades experience in Michelin-ranked venues ranging from Nassau and Miami to Manhattan and Moscow. Hence, I have more than my fair share of experience in running and managing the bakeries and pastry shops of many hotels, all of which maintained 55-gallon drums of sourdough starter (which I was necessarily obsessed with feeding each day).

Regarding your product, I say a hearty "Brava"! I have never seen as lively a culture as what you sent and let me assure your readers this is the real thing! In fact, my current restaurant is also a brewery and I took a sample of your starter to our brew master who promptly placed it under his microscope. Even he was impressed with the culture you supplied!

More than that, your companion recipe and technique booklet was excellent, especially for beginners. You did an artful job explaining each step in the process, thus saving your students from having to pore through volumes of expensive and often technical books on bread. My only caveat is that you might want to consider advising the use of Vital Wheat Gluten in the mixing of the dough as this does a remarkable job of strengthening the gluten structures of sour dough, thus providing increased rise while maintaining a free-form shape (and I do think Vitamin C is essential).

What an excellent product you have! Thank you!

Ron Hokanson
Utica, MI


Dear Linds:

E U R E K A!!! I just tasted my first slice of S.F.Sourdough bread made with your starter. It is "out of this world!" Thank you so much. It has just the right "boquet" of sourness and came out looking beautiful too. Thanks again and bye for now - I have to have another slice!!

Tom in Homestead, Florida


Linda,

I got on eBay to try and leave you feedback but I cannot seem to find where I can leave it… I think I bought the starter from you too long ago to leave feedback now, but I’ve activated it and made my first loaf. AMAZING BREAD!! Just like Boudin Bakery’s sourdough bread. Definite sour taste…. LOVE IT! My mom (who is EXTREMELY picky with sourdough as she is from San Francisco) absolutely loves it too! Thanks again for answering my questions so quickly and shipping my starter so fast… great experience!

Ciao~

Angelina


You sent me the starter in February, but I didn't have time to reactivate it until last week. True to your guarantee, it came alive with no problem at all. I will have to say that on the third morning of feeding, I couldn't resist making a loaf with the excess starter that I otherwise would have flushed down the drain. Excellent rise, even with just two days of enlivenment. The starter that was fed for three full days was even more active. Kudos on a good product.

As for putting your site in my favorites, of course I will, but I'll do you one better. You're on the homepage of my website right now (http://ginpetty.com) and in my journal entry for last week, too.

Thank you!

Gin
http://ginpetty.com


Hi Linda,

Today I made my first loaf of bread from your starter. We have around seven bakeries in Eugene and the loaf I baked today is better than any I have tried. Even better than those costing almost $4. It might even come close to what I’ve had in San Francisco.

People at one shop argued about whether I should put the dough directly on the baking stone, or put it on a baking sheet and onto the stone. I followed your directions and it is very good.

Thanks, Wayne


Hi Linda,
First I want to thank you for the speedy shipment of my order. I got it last Friday and enjoyed my new toys over the weekend. The French bread pan is wonderful! My daughter (16 years old) commented that the loaves looked “professional.” I also love the chopper/scraper/dough divider. My daughter is already asking if I can get one for her when she moves out (not for a few years yet, but she likes to think ahead). I found in addition to being great for dividing dough and scraping the counter, it is also marvelous for cutting bar cookies.
I tried your suggestion about putting the dough in the refrigerator. I took out and fed the starter in the morning, made the dough and shaped the loaves that evening and then put it in the fridge. My daughter took the loaves out when she got home from school the next day and I baked them after I got home from work. They were AWESOME! Nice tangy flavor, plus this allows me to make sourdough during the week instead of waiting until the weekend. I am thrilled with the results!! Thanks so much for your advice! Karen Harmon, Iowa


Dear Linda - I made two loaves at the weekend they were excellent! - Thanks for the yeast and all your help - Sally


Still having fun here! Here are two shapes I tried yesterday and today: It is just soooo yummy.

Hi Linda! First of all, I'd like to tell you that I have been using my starter now for 1 1/2 years. I LOVE IT! We use it all the time - for all of our bread, pancakes, waffles, pizza dough, and biscuits. It makes the best bread. I usually make 6 loaves at a time. I don't think my family would ever want to go back to "regular" store bought bread. Cara


Linda,

The bread is absolutely wonderful, will tell all my friends! thank you!
Lauren

I hope you open this. I am sooooo pleased. Here are my first babies. Thanks for the great starter.

Thanks for your great directions. This was my first use of the stand mixer as well as my first sourdough bread-making adventure. As you can see, I doubled your recipe. I used just a "tad" of whole grain kamut flour in this bread, which gives it the color, I think. Those two scrapers were a lifesaver when I started removing the dough from the kitchenaide too. I would have been sticky up to my elbows without them. Thanks again.
Best wishes,

Betty


Hi Linda,
I just got through placing an order for some of your great baking
helpers. Before that I had been in your "Reviews" section reading all
the wonderful comments from your customers. That's when it occurred to me that I think I forgot to sign my previous message to you. I e-mailed
you a message the other day after perusing your website. I'm the one
who's sister, Mary, introduced me to you and, even though I have a
tendency to get easily discouraged and I face some interesting baking
challenges with a rural Colorado winter, I was thrilled to report
fantastic results with my first two loaves of SF sourdough bread (and I
attached a picture of the first one). I took out some starter this
morning in preparation for another happy day of baking tomorrow.

I had noticed in some of the messages to you that people were giving you
permission to post them on your website. So in case you wanted to
include my previous e-mail in your "Reviews" section, by all means,
YES! And now you can add my signature!

Thank-you again, Linda! I just wanted you to know that in reading all
those reviews, I noticed a "feeling" that came across cyberspace from
all the people who write to you...that feeling of being connected with a
good friend who's there to help you if you need it and rejoices with you
in your successes. Thanks for being that "friend" to so many people!

Warmest regards,
Tricia Kauffman
South Fork, CO

Hi Linda,

I have just spent the last hour navigating your website ~ what a wonderful way to spend my afternoon teatime break! I logged on to look for recipes but first found my way to FAQ's and really enjoyed reading the comments from you and others. I wanted to share with you my excitement about my newfound hobby/passion, thanks to you and my big sister, Mary, who found you first. Like Connie, I also used to grind my own wheat and bake my own bread, but that was years ago. Since moving from California to Colorado, I haven't had the motivation to face the challenges of bread baking here, which include an 8400' elevation, living off the grid on solar power, and heating with only a wood burning stove. Also, I have a tendency to get easily discouraged when I try something new and it fails. But my sister in Atlanta, Georgia encouraged me to try my hand at this. With winter temps in the sub-zero range, our house gets down to the 50's at night, so I was skeptical about trying this now. But I just couldn't wait, so I went for it! I just got up in the middle of the night to stoke the fire during the first 72 hours to keep that optimal temperature for my yeasty babies and followed your great directions. When it came time to bake my first bread, I had to give myself a mini counseling session which went something like, "It's OK if it doesn't turn out perfect...in fact, even if it's a disaster, don't get discouraged. Just try again. And even if you bomb on the first 10 tries, don't give up - you'll eventually be successful if you just KEEP TRYING!" So, bracing myself for failure, I proceeded with the step-by-step instructions. And guess what? My very first loaf, a free-form round, was so beautiful I had to take a picture of it! But my little nay-sayer voice was telling me that yeah, it may look pretty, but will it taste good? Well, Linda, it was not only good, it was absolutely delicious! My husband, son and I had warm slices with butter for an evening snack and then finished off the rest of the loaf grilling it on the stove for breakfast the next morning. I couldn't wait to make my next loaf, so I made another the next day. I didn't think it could turn out any better than the first one, but it did! I'm sure it was the vitamin C I added to the second one, which was listed as an optional ingredient in the instructions - it really did enhance the rise. Two successes in a row - I'm stoked!! Now I'm so excited about experimenting with new shapes and added ingredients. And my friends are all standing in line to get a loaf as a gift - and I'm thrilled to be able to give them something so wonderfully wholesome and delicious, that I made myself! Thank-you, Linda, for being there for my sister to discover you and in turn, for providing me with a great gift - a passion for San Franscisco Sourdough!

P.S. I've attached the picture I took of my very first loaf of SF Sourdough bread. I didn't think of it till after I had sliced some, but I just had to capture it for posterity!
Dear Linda,
I appreciate you, your website, your detailed instructions, conscientious customer service..and your unlimited tech support !!! I'll continue to be a faithful patron, and I'll spread the word about you to all willing to have a sourdough critter colony in order to enjoy the BEST bread !!!
Blessings,
Sandy Amoroso
Mechanicsburg, PA


Made my third batch, and this was by far my best loaves! Beautiful browned tops, wonderful sour dough with great irregular holes in it. I'm in heaven with my sourdough!


Hi, Linda!

I’ve been taking some terrible liberties with the starter, and the results get better and better. All recorded (almost) as it happens on the page you’ve looked at before.

Thanks so much for getting me ‘started’ on this. I’m having a lot of fun and the friends I give loaves to are very positive.

Regards – Paul

See Paul's Sourdough Adventure Journal at
http://www.paul-marsden.com/professionals/cms/sites/site197/page.php4?page=198


Linda,
This was my 3rd batch of sourdough. I used enough flour and starter to make a 2-lb. loaf, using 1/2 cup semolina, and 1 cup a/p, the rest bread flour, with fruit fresh. I proofed it in the fridge overnight, and baked this a.m. This is magnificent in flavor. The crust is chewy and crisp, and the interior is fluffy with large holes. I couldn't be more pleased. It's grand. Thanks for the help !
Sandy A

Again, thank-you so much, Linda, for all your help. I wish you could provide training seminars in top-notch customer service to all the other establishments we all have to deal with! You've been wonderful! I'm going to your website now to order my pans and I'll be sure to keep you posted on my sourdough adventures.

Tricia

Hi Linda,
First I want to thank you for the speedy shipment of my order. I got it last Friday and enjoyed my new toys over the weekend. The French bread pan is wonderful! My daughter (16 years old) commented that the loaves looked “professional.” I also love the chopper/scraper/dough divider. My daughter is already asking if I can get one for her when she moves out (not for a few years yet, but she likes to think ahead). I found in addition to being great for dividing dough and scraping the counter, it is also marvelous for cutting bar cookies.
I tried your suggestion about putting the dough in the refrigerator. I took out and fed the starter in the morning, made the dough and shaped the loaves that evening and then put it in the fridge. My daughter took the loaves out when she got home from school the next day and I baked them after I got home from work. They were AWESOME! Nice tangy flavor, plus this allows me to make sourdough during the week instead of waiting until the weekend. I am thrilled with the results!! Thanks so much for your advice! Karen H Iowa


Dear Linda - I made two loaves at the weekend they were excellent! - Thanks for the yeast and all your help - Sally


Still having fun here! Here are two shapes I tried yesterday and today:  It is just soooo yummy.


            

Hi Linda! First of all, I'd like to tell you that I have been using my starter now for 1 1/2 years. I LOVE IT! We use it all the time - for all of our bread, pancakes, waffles, pizza dough, and biscuits. It makes the best bread. I usually make 6 loaves at a time. I don't think my family would ever want to go back to "regular" store bought bread. Cara


Linda,

The bread is absolutely wonderful,, will tell all my friends! thank you!
Lauren

I hope you open this. I am sooooo pleased. Here are my first babies. Thanks for the great starter.

Thanks for your great directions. This was my first use of the stand mixer as well as my first sourdough bread-making adventure. As you can see, I doubled your recipe. I used just a "tad" of whole grain kamut flour in this bread, which gives it the color, I think. Those two scrapers were a lifesaver when I started removing the dough from the kitchenaide too. I would have been sticky up to my elbows without them. Thanks again.
Best wishes,

Betty


Hi Linda,
I just got through placing an order for some of your great baking helpers. Before that I had been in your "Reviews" section reading all the wonderful comments from your customers. That's when it occurred to me that I think I forgot to sign my previous message to you. I e-mailed you a message the other day after perusing your website. I'm the one
whose sister, Mary, introduced me to you and, even though I have a tendency to get easily discouraged and I face some interesting baking challenges with a rural Colorado winter, I was thrilled to report fantastic results with my first two loaves of SF sourdough bread (and I
attached a picture of the first one). I took out some starter this morning in preparation for another happy day of baking tomorrow.

I had noticed in some of the messages to you that people were giving you permission to post them on your website. So in case you wanted to include my previous e-mail in your "Reviews" section, by all means, YES! And now you can add my signature!

Thank-you again, Linda! I just wanted you to know that in reading all those reviews, I noticed a "feeling" that came across cyberspace from all the people who write to you...that feeling of being connected with a good friend who's there to help you if you need it and rejoices with you in your successes. Thanks for being that "friend" to so many people!

Warmest regards,
Tricia Kauffman
South Fork, CO

Hi Linda,

I have just spent the last hour navigating your website ~ what a wonderful way to spend my afternoon teatime break! I logged on to look for recipes but first found my way to FAQ's and really enjoyed reading the comments from you and others. I wanted to share with you my excitement about my newfound hobby/passion, thanks to you and my big sister, Mary, who found you first. Like Connie, I also used to grind my own wheat and bake my own bread, but that was years ago. Since moving from California to Colorado, I haven't had the motivation to face the challenges of bread baking here, which include an 8400' elevation, living off the grid on solar power, and heating with only a wood burning stove. Also, I have a tendency to get easily discouraged when I try something new and it fails. But my sister in Atlanta, Georgia encouraged me to try my hand at this. With winter temps in the sub-zero range, our house gets down to the 50's at night, so I was skeptical about trying this now. But I just couldn't wait, so I went for it! I just got up in the middle of the night to stoke the fire during the first 72 hours to keep that optimal temperature for my yeasty babies and followed your great directions. When it came time to bake my first bread, I had to give myself a mini counseling session which went something like, "It's OK if it doesn't turn out perfect...in fact, even if it's a disaster, don't get discouraged. Just try again. And even if you bomb on the first 10 tries, don't give up - you'll eventually be successful if you just KEEP TRYING!" So, bracing myself for failure, I proceeded with the step-by-step instructions. And guess what? My very first loaf, a free-form round, was so beautiful I had to take a picture of it! But my little nay-sayer voice was telling me that yeah, it may look pretty, but will it taste good? Well, Linda, it was not only good, it was absolutely delicious! My husband, son and I had warm slices with butter for an evening snack and then finished off the rest of the loaf grilling it on the stove for breakfast the next morning. I couldn't wait to make my next loaf, so I made another the next day. I didn't think it could turn out any better than the first one, but it did! I'm sure it was the vitamin C I added to the second one, which was listed as an optional ingredient in the instructions - it really did enhance the rise. Two successes in a row - I'm stoked!! Now I'm so excited about experimenting with new shapes and added ingredients. And my friends are all standing in line to get a loaf as a gift - and I'm thrilled to be able to give them something so wonderfully wholesome and delicious, that I made myself! Thank-you, Linda, for being there for my sister to discover you and in turn, for providing me with a great gift - a passion for San Franscisco Sourdough!

P.S. I've attached the picture I took of my very first loaf of SF Sourdough bread. I didn't think of it till after I had sliced some, but I just had to capture it for posterity!


Dear Linda,
I appreciate you, your website, your detailed instructions, conscientious customer service..and your unlimited tech support !!! I'll continue to be a faithful patron, and I'll spread the word about you to all willing to have a sourdough critter colony in order to enjoy the BEST bread !!!
Blessings,
Sandy Amoroso
Mechanicsburg, PA


Made my third batch, and this was by far my best loaves! Beautiful browned tops, wonderful sour dough with great irregular holes in it. I'm in heaven with my sourdough!


Hi, Linda!

I’ve been taking some terrible liberties with the starter, and the results get better and better. All recorded (almost) as it happens on the page you’ve looked at before.

Thanks so much for getting me ‘started’ on this. I’m having a lot of fun and the friends I give loaves to are very positive.

Regards – Paul

See Paul's Sourdough Adventure Journal at
http://www.paul-marsden.com/professionals/cms/sites/site197/page.php4?page=198


Linda,
This was my 3rd batch of sourdough. I used enough flour and starter to make a 2-lb. loaf, using 1/2 cup semolina, and 1 cup a/p, the rest bread flour, with fruit fresh. I proofed it in the fridge overnight, and baked this a.m. This is magnificent in flavor. The crust is chewy and crisp, and the interior is fluffy with large holes. I couldn't be more pleased. It's grand. Thanks for the help !
Sandy Amoroso

 

Hi again, Linda!

I’ve made two batches of bread, yesterday and today, from the same sponge. I’m thrilled with the results, and have written it all up with pictures on my website.  Tried to leave a second feedback item for you on Ebay, but it wouldn’t let me. Sorry!

Thanks for everything - Paul

Hi Linda,

It is pretty darned refreshing to do business with an internet vendor who takes the time to keep their customers informed. I also realize that those Google links cost money so I'll refrain from using them in the future.

I pretty much read everything on your website last night but I'm sure I'll be back when I actually get started on this project. I do thank you for putting your directions online so that I now know what I'm getting into.

It may or may not interest you to know that my long-sleeping love of sour dough was rekindled while I was reading One Man's Wilderness - An Alaskan Odyssey. This guy (Richard Proenneke) spent many years living in the Alaskan wilderness and sour dough seems to be one of his principle food stuffs.

At any rate, I'm looking forward to baking some bread and I thank you once again for care that you take with your internet business.

Best regards,

Frank

Just wanted to say I love your clay baking pans. They have really improved the baking process for me. (This message arrived with an order for two more Rada Stoneware Loaf Pans!)

Thanks Rich.


Hi Linda:

My husband bought me your sourdough starter kit for Christmas, and I love it--the starter is much better and sourer and easier to deal with than the one I bought at our local fancypants kitchen shop. So far, the bread we've made has been delicious--and the sourdough pancakes made with the leftover stuff too--and I'm really enjoying this.

Linda,
I'm a terrible baker. Could just not get it down. Your starter and your instructions have me making edible things! I also found that the sourdough makes an excellent pizza crust! I've found that regular dough is very tough to spread and retain a thin, flat shape. The sourdough not only makes a good thin, crisp crust, it tastes better! Thanks for putting out a great product!


Linda,
Thanks for the speedy delivery... this stuff is fantastic! If I take it out of the fridge to make a sponge, it's going in just a few hours!  Rrises great and tastes even better!
Thanks,
Mark R.

Linda,
I am amazed beyond words at how beautifully my first loaves turned out. Very chewy and crusty, and downright delicious !!!  Thank-you so much for the mentoring.
Blessings, Sandy

Linda,

You were right, the knife is great and the stirrer works perfectly.


HI Linda, I was cleaning up my inbox and came across this. Just wanted to thank you again for the wonderful directions and other information. I have loaves in the oven at the moment. I've been baking about twice a week. My husband's favorite is when I make sourdough fruit bread using orange juice for the last addition of liquid and some malt syrup as sweetener. Then I add about one and a half cups of dried fruit cut into small dice. It is heavenly.

I've been adding about one or two cups of "white whole wheat flour" and a table spoon of rye flour to my regular sourdough. What a wonderful loaf!
Thank you so much. Mary

Hello,

Back in August I purchased a starter from you and I have been enjoying it since then. Truly great bread. Richard.

Hi Linda.
I've been successfully making sourdough for a few weeks now--your starter and instructions worked great, and we're all very happy. I've been hunting-down other ingredients to make some of my favorite foods from back home in the Bay Area - Mortadella and Dry Salami on a sourdough roll is a favorite - can't find the soft Monterey Jack cheese, though, to finish it

Hi,

I just wanted to pass along a little note letting you know your starter that I ordered a few weeks ago is absolutely awesome! I followed your activation instructions to the letter and this past weekend created some of the best sourdough bread ever! I enjoyed the entire process, from watching the little critters grow in the starter to removing the two beautiful loaves from the oven. Although the best part I must say was the first taste!!!!

Thanks again for your excellent product and service! Happy Holidays to you all

John

Hello Linda,

Well, that was great fun. My kitchen is one of the most entertaining places in my world.
I tried sourdough bread making several years ago and was disappointed in the yeast. It took 3 days for it to come to life, then was sort of feeble. The strain I got from you was very lively right away, exuberant even. I followed your instruction to the letter and the result is two beautiful rounds of sourdough bread. They rose very high and are so reminiscent of the bread from the City, it's making me homesick.

I'd say that my experience was a howling success and I thank you for your detailed assisstance. I never knew about collecting steam in the oven to obtain that crust.
Thanks again,
Carol


Linda,

It was PERFECT! Well, not quite- I didn't use quite enough flour, it rose out, not up (but, hey, perfect for paninis, right?).

The starter worked perfectly, the taste was good and sour.

Thanks again so much for your help.

Working on a recipe for sourdough pretzels, wille let you know when I am satisfied.

Kevin


Linda, I bought one of these bread knives for myself and love it and decided two of my kids would like this for Christmas presents So now they will have them. Thank You for having such good bread knives. Marie Griswold, Gainesville,Tx.
Linda,
First of all, I'd like to thank you for getting my order to me so quickly. I got my starter going the day after I received my order and it is VERY vigorous and growing like crazy. I'm looking forward to making my first loaf this weekend. My husband and I both LOVE sourdough.
Thanks, Michele

Linda,
I wanted to let you know that we made our first batch of bread on Saturday (it took all day!), and it turned out wonderfully! We made 4 small loaves and they were delicious!

Thanks so much!
Christine


Thanks for your help! My bread turned out wonderful on the second attempt (Thanks to your advice.). Art

Hi Linda, thanks for the speedy service!
Feedback has been left.
We have 24 hours more to go for the starters 72 hour activation period. I couldn't bring myself to discard some of the starter so used the excess for pancakes this morning using one of your recipes on your site.
My wife and I think the pancakes reminds us of a crepe in texture and with the same after taste. Not as filling as a regular pancake!
They were great!
Can't wait for 24 more hours to go by.
We have 8" of new snow on the ground and a well stocked pantry so its sure time for some bread making.
Thank you. Dave


Linda,

Thanks for the quick reply. Your promise of service was the deciding factor in my buying the starter from you. You certainly came through. I was very relieved to know the starter was fully activated.

I gave the starter one last feeding at three hours and will put it into the frig for the three day ripening period. I've been searching the web for recipes and I can't wait to have sourdough pancakes and biscuits this weekend. And then there's that first loaf of bread.

I noticed on your FAQ that the starter will get more sour as it "matures." Assuming I'm using the starter a couple of times a week, do you know about how long it will take to mature?

Margaret


Linda,

You're a Peach.......nice doing business with you.

Doug


Linda,

Thanks for the info. More importantly, thank you very much for making it right. It is always a pleasure to do business with trully honest, honorable people.

And yes, I have your website bookmarked as a "favorite." I don't google you.

Thanks again.

Kevin

Dear Linda,

Well, your website promised that you'd refund extra freight if I ordered a combination of items instead of one of the kits. But truthfully, I have to say that I was amazed when I got the email saying you had actually refunded my credit card for $6. Amazing!! Thank you for your honesty and your willingness to charge only what it costs for shipping, instead of trying to make a profit on the shipping. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You can be sure that I'll be back again with an order for some other things I want.

Dear Bob,

You Rock!! Obviously I had not seen that article and I was enthralled! The whole process makes good, logical sense and I cannot wait to try it. Thank you so much for taking the time to send me the link.

Please let me know how your breadmaking goes...especially with Lahey's method. It is wonderful how much I learn from the people who buy my starter--I love it!

Again, thanks! And I really do appreciate your bookmarking the site too.
Big help!

Cheers!

Linda
www.SourdoughBreads.com

Dear Linda,

Thanks for your message. I've bookmarked your site. It's been a while since I've done any bread baking. My interest was piqued again by a recent article in the NYTimes, which you may have seen. If not, and you are interested, here is the link -


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html?ref=dining


There was already a comment posted by someone who had tried it with good results using a sourdough starter.

Bob
How refreshing, a web site that actually reads, AND responds to e- mail - I will be spending more time in the kitchen, due , in part, because of my retirement - (6 years ago) but mostly becase of my love of cooking - I WILL be spending more time (and money) at your web
site. :-)

Again, Thanks
Don


Hi Linda,
I wanted to write and let you know how my sourdough is going. I have since baked bread many times with fabulous and professional results! I even impressed myself! :) Each time, I have continued to take out 1 cup of starter and baked big batches. I have been giving so much of it away that I've been baking bread almost every weekend. I also tried using it as my pizza crust last weekend and it turned out great!!! I just wanted to say thank you again for your help. You've turned me into a sourdough baker!!

Thanks again,
Kelly


Attention Potential Sour Dough People of the Universe

Once in a great while you run across a firm that makes you feel as if you
were doing business with a close personal friend; I am extremely please to
let you know that Linda Worburton’s operation at
http://www.sourdoughbreads.com/ is just such a company.

Not only does Linda provide a wonderful product, she quickly ships it with
easy to follow instructions, provides free recipes, and even offers superior
technical advise on how to keep the starter alive and healthy. If her
advise and your efforts are not sufficient to keep the starter active, she
will even send a fresh starter kit, FREE OF CHARGE.

Recently, through a misfortunate accident, or possibly through my own sheer
stupidity, I managed to kill my beloved ten-year-old starter, Sally. Sally
Starter had become a deeply loved member of our family, and she is greatly
missed. Upon learning of Sally’s death Linda offered her deepest
condolences, recommended a quick burial, and offered to send a fresh starter
kit off in the mail. Linda made this offer even though Sally had suffered
an untimely death through my own negligence.

I grew up in a sourdough-loving family - my mother’s starter was claimed to
have a traceable history of almost 100 years. That starter of my youth was
an original Idaho Territory starter, passed down through several generations
of pioneer people. Thirty-five years later I can still smell the early
morning aroma, and almost taster the robust flavor of the pancakes made with
that aged starter.

Today, the starter kit provided by the Sour Dough Breads people has just
such a grand flavor. If you have not had the opportunity to enjoy homemade
sourdough products, this is as good a starter as you will likely ever run
across. I highly recommend you spend the few bucks this kit costs, as that
small investment will bring you many years of great sour dough delights.
Hopefully your starter will become a significant member of your household,
just as it is in mine.


Best of luck, and if you develop a new terrific recipe, please send it along
to Linda’s web site.

Sincerely

Joe Thon

Connecticut


Hi Linda,

Your sourdough starter is “THE BEST”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love the taste from my home bread with your starter!

Thank you,
Christina

Hi Linda,

I received your two shipments some time ago, made up a batch exactly according to your instructions, made myself waffles a couple of times, but the big test would be our annual gathering in Yosemite. We have been there with the same group in late October for the past 10-15 years and on the included Saturday my wife and I make them a sourdough pancake breakfast This time it was to be with the new starter. Everyone agreed they were everybit as good as those done with my prior starter.

Thank you so much for your help.

Did you get the package I sent you with my recipes, etc?

Fairwinds, Neal Walker

Dear Linda,

I received the bowl scrapers today and am very pleased with them. They are very like something I used in Belgium called a corne. Thanks for the bags also and I am glad I found you on the web.

Sandra


Hi, Linda

Sure -- use my recommendation on your reviews page if you like!

My usual recipe now includes about one half cup of rye flour in a 1 lb. loaf. I think it enhances the texture. Sometimes I also add a third cup of grated parmesan, depending. I mix the rye and parmesan, along with the salt, in the second addition of flour, as you recommend.

Recently, I have begun using my convection oven for baking smaller 1 lb loaves. I have a Sharp micro/convection, which is OK for smaller loaves up to about 1 lb. To begin, I preheat the Sharp to 325 degrees, then I add two cups of boiling water to the round drip tray at the bottom. Then I raise the Sharp's temp to 375. Only then, when it's up to 375 heat, do I insert my 1 lb. loaf (more or less), and there's still enough hot water left to moisten the oven for a few minutes. Sounds involved, but in practise I've found it simpler than a spray bottle, opening and closing, etc. With this Sharp method I use an aluminum pizza pan with a zillion small holes in it and 40 - 45 minutes baking. For the larger loaves I still use my regular oven and spray bottle, more toward your method -- there I have found useful a Cuisinart "Everyday" stainless/copper laminate griddle -- it's great. I use this method for larger loaves 2 lbs or more.

Cheers!

Tom


I just wanted to send a note of thanks for your services. I have made 5 batches of bread and am thouroughly pleased with it. I could not have done it without your very detailed instructions.

Thank you.

I am attaching pictures just because I am so happy with how it turns out!

Thanks again,

brenda


Linda!
I've had your sourdough starter since Jan '06. It's still growing here in Massachusetts. It's excellent, and more forgiving than others I've tried.
My prior experiments were merely two conventional foil packet yeasts, fast and regular. They soured but needed too much feeding, too often. Forget a feeding, and they died. Also some were invaded by resident airborne yeasts, and lost the desired sourness. Sometimes they croaked and got moldy for no apparent reason.
With yours, as you recommend, it is important to keep a stash as backup in the refrigerator. I renew my stash every ten days or so, perhaps more often than necessary.
Your yeast rises more slowly than the conventional types, as you say. But slowness is a benefit in a a starter, I think. To compensate, my bread making begins in the morning. I kick up the starter the night prior. I haven't lost a batch yet, thanks to you!
Regards,
Tom Andrews
Duxbury, MA


Hey Linda - package received today and the culture is active as of 10 minutes ago. Thank you for excellent genuine service, exactly as advertised! I'll let you know when I'm chewing sourdough this weekend! :*)

Best regards,

Andy

PS. Any email I send you can be shared on your website - full permission.


Hi Linda,

I've had so much fun with my SF sourdough starter. I have kept sourdough starter for years and have baked lots of bread, but it just never was really "San Franciscoey" enough. I had tried adding a little vinegar to make the bread more sour, but still wasn't happy. I actually used my old starter with your directions because I couldn't wait three days to try it, and the bread seemed more authentic than it had been before. Yesterday I used YOUR starter and made the loaves in glass loaf pans and they were great! My husband and sons all agreed that it tasted like the "real stuff". :-) Sheryl

I got the knife and it works wonderfully. Thanks for your great bread knife and the sourdough recipes I am enjoying both very much. Thomas

Linda, I just took these two beautiful loaves of bread out the oven. My son was here and took one home with him. He also took some starter to try his hand at it. This was the first time I baked my own sourdough bread. I can't thank you enough for your help. I took the rest of the sponge this afternoon and made two french loaves which are now in the oven. I am sending you pictures of these two first loaves I baked. I want to mention also the texture was perfect as was the taste.The loaves are disappearing as I write to you and everyone is anxiously waiting for the french bread to come out of the oven. thanks again Carolyn

--Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you -- I have used the bread bags several times. The large one is excellent for bagging yeast rolls. The smaller ones are great for sourdough or basic bread baked in a bread pan. Lamar

Wow, I love the stirrer. It really did make a difference!


Well, Linda, I've successfully created two loaves from my first batch! The texture inside and out was very good. I need to learn to "round" better as I got some splits on the bottom of the loafs.

I've got my stash safely in the refrigerator, which I will seal up tomorrow and I've got another sponge going which I will use to make a big loaf tomorrow.

I used the parchment paper, which worked very well. I put the corn starch under the loaf on the paper and got good coverage on the bottom of the loaves.

I'm eager to try a refrigerator rise as you suggested. That should allow me to make bread midweek. I've made yeast rolls that way, so I'll use that to judge the time for rise.

Thanks for everything. I'm having a great time this weekend.
Hope you are too!
Laura
My first batch made and it is absolutely delicious! Made one very large peasant type loaf which is the best of the lot -- also made small dinner rolls, and four burger buns, and 4 small thin Italian loafs. You've added a great treat to our meals.

Sincerely, Betty Teeter


OK, Linda- I ordered your SF starter, then a couple of weeks lated I ordered your knife. Your service is fantastic, my brother in Austin and aunt in Green Valley Az. have both ordered starter from you because I bragged so much!

--Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you -- I have used the bread bags several times. The large one is excellent for bagging yeast rolls. The smaller ones are great for sourdough or basic bread baked in a bread pan. Lamar

Wow, I love the stirrer. It really does make a difference!


Well, Linda, I've successfully created two loaves from my first batch! The texture inside and out was very good. I need to learn to "round" better as I got some splits on the bottom of the loafs.

I've got my stash safely in the refrigerator, which I will seal up tomorrow and I've got another sponge going which I will use to make a big loaf tomorrow.

I used the parchment paper, which worked very well. I put the corn meal under the loaf on the paper and got good coverage on the bottom of the loaves.

I'm eager to try a refrigerator rise as you suggested. That should allow me to make bread midweek. I've made yeast rolls that way, so I'll use that to judge the time for rise.

Thanks for everything. I'm having a great time this weekend. Hope you are too!
Laura


My first batch made and it is absolutely delicious! Made one very large peasant type loaf which is the best of the lot -- also made small dinner rolls, and four burger buns, and 4 small thin Italian loafs. You've added a great treat to our meals. Sincerely, Betty Teeter


OK, Linda- I ordered your SF starter, then a couple of weeks lated I ordered your knife. Your service is fantastic, my brother in Austin and aunt in Green Valley Az. have both ordered starter from you becasue I bragged so much!

Success!

Linda, I made five loaves over the week end and they all turned out wonderfully.

Thanks for your starter and the instructions!

Mark


Hi Linda,

I wanted to let you know that the starter is alive and growing. :) Everything worked out fine. I have left you positive feedback and I thank you for a great product and excellent service. I wish more ebay sellers cared the way you do.

The first loaf turned out perfect and I expect more great loaves in the future.

Richard


Hey Linda!
Again, thank your husband for the great spoon with the holes in it. It is perfect for stirring the starter and scraping the bowl at the same time. Today, I used the "rising bowl" you sent to me to make another batch of rolls, and it works great. Later, Lamar


Hi Linda:

It is so great to be able to ask you questions and know that you will actually respond.  That is a wonderful service to your clients. Thank you very much.


Linda:

Success on my first try!!! I was nervous throughout the process of creating the starter because I was never sure if things looked right. But I followed your instructions to the letter, and the bread turned out beautifully. My husband even got caught up in the whole thing and helped me--he never goes in the kitchen so this was surprising. We opted to make 4 small oblong loaves. They browned perfectly and rose perfectly. I couldn't be more pleased. We just had our first piece and it was delicious. Thank you for a wonderful product.

One question. How do I keep a loaf fresh that has been partially eaten? I put a piece of plastic wrap just over the cut edge and then put it in a brown paper sack. Is that the way to do it?

Thanks Again,

Janette


Hi Linda,

I looked at the first bread knife you sent me and wondered why it is so much better then any other bread knife I ever bought. Most bread knives have teeth straight down. Yours has a slight forward sweep, which makes it easy to cut through a good crust. I've baked at least 20 loaves since I got your starter and all were perfect. I share my loaves with others. I follow your instruction as much as possible but have to change the amount of flour depending on the flour or humidity in the air. In other words I do what the dough tells me to do by the way it feels. I bake four full free style loaves at a time by changing the amount of flour I add to my sponge. I've tried caraway seed, rosemary and other herbs ( being careful not to overpower the sourdough taste ) with great results. I looked at your website and there are some folks who are having a hard time baking your bread. I feel for them. If you want to give them my e-address, I'll try to help them. Thank You, Steve

Thank you for such a wonderful and informative website! I have been making bread for several years and always had trouble with sourdough. I always left the stuff on the counter and inevitably had to throw it away. i put the stuff in the refrigerator and its still good! i wasn't sure so i was given your address and followed the instructions. i did not know what that liquid on top was until now. I poured it off and let the starter come to room temperature after i fed it. The starter is doing very well and i am going to make some cinnamon rolls. Just out of curiousity, how did the old timers keep this stuff fresh? They did not have refrigeration like we have today. I know from experience after some time out on the counter the starter isn't any good. We live in Texas and it gets HOT here. Thank you again. Teresa


Linda,

Absolutely! I too spent quite a bit of time on your site before purchasing your starter and found the site very helpful. I have always enjoyed cooking but have never done any baking so this is all pretty new to me. My wife and I have always enjoyed sourdough bread, the more sour and chewy the better, and this is quite exciting. We will continue to monitor your website for tips to increase the sour taste.

Have a great day, and again, thanks,
Doug

Hi Linda;
Just to tell you that I made the first loaves of bread today. The flavor is TERRIFIC. I can hardly stop eating it. I want to, once again, compliment you on your very good product and wonderful directions.
One thing, Linda. Being old and wearing full dentures, I would prefer to not have the crust as "chewy". I think I know how to make it different, but would you have any suggestions along this line????

You know...so much of what we hear in advertising in every media...is blatantly false. I want to tell you that your product is VERY good...and your caring and LOVING instructions are worth double what you charge.
I will try to not bother you and take up your valuable time unless I decide to buy more of whatever you have. God Bless you with every good grace.


Hi Linda,

We recently purchased your starter and now have several loaves of great bread under out belt (literally :-)) and wanted to thank you. The starter was easily reactivated per the instructions in your booklet, has been used twice and is happily hibernating on the top shelf of the refrigerator!

Thanks again,
Doug

Dear Linda,
5 Stars to you and your sourdough starter.
If you recall in a previous e-mail that I had lost my start after 18 years of the best pancakes anyone had ever had. And that I had tried many other starts with less than satisfactory results.
Well we just finished a very much missed sourdough breakfast using your start. Even invited some friends over as guinea pigs who have enjoyed breakfast here before and We have to say WOW, it was as good as we have ever had.  Thank You So Much for the efforts you put into the quality of your product. Without You, we may never have enjoyed a good sourdough breakfast again.  Here's to your continued success!!

Sincerely,
Doug


Received my order extraordinarily fast. I am so pleased with the quality of the products I ordered. Thanks.


Dear Linda,
I am so pleased! My first loaf was gone within an hour at work. Everyone said it was the best bread they have ever had. Your instructions were great, and I followed it just as you said. The flavor is just like authentic San Francisco sourdough. God bless you! Well, let me also tell you that I am a native of southern California, and always took for granted the wonderful flavor of San Francisco bread. I moved to memphis in 1998 and found a good bread here @ sessel grocery store. Well they went out of business a few years ago. Recently I did a google search (authentic san francisco sour dough starter) and I found you! Wow you have helped fullfill one of my dreams! Congradulations! God is going to bless you! Thanks, Jeannie from Memphis, Tn.


Hello, I started the starter Thursday and it started to bubble within an hour and was very active by the first hour. I kept it fed and ended up with a very sourdough smelling active starter. I made two free form loaves and a round. I have been making sour dough starters for years and keep killing them off because they do not produce the flavor I was looking for. Having the urge to make bread and on a whim I thought "I wonder what eBay would have for starters", and I found you. San Francisco Sourdough starter from Texas? I thought, with the lack of success I had been having with my starters what could it hurt. I am glad I did, perfect flavor just what I was looking for. Thank You for putting it out there and thanks again for the customer support. Albert


Good morning, Linda. I received my starter in the mail from you Friday afternoon. I had everything ready to start the activation process. Followed your directions to the Tee and it didn't look so active after about 12 hours but I fed the starter and then within the next 4 hours things took off like a rocket. These little babies are hungry and you talk about a growing, active, healthy looking starter.
This is what I remember my starter looked like when I got into sourdough baking down in Kansas City many moons ago. I am completing my 72 hours of feeding this afternoon and will feed and put the starter in the frig and start baking this weekend. Thanks so very much for getting this starter to me so quickly and for your information on your website. My Family is waiting patiently for the first loaf of sourdough but it will go on for waffles, biscuits, pancakes, etc. You have created a Monster here in Minneapolis. I will drop you a line next week to let you know how that first load it turns out. I know it will take some time to get everything right as far as the baking goes but with an active starter like I have, you can't lose and it will be fun. Thanks again, David.


Hi Linda,

Hopefully you like this sort of fan mail!

I made my first loaf last night and it was great. Apparently the water in the oven (both pan and spray) really worked because it has a great crust.

This was the first loaf of bread that I made outside of a breadmaker. I was worried about every step, but in the end it didn't seem to matter that I wasn't sure if it had doubled in size before I put it in the loaf pan, or that I cut the surface a little too deep, or that I didn't cut it right before I put it in the oven, etc. And even though I used a loaf pan, the crust was great and it rose above the top of the pan. (I had sprayed canola oil in the pan, which may have helped the crust.)

All in all it was a great experience.

FYI, I let the starter/sponge sit almost 36 hours before making the dough instead of 24 and I used 2 tablespoons of rye and a couple of teaspoons of sourdough enhancer (since I didn't find any ascorbic acid at my markets.)

Now I have lots of sponge in my refrigerator as well as my starter stash.
Anyone for pancakes?

Best regards,

russell


O.K. Linda

Wow… such great info. I love it!!

It makes sense about using bread flour as opposed to all purpose etc. The main reason I asked is because my starter took on a whole new personality when I switched from all purpose to bread flour…. It became A LOT thicker and more glutenous (is that even a real word?). But of course it makes sense as the bread flour has a higher protein content. Anyway, long story short… my starter is very happy with the bread flour and also my loaves are coming out better for sure!! I just got done snacking on the “end” of a newly hatched loaf (bread machine). It just doesn’t get any better than an “end” covered with real butter while still warm. And the genuine San Francisco sourdough taste… Linda there is no way to explain eating genuine SF sourdough in my Kentucky kitchen… that I made myself!!

I like the tea towel idea also. Plastic wrap just doesn’t look right anyway. Also, I appreciate the tip about a little extra flour for the free form loaves. Can you knead this dough too much?? I get a little concerned about overworking the dough but like everything else… practice makes perfect huh??

And yes… please feel free to use any and/or all of my e-mails on your website. What better way to learn than by the experiences of others huh?? Actually, I can attribute some (most) of my success with the bread machine to Joe Wagner’s e-mails.

Anyway, I believe it’s time to go get another slice of that fresh loaf so I’ll close for now.

Thanks again Linda

Randy


Hi Randy,

Thank you so much for your great feedback. I just love people who are as nuts about sourdough as I am…and it definitely sounds like you’re thoroughly hooked.

May I have your permission to post some or all of your text on the FAQ and Reviews pages of my web site? So much of what you say is not only informative but also encouraging to newbies.

Now for your questions. After you have baked enough with sourdough starter to understand what you’re doing and how it behaves, you can keep your starter at any consistency that you want—from about like pancake batter to very thick, but not quite dough, and it won’t matter to your yeast and lactobacillus babies. The only difference will be that you will adjust your amounts of ingredients as you make your sponge and then your dough.

As for flours, that’s a different story. You will get distinctly different results with dough made from all different types of flours, but all will be acceptable in my opinion. I buy bread flour by the 50 lb. ($9!!!) bag at Costco or Sam’s, so I tend to use it for just about all steps. For free form loaves, bread flour, which is higher in protein, will give you a better, more predictable shape than the all-purpose, which has a lower protein content and doesn’t form gluten that is as strong as that formed by the use of bread flour. That said, use what you like!

I too use a large glass bowl for my feedings and I used to use plastic wrap to cover it. I have now gone back to my grandma’s practice, before plastic wrap existed, and I use a cotton tea towel to keep out bugs and dirt. That’s why I started selling the tea towels on my web site. The cotton towel is sooo much easier to handle than that *#$@$!! plastic wrap and it looks much better too. When my sponge is in my mixer bowl, the towel is large enough to cover the top of the KA mixer and the bowl too! Plus, it’s reusable! With all that, the answer is, leave it loose so it can breathe! ?

Two more comments—one you asked for and one you didn’t. You’re absolutely right about the clean-up of sourdough stuff—I always let everything soak in cold water and then it comes off easily. But it is sticky stuff—much more so than ‘normal’ flour and water. You’re also right that I should warn people about it!

When you make your ‘free form’ loaves, be sure to add a little extra flour for a slightly dryer dough—not sticky—and knead very well. If you don’t, your free-form loaves are likely to ‘rise sideways’—in other words, flatten out, instead of rising up and making a nicely rounded loaf.

Let me hear! And thanks again for the great communication!

Cheers and Happy Days!

Linda
SourdoughBreads.com

________________________________________
Hello again Linda

Yes I have previously ordered a couple of months ago I believe. Let me tell you that a lot has happened since I received my starter from you. Never before have I given such care and attention to a living thing since my children were born. My starter is an absolute marvel to behold and I usually have two or three different batches going at any given time.

In the beginning, I simply used to toss any extra starter down the drain during feedings but now it has become so precious I can hardly stand to waste it. As a result I believe I may have eaten about 1000 sourdough pancakes as a result. I never even knew sourdough pancakes existed until I started researching recipes. Now it’s very rare for any starter to hit the drain. I have also made several loaves of the most awesome bread in my bread machine (Thanks so very much to Joe Wagner for his great e-mails)!!

I guess now would be a good time for a couple of questions. First, I’m a little curious as to what the proper texture of the starter should be. I consistently use the 1:1 ratio of flour to water and it seems a little thin… about like pancake batter. Also, does it matter what type of flour I use?? I started with Gold Medal all purpose but recently switched to White Lily unbleached bread flour and my starter seems to prefer the White Lily with better feeding action and a better aroma for sure.

Second, I use a large glass Pyrex bowl for my feedings and my question pertains to the plastic wrap. Do you seal the top of the bowl air tight or do you just drape it over?? I have been sealing mine air tight however sometimes I’ll lift an edge of the wrap to let it “burp” a little.

O.K. Now for an observation/tip that may prove useful to us sourdough “newbies”. I discovered that it is far easier to wash the starter off bowls and utensils with cold water first and then follow with hot soapy water. This makes a huge difference in the cleanup process and your drain will thank you for it too!!

Anyway, It’s obvious that sourdough cookery is more than a hobby Linda… it’s an absolutely wonderful addiction!!

Thanks again Linda for your wonderful product and excellent website. I’ll be trying my hand at making loaves by hand soon and I’ll let you know how it goes. O.K. I better get going as I just heard my favorite sound… the bread machine is beeping!! Another loaf is born…

Randy

Dear Linda,

I am not sure how I found your web site, I certainly wasn’t looking for sourdough bread that’s for sure, however I did find your site and I am so grateful. Firstly, I should say the information you provide is so comprehensive, and so easy to understand (critters and all) even for an English woman. I read everything written including the FAQ’s.  I have tried the bread and although it was slightly (and I mean slightly) more doughy than usual, (I am my own worse critic) it tasted far superior to all other efforts. Apart from that it looked so very nice.  Joy Peterson


Hi Linda,

A few months ago I gave your sourdough yeast and instructions a try. I've never baked bread before, and barely had made brownies from a mix. I was amazed and delighted at the incredible breads that I was actually baking myself! Your instructions are perfect and easy to follow. The bread is absolutely awesome. I have experimented with different flours and ingredients and all have worked beautifully. In addition to classic San Francisco style, I have made an Austrian whole-grain dark rye with Millet, cracked wheat, flaxseed, and seasoned with molasses and barley malt. Other "stunners" include Spelt wheat, Aramanth-wheat, and German pretzels. I can't wait for weekends largely because I do my baking then. Thanks for the inspiration, encouragement, and your all-around excellent products that allowed even a total greenhorn to become the family "master baker"!

Sincerely,
Robert M. Haas
Michigan

Hi Linda.
I just wanted to let you know that after starting over last September following the sad death of my original starter (which I froze while on vacation), I have been happily making bread and my package-mix recipe biscuits and pancakes. I also tried making waffles using Krusteaz, and they turned out great. I mixed 2 cups of well-fed starter into the 2-cup Krusteaz waffle recipe. My sourdough bread has become so popular with friends and relatives, that if I come to a party without it, everyone wants to know why.

I spent a week visiting a friend in Las Vegas recently and took some starter to make some bread for her. She didn't have a mixer or food processor, so I had to hand-knead the bread. I discovered that it was actually easier to make larger amounts of bread this way. I normally make at least a triple-batch of bread (your basic recipe using 2 cups of starter each), which means 3 separate batches in the mixer. Using the hand-knead method, I mix it all together in a large bowl, then when I can't stir any longer I turn it out onto my granite counter and mix in the rest of the flour by hand. It takes about 15 minutes a batch using the mixer, for at least 45 minutes total time. The hand method takes about 20 minutes. The other advantage is that all of the bread is now rising for the same amount of time. And the bread is still wonderfully delicious!  Thanks so much for your wonderful starter, recipes, and assistance!  Susan Tucker, San Pedro, CA

Hi Linda.........we ordered and received your starter and have successfully produced our first loaf of sourdough bread......wonderful crust and great sour dough flavor! Your directions are so thorough and complete.

Thanks,

Lyn and Jim
Fresno, California

PS--You certainly may use our comments in your "reviews" page. We actually use that as a reference to answer some questions that came up. Also meant to tell you that the crust was wonderful....that water spray method worked perfectly!

Hi Linda,
You are more than welcome to use my comments on your website. In fact, it would be cool to see them there.
Thanks again for a great sourdough.
Doug


Dear Linda,

5 Stars to you and your sourdough starter.  If you recall in a previous e-mail that I had lost my start after 18 years of the best pancakes anyone had ever had. And that I had tried many other starts with less than satisfactory results.

Well we just finished a very much missed sourdough breakfast using your start. Even invited some friends over as guinea pigs who have enjoyed breakfast here before and We have to say WOW, it was as good as we have ever had.

Thank You So Much for the efforts you put into the quality of your product. Without You, we may never have enjoyed a good sourdough breakfast again.  Here's to your continued success!!

Sincerely,

Doug Johnston

Dear Linda:

Ah!!!! Sweet Success. Thank you, Thank you, thank you!!!!! Yummy!!! My second loaf made today was wonderful. Now I'm going to try a multigrain bread, then a loaf with olives and some in the free form round. I got the dough stiff this time. I used a glass bread pan. Oh Joy!!! What FUN!! Also, I'm going to try Sourdough pizza-- I have a great recipe for a topping. Fresh tomatoes in chunks, olive oil, fresh garlic and ricotta, sprinkled with fresh basil.

I'm so very pleased with my starter! Thank you ever so much!!!  Arlene


Dear Linda, I have made so many loaves of bread and each and everyone has come out great! From regular loaves to rounds to foccacia! Thanks soo much!  Debbie B.

Dear Linda:

Your service and response time to my order was nothing short of remarkable. Everything arrived just as promised and the quality of the package was beyond what you had promised. As we have been blessed with a huge amount of work at the office, I couldn't begin working my starter until this weekend, but it is going very well and the smells in our kitchen are beginning to develop. Needless to say, I can't wait to bake my first loaf of bread. By the way, the bread knife you sent is without question the best I have ever used. Even my very picky wife is impressed. I have recommended it to several friends and I'm sure you will sell them too.

Thanks so much for everything. Now all I have to do is increase my exercise program to offset the increase in bread consumption.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season.

Sincerely Yours,

Dick Haayen-

Hi! Happy Holidays!!
It took me 10 months but I have finally solved the problem I wrote to you some months ago about. (My Sourdough loaves would come out somewhat flat).  I was kneading it FOREVER, at least 20-25 min. and still no luck.  I was not putting enough flour in. I'm adding flour now till the dough has no tackiness left and VIOLA!! Nice round high loaves that are beautiful!!! I've even has sucess making the dough the night before and keeping it in the fridge overnight and it still comes out great!!

I still can't thank you enough from providing the starer to get this going. We have found to it helps to name your "stash" so you don't forget about him/her!! Ours is "Tina" & on the fridge is a note that says "Don't forget to feed Tina!" : )

Did you ever make the waffles? We love them.. (Susy's Waffle Recipe is on the Recipes Page!)

Happy Holidays and take care Linda,
Susy in Seattle


Dear Linda,

Thanks for your swift reply ! You may use any of my input any way you like. I'm glad to contribute to "sourdough science".

My daughter-in-law Rachel (a former resident of San Francisco) had been nagging me ever since I bought my "bread machine" to bake her some SF sourdough bread. (That's why I contacted you.) Rachel got the first loaf, and she's ecstatic. She says the flavor and texture are JUST RIGHT.

Sincerely, Joe


Dear Linda,

Thanks for a terrific product. My very first loaf came out superbly. Its flavor, texture, and aroma couldn't have been surpassed.

I followed your excellently-written instructions almost to the letter. The only changes I made were:

1) I used only distilled water in activating the starter. That was a precaution against contaminating it with extraneous flavors. (Our tap water here "tastes funny".)  Linda's Note:  I advised him to use spring water instead of distilled water.  The starter actually likes the minerals in water.

2) I made my bread in a "1 1/2 pound" bread machine, according to your instructions except for one thing.  I left the pan in the machine throughout the procedure
instead of removing it after each mixing stage& covering it with plastic wrap.

I did bake the bread in a conventional oven, though.

Anyway, I saw no reason to move the bread pan in and out of the machine until I was ready to bake -- and my resulting loaves show that no harm resulted...

Sincerely, Joe Wagner


Hi Linda,

We have been enjoying many months of making San Francisco Sourdough Bread from your starter. We both love it. I am so glad I found your website. My husband does a wonderful job of making the bread. I have got Cisco (the name we have given to our Sourdough culture) out now so we can bake some bread on the weekend. I love the smell it has.

Thank you so much! We both get excited about feeding Cisco and watching him grow. I know we sound like psychos but it is amazing to watch the bubbles and know that he is alive.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a very bright and prosperous New Year.

Cheers,
Michelle in Australia


HI Linda, It's been awhile since I've written to you. I just want to tell you how happy we are with the San Francisco sourdough starter I purchased from you earlier this year. It hasn't lost any of it's zip--it is really very active. I start my sponge in the evening before I make the bread. In the morning it is very bubbly and frothy. I am now making a multi-grain bread. My wife and I are so surprised to see how nice and light it is. I never used to be able to make a good light multi-grain or a 100% whole wheat bread before. Even when I used to use bakers yeast in my baking, I could never do it. Now I can make both--very light and tasty bread. I also want to thank you for the fine instructions you sent me with the starter. I followed them to the letter and the results are great! I wish you and yours a Merry and Blessed Christmas.

Sincerely, Frank SanGregory from Ohio

P.S. You may use my comments on your web-site if you wish.
_____________________________
In God We Trust--God Bless The World
_____________________________

Hi Linda,

Hope you all are well.  I'm back in the baking business now that the snowy weather has arrived here in NY State.

I just got finished baking and thought to send you a photo.



The breads to the rear are some lightweight sourdough baguettes. The three left front rounds without seeds are raisin/cranberry/fennel loaves about 18 ounces each and the three other sesame seeded loaves. are a light whole wheat at an average weight of 22 ounces

The Christmas Holiday is close at hand and will welcome some tasty breads at the table.

Have a wonderful holiday. David E. Garsia


Dear Linda,

My name is Jim, I live in Reno, NV and through my sisters in Cali I recieved your starter kit for San Francisco sourdough bread. I originally hail from San Francisco so you can see that sourdough bread is close to my Heart. I love cooking and baking breads.

Prior to getting your starter kit, I tried every way possible to make a sourdough starter. I must have tried 10 different recipes and formulas to no avail. I've been using your recipe and starter for about 2 months now and I'm able to turn out wonderful sourdough bread finally. I just today mailed my sisters 4 small rounds because they love it so much.
I baby my "Little Beasties" and the longer it's in the fridge the better it seems to get.

Linda, again, thanks a bunch for your great product. You can't find that product in Nevada that I have seen, its a shame too. A lot of people in Reno love a good sourdough bread. I am telling people about the "Beasties". Have a fine day.

Your Friend Forever,
Jim


Thanks so much for your timely reply and for answering all my questions. As a novice at baking, your answers will help me to turn out even better sourdough, Thank You. In response to your question about using portions of my e-mail to put into your reviews page, I INSIST. I want people to experience the wonderfulness of great sourdough bread. I am honored that you should ask me.

Thanks again Linda,
Jim M.


Linda,
Good morning! I just wanted to tell you that I baked my first loaf of sourdough bread from your starter last night. First of all, the directions you gave were much less complicated han the other recipe I had. Secondly, the bread was the best I ever baked! The texture, crust and taste were fabulous!! I bought 25# of bread flour from Sam's Club, and I think I'll just keep this starter going in my proofing box until Thanksgiving, baking bread every day or two. My new "pet" is such fun and so responsive. Feel free to use my comments as a testimonial to the great quality San Francisco Sourdough Starter you provide. Thank you again.
Have a great day!
Diana

Hi, Linda, thank you so much for your wonderful starter, I followed the directions and thebread came out so delicious and incredible, I loved it (so did hubby!) I'm going to be making lots of sourdough bread now!

Thank you again so much for everything!

Blessings, Leora

Dear Linda

I have been making bread every week end for the last 3 weeks. I have tons of starter and having lots of fun.

I love this bread, I have gallons of starter. I am in bread heaven.

Jeff Notti

Hi Linda,

There wasn't enough room on ebay to tell about the experience I had with your starter. Everything worked out perfect and the bread is outstanding. I loved the look, the taste, the feel....!

I've been looking for a bread like this since I left Europe over 9 years ago! I just got a Panini press from my sister and I was determined I needed to make some good bread for the sandwiches. I live in the NY metro area and we have a good selection of bread but this was still the best! I wanted to attach a picture, but I cut it up and ate most of it before I remembered.

I can't wait to make the next for Sunday (having a family get together at my mother-in-law's house). I made the bread with the bread machine, because with my 2 tiny children (infant & toddler) I couldn't spare the time doing it with hand (I don't have a stand mixer, & there is no more room in my kitchen for another appliance!). I didn't bake it in the pan. After the 8 hours proofing, I mixed it with the machine and took it out of the pan,
shaped it and let it rise for another 2 hours. Baked it on the baking stone for 40 minutes.

Thanks for the great starter and the friendly and super fast support! 

Ivett

PS: I need one of those knives, I placed an order from your site. Thanks!


Thank you! They all turned out browned and wonderful! They are cooling as we speak! I just took a little pinch of one and Oh my goodness the texture...the taste! You are the goddess of all things sour doughness! Thank you sooo much!!

Sure go ahead and use what you wish! You sure do deserve all the good wishes! Great bread and you are such a nice lady!

Debbie Borgo

Hi Linda
I want to report that your sourdough starter worked beyond my expectations!!!!!! It took 3 days to activate the starter. I had a little disaster I put a little too much flour in the starter mixture and it bubbled up out of the container my proofing box. Enclosed are some photos of my first attemps at making bread. One (the round loaf ) is from a recipe on your web site. It involved letting the loaf proof for about 12 hours, which is very handly if you can't be around, and then cooking. The two square loaves are sourdough wheat. That recipe was on the King Arthur web site. That recipe originally called for white wheat flour and I had to susstitute red wheat. Texture of the loaf was a little courser but it worked out okay. Was a little apprehensive about the power of your starter to raise a heavy wheat loaf but it did not have any trouble. The third pix is my temporary proofing box. I used a "WalMart" picnic/beer cooler and 4watt night light. The little bulb maintained a temp of approxiamately 80F. When I was working, I used to do a number of project using micro-controllers. Hmmm, I might be able to come up with a box that automatically will maintain a constant temperature. I was looking at some heater controllers at Home Depot but they are too bulk and would have to be inside the proofing box. Not sure if I want to go thru all the trouble of a high tech solution,tho. I have learned over my lifetime that simplicity wins out in the end. Again Linda, thanks for all of your help and encouragement. Keep up the good work. Scott

Linda - thank-you for your sage advice. I am the proud parent of a bubbling starter and have made bread that has risen beyond my dreams! I am now working on making the bread "pretty" ... instead of hockey pucks - something that resembles a loaf! I do have a few more questions ....

1. The bread is great when it first comes out of the oven ... crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Is there anyway to preserve the crunchiness for the day after?

2. Have you ever reheated your bread? If so - what is the best method? i.e. oven, microwave

All your advice is great but the BEST advice is taking the temperature of the loaf to ensure doneness ... in all my baking escapades .... I've never run across a temperature method - yours works like a charm! I no longer have to worry about over cooking the bread or worse yet -- under cooking.

Believe it or not ... I have gone through 13 pounds of flour this weekend. I now don't tremble too much when I dump starter down the drain! (There's only so much bread one can make and give away. Who wants to eat day old bread when you can eat it straight out of the oven!)

Thanks much! Bonnie

Here's my response to Bonnie:

Hi Bonnie,

I'm glad you wrote me. I'll try to answer your questions fully, but if I'm not making sense, be sure to write again.

1. The starter contains wild yeast, so we don't add commercial yeast; but it is a very strong strain of wild yeast and will make your bread rise beautifully.

2. Yes, it is definitely hard to dump out starter! : ) For 15 hours for just one cup of starter, you can probably get by with three cups each of flour and water for the very first feeding, so use three cups the first day and then, when it's more active, maybe you'll want to use four cups of each. You cannot overfeed starter and hurt it, but you can definitely starve it to death.

3. You can use either type of flour--or whole wheat or anything that will develop gluten--for all or part of the process. For activation, all purpose is fine, but I would recommend that you make your sponge and your bread from bread flour because it contains more protein than AP. More protein develops a stronger gluten and for sourdough, which is quite acid, you need the extra strength. Acid tends to weaken gluten. I have made bread from 100% all purpose flour and it turned out fine--just different.

Part of the fun of sourdough breadmaking is all the different results you can achieve by varying times, temperatures and ingredients. Follow my instructions the first couple of times and then start experimenting and you'll have lots of fun.

Please write again whenever you have a question. Don't be nervous!!!

You're welcome! This is free unlimited tech support!

Linda
SourdoughBreads.com


Hi Linda!
I just got up enough nerve to start the process. Have a couple of questions ...

1. Do you know if the starter has any yeast? I know we never introduce yeast into the process.

2. Your instructions say that the starter takes 3 full 24 hr days to fully activate. Unless I take my starter to work and feed it ... I will need to give it enough that it can survive for 15 hours. Am I interpreting the instructions correctly if I do this .... take about a cup of the starter (boy is it hard to dump out starter) and add 4 cups of water and 4 cups of flour?

3. Does it make a difference if I use regular all purpose flour as opposed to bread flour?

Many thanks! Bonnie

Hi Linda - been making bread from your starter for about 8 months now and it keeps getting better all the time.

Found this recipe for pancakes that I really like, and thought you may be interested.

http://www.virtualcities.com/ons/ca/n/can26036.htm


Regards, Floyd Rentz

Hi Linda,

Wanted to thank you for the very fast shipment, and for being there to "start" with! Wasn't sure how I was ever going to find some starter, and being in an area with very heavy pollen and some fairly heavy industry, I wasn't game to pull my yeasties out of the air!

Amazing how you can keep those little guys so ready to go in a dry envelope! My starter "started" right up, & is very very active it seems to me. About to bake my first loaf today. We are also building an earth oven and hope to start using it in a few weeks for our wonderful bread and other goodies.

Thanks again for all the nice info. Will definitely recommend your website & starter product to everyone who loves this great bread I'll be baking!

Sincerely,

Terri Dawson

Hi Linda,

No problem if you want to use my comments on your website or whatever, and I know I ramble so I won't mind if you cut and paste my commentary as needed.... the latest update is, the bread was wonderful! I made my first 2 loaves of sourdough ever and they were great thanks to all your information! Baked in my electric oven using your moisture tips, the custard cup & sprays on the oven walls every couple minutes to start. Never had such a nice crust. Also thanks for the note about freezing the bread, tried that with one of the loaves, although have already taken it back out to eat :), and it's still great!
Take care and thanks for making this so easy for the novice baker!  Terri


Hi Linda,

If a picture is worth a thousand words this will tell you of my delight with the army of yeast and lactobacillus that you sent to me...

Robert Ballantyne's Bread

http://17.freebb.com/sourdough/sourdough-article20.html

My 17-year-old daughter simply said, "awesome!"  Here is everything I hoped for. This bread has outstanding flavour! The texture makes it a pleasure in the mouth. Even the colour and presentation of the loaf creates the anticipation of something special. It is hard to believe that food this wonderful to eat is also good for you.

Many thanks and best wishes... Robert

Linda,
Thanks for the great instructions. Initialized fine, became nice and active right off. The basic sourdough bread recipe came out great.

Again, thanks!
David

Hi Linda,
I just made my first loaf of sourdough bread this morning. Your starter is great. Your directions are very easy to follow. I'll admit when I got it I really didn't think it would work. I've tried to do sour dough starters before and they always failed.
Thanks again. Shelley

Hi Linda - been making bread from your starter for about 8 months now and it keeps getting better all the time. Regards, Floyd


Tried your starter............WOW. I would have never thought I could make bread like this at home. Will never use commercial yeast again. I can't believe how easy it is and the terrific crust! The crust the crust the crust! I have been baking bread for 30 years and this stuff is unbelievable. Best Wishes and THANKS!

Hi Linda--

Thanks for getting back to me. Pleased isn't the word for it. I thought Irving was magical, but I had to use commercial yeast. I could not believe what a fantastic loaf came out of JUST starter, flour and salt, and how fast it rose. Yes, slower than with commercial yeast, but each rise took only 2 hours. That's pretty durned good! Carol

Dear Linda,

I recently purchased your starter for Sourdough bread. Suffice it to say, I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to replicate San Francisco Sourdough for a number of years. I have tried many different kinds, homemade, processed, etc. I have never found one that made even a close approximation of the SF sourdough.

I made my first loaves last week and they were surprisingly good. I realize that I need some "tweaking" of the time constraints for the best product, but my husband and I were both pleased with the result. I thank you for your diligence in producing an authentic product.  Anne Grignon


Hi Linda,
I received the SF starter this past Saturday. I made my first loaf in my bread machine (according to the instructions) and it came out GREAT! This is good stuff. Thanks, James Chermak


Hi Linda....made my first batch of sourdough pancakes this AM........fabulous !!!!! I had had starter for many years from an Alaska strain...but some evil person pitched it out..in a cleaning fervor....However this strain is even better than my old stuff....thanks for marketing the starter, I couldn't find any for over three years. Thanks again, Suzanne Biely-Reiter

Hi Linda....No problem relative to your request to use my comments...you have a great and lively strain of sourdough....I made a batch of sourdough rolls for Thanksgiving...they were marvelous........Thanks again for the wonderful starter..I am having so much fun reaquainting myself with sourdough cookery.. Suzanne

I started at 10am and just ate my first piece at 4:20. Linda, it is THE best bread I've ever had in my life.

I was totally amazed at how much and how well it did its two rises. Also how elastic the dough was in the working stages with no commercial yeast in it. I could NOT find my dough hook for my Kitchenaid. I've never used it. It's probably out in the barn somewhere in a box, down under. But I did have the paddle (which I've never used either). I kept it with the paddle for the two cups of added flour, 1/2 cup at a time, added slowly, and after that, it was chugging just a tad. I added the salt, and went by hand thereafter (and did let it rest about 15 minutes before starting to knead).

Everything was done exactly as written, down to the squirt bottle and the little pot of water on the bottom shelf of the oven. I shaped it into an oval, and sheeesh, its final size was 9" wide at the center by a whopping 11" long. It almost filled up my whole cookie sheet (9 x 13 size). It rose to 3-1/2 inches tall in the center (I cut it in half before taking a slice).

Hi again......I made the best sourdough waffles ever this morning....well, maybe its because I have been "Jonesing" for sourdough waffles for so long.. but they were great!!!!.......thanks again... Suzanne

Hi Linda - Just wanted to let you know that we have had several batches of pancakes, which were wonderful, and I have made 6 loaves of bread already!

I especially appreciated your thorough, excellent instructions. This sourdough is a living thing, so it really helped to have the instant-read thermometer as you suggested for growing it, and also to check when the bread was done

You are awesome! (guess you can tell I'm a Californian ;) Rebecca Korematsu


hello,i just wanted to tell you how happy your sourdough starter has made me.it took some doing as you know, but i finally made bread that satisfies me 100%. thank you very much.i will tell anybody who compliments the bread where to go to get some of their own. again thank you! Ted

hello,sure you may use my comments on your website.your product deserves great praise. again thank you ted

I made pancakes with the excess starter this morning. They were incredibly delicious! I don't usually like pancakes very much, but these were heavenly. I had no idea pancakes could be so tender and light and flavorful! Guess we'll be eating a lot of pancakes with all this excess starter I can't bear to pour down the drain. Thanks so very much for making this wonderful starter available.  Rosie


Linda,
It is magnificent! It smells so wonderful. I was just now looking for a recipe for the pancakes I read about on your website. Thanks so much for responding. My house is cold and I think that putting the starter jar in a warm bath did the trick. It was about 6 hours from that time that I saw the bubbles.  Drooling in Poulsbo,  Rosie

Linda –
I ordered your starter and followed the instructions using hard red winter wheat that I grind myself. I used the whole wheat through the entire process. This bread is so incredibly good that I am in heaven. I used to be able to buy whole wheat sourdough at Whole Foods Mkt. here in Arizona, but they stopped carrying it. This stuff is even better than that was. I use a Zojirushi Bread Machine to make the dough, then shape it and put it in my warming drawer. Using the pan of water in the oven, the crust is great. If you add 1/3 to ½ of the flour as whole spelt flour, it is even more tangy due to the naturally tangy flavor of the spelt. I’ve also tried a multi-grain version with barley, millet, triticale, wheat bran, etc. My son, who has been a sourdough fiend since birth (we used to live in California) and is now 27 loved this bread and he usually prefers white bread.
Anyway, one of my goals for the summer was to figure out sourdough in my new bread machine and with your starter, it sure wasn’t hard.
Thank you lots!
Lynne Arnold
PS I am ordering a couple more packets just to make sure I always have it if one of my 7 kids wants some.


Linda –
Here is the website for the best Grain Mill. We did a lot of research on them and this is really great and so easy to use.


http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/#Mills
I get my whole grains at Walton Feed
http://waltonfeed.com/


The shipping is almost more than the grains! But, it is well worth it. First of all, they are much cheaper than flour. Secondly, the keep indefinitely and boy, does fresh ground flour make a difference in flavor! There is no comparison. You just never know how long flour has been on the shelf, in transit, etc. or what temperature it has endured.
I buy yeast here too and gluten (not to be used with sourdough - it works fine, but I have found it decreases the sourness). The red hard winter wheat (I buy organic) is simply divine. The whole white spring hard wheat is great for a moister texture. I get tons of other grains from there also.
Regarding recipes – I’ll pull things together and get back to you. I’m in the middle of too many projects right now and I want to make sure the recipes are well tested before you post them.
Lynne

Hello Linda--Just wanted to tell you how pleased my wife and I are with the bread I am baking with the San Francisco starter I got from you. The taste is really outstanding! I know we are supposed to wait a few minutes for it to cool before we start slicing it. But, it's pretty hard to wait. The Bible says that man can't live on bread alone. Well--I think I almost could on this bread. Have a pleasant day.  Frank  In God We Trust--God Bless The World

Just though of dropping you a line.  I just finished baking, with your starter of course, and here is a photo of the breads. The left front three are 10 grain with some whole wheat mixed in and the rear three are the same but with white flour and no whole wheat and the three long loaves are semolina.

Wish you were here to help us enjoy them.

Regards, David

David Garsia's Bread

Linda,
Move over Boudin's Bakery. Linda's starter makes better bread than yours. Finally, my starter got properly started and I made 2 French style baguettes. It was fantastically good.  I'm so glad I found you on the internet. I want to thank you, too, for the help, you sent by e-mail, yesterday, concerning aluminum dough hooks.  Your starter was everything you said it was and more. I can't give it enough praise. Have a great weekend.

Patricia A. Laurent

Hi Linda,
I love my sourdough starter! I had tried to make my own starter from scratch, and it worked to a point. It had a very strong sour flavor and didn't rise well at all. Your starter became very active almost immediately. After the first day it got so many bubbles that it was almost like a bubble bath, very foamy with large and small bubbles. I waited patiently for 72 hours to pass to make my first bread, and it turned out great the first time. My husband and kids loved it!

Since I was anxious to do something with my starter and I had all of that extra starter to play with or throw out during the 72 hours, I tried making pancakes and biscuits using instant mixes. For the pancakes, I used 1-1/2 cups of starter, 1 cup of Krusteaz pancake mix and about 3/4 cup of water. They turned out great. For the biscuits, I used 1-1/2 cups of starter and 2 cups of Bisquick. I turned the Bisquick out onto a surface sprinkled with more Bisquick, kneaded it, and used a Biscuit cutter to shape the biscuits. Then I let them rise for 30 minutes and baked them for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees. They were delicious.  Thanks so much for the great product and easy to follow instructions!

Susan Tucker, San Pedro, CA

Hi ! Linda:

Well,we really did it ! With your detailed instructions,and a little time on my part,we finally got the real stuff--

Now it is a question as to what to do with all the money I save on not having to buy an airline ticket to San Francisco to get a loaf of sourdaugh bread.

Bread turned out fine,added the ascorbic acid with the salt. Thank you for making my day.

Sincerely,  Bernard Theurich

Dear Linda,

Four loaves came out of the oven today, and I just have to say that your San Francisco Sourdough Starter is simply amazing! I followed your instructions to the letter, feeding the starter for a full three days before making my first loaves. By the end of the third day, the starter was literally tearing at the glass to get out and make bread. I used two recipes to make the bread: yours and one I found in the March/April issue of Cook's Illustrated. The main difference was in the proofing of the bread dough--Cook's had me form the loaves after the first rise and proof overnight in the refrigerator. Your recipe had the sponge fermenting overnight and a slightly less baking temperature. The results in either case were absolutely outstanding. First of all, the strength of the starter surprised me, particularly the very noticable "bounce" I observed on all the loaves in the first ten minutes of baking. The resulting loaves were well shaped, high, and rounded. Of course, looking pretty isn't everything--taste and texture are equally important. Both crusts were excellent--thick and chewy with yours with a bit more pleasing crunchiness. Both had light and airy crumb on the interior, with wonderful butter pockets throughout. Finally, the taste was not just close to the bread made famous in San Francisco--it was that beautiful aromatic mixture of nuttiness and sourness baked to perfection. I've been baking bread for over forty years and I can honestly say this is the best bread I have ever baked. My arch rival in bread making will have to wait a while before I tell her my secret.

Warm regards,

J. P. Morgan

Of course you may use my letter in your review section. As a follow up, we had a bread "tasting" last night with some close friends, dipping small slices in olive oil. The consensus was that your recipe was the best, although both were excellent.

Best of luck in your business.

JP

Hi Linda,

Just wanted to let you know that our first sourdough loaf came out of the oven this afternoon. It was a free form loaf, and was rather 'flat' but the crust was wonderful, and the bread itself had a fine sourdough flavor. I read the FAQ's on your web site, and noted that several other people had mentioned similar problems, so next time, I shall follow your advice, and add more flour, and make smaller loaves. I baked the loaf on a Pampered Chef stone baking sheet, and that seemed to work well. I also have a Pampered Chef bread crock, which is a really just a small stone cylinder, so I might try that next time.

Thanks for all your help and interest - your instructions have been invaluable, and the Web site is very useful.

Regards. Wendy  March 23, 2005

Hi Linda, I just made my first loaf of sourdough bread this morning. Your starter is great. Your directions are very easy to follow. I'll admit when I got it I really didn't think it would work. I've tried to do sourdough starters before and they always failed.  Thanks again. Shelley

Hi Linda - been making bread from your starter for about 8 months now and it keeps getting better all the time. Regards, Floyd


OH LINDA!!!! It WAS delicious!! We ate both loaves in one sitting....I am making more today...It took me right back to California! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I will be making at least one loaf a week. Tami

Linda,   Just as an aside, I found your directions for what I now view as a fairly complex process (starter activation to finished bread) to be extremely accurate and detailed, besides leaving nothing to chance. A real bargain for only $8.99!
Steve

Dear Linda,

I got my sourdough starter from you just a few weeks ago, and made my first loaf of bread last weekend. It was fantastic! Thank you so much for the great booklet, instructions and well wishes.

Sincerely,

Tracy T.
Greeley, CO

Hi Linda--Thanks for getting back to me. Pleased isn't the word for it. I thought Irving was magical, but I had to use commercial yeast. I could not believe what a fantastic loaf came out of JUST starter, flour and salt, and how fast it rose. Yes, slower than with commercial yeast, but each rise took only 2 hours. That's pretty durned good! Carol

Tried your starter............WOW. I would have never thought I could make bread like this at home. Will never use commercial yeast again. I can't believe how easy it is and the terrific crust! The crust the crust the crust! I have been baking bread for 30 years and this stuff is unbelievable. Best Wishes and THANKS!    Marisue, Jacksonville Beach, Florida  February 24, 2005

Linda –
I ordered your starter and followed the instructions using hard red winter wheat that I grind myself. I used the whole wheat through the entire process. This bread is so incredibly good that I am in heaven. I used to be able to buy whole wheat sourdough at Whole Foods Mkt. here in Arizona, but they stopped carrying it. This stuff is even better than that was. I use a Zojirushi Bread Machine to make the dough, then shape it and put it in my warming drawer. Using the pan of water in the oven, the crust is great. If you add 1/3 to ½ of the flour as whole spelt flour, it is even more tangy due to the naturally tangy flavor of the spelt. I’ve also tried a multi-grain version with barley, millet, triticale, wheat bran, etc. My son, who has been a sourdough fiend since birth (we used to live in California) and is now 27 loved this bread and he usually prefers white bread.
Anyway, one of my goals for the summer was to figure out sourdough in my new bread machine and with your starter, it sure wasn’t hard.
Thank you lots!   Lynne Arnold

Hello Linda,

In April I ordered a packet of San Francisco sourdough starter from you. I had high hopes ... but also extreme doubts. I love sourdough bread; love it, love it, love it. Over the years I have tried to make it so many times that I think the amount of flour I used could fill the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately, however, nothing ever worked. I attempted making my own starter so many times and even though it made delicious pancakes, the bread flopped time after time. Even if it did turn out, I always had to add yeast and it tasted like nothing more than regular homemade bread. Good, but not sour.

Once, many years ago, I thought I'd found my answer. I was in San Francisco attending a seminar, and I found a packet of REAL sourdough starter." Hooray!" I thought, and I eagerly brought it home and mixed it according to the package directions.  It did nothing. It sat there in the bowl like a worthless, watery mass of goo. I was bitterly disappointed and from that point on, I vowed that the only way I would ever *make* sourdough bread again was to *make* a trip to the bakery.

Fast-forward to April 2004. For some weird reason, I happened upon your Web site and was intrigued. You showed photos of beautiful bread! I could make that bread! And even though I didn't know you, I somehow knew your photos were real, and that you had actually baked the bread yourself, and it really did look like that. I sniffed my computer screen and I swear to you, I could almost smell it baking. (Licking the screen, however, did not satisfy my taste for sourdough bread.) In eager anticipation of becoming a Master Sourdough Bread Baker (MSBB), I ordered a packet of your starter.

When it arrived, I read your directions and chuckled because they were so long and comprehensive. I felt as though I were embarking on a mission to not only build bread, but also the oven I would bake it in and the kitchen where the oven is housed. But I followed those directions to a T, including using a thermometer to test the water temperature, giving the starter regular feedings, and singing it lullabies. (I added the last part to make it feel more at home.)

When the day arrived for me to bake my first loaf, I spent a lot of time preparing for the event. I fussed over my hair and makeup, and notified friends and family NOT to call or stop by, in case my bread-baking experience turned out like those of the past, in which case they would not want to be anywhere near me. I used my bread maker to do the mixing, and added the ingredients you specified. I came very close to adding some yeast, in spite of your strong warning not to, because I couldn't believe the dough had a prayer of rising without it. I didn't, though. I stuck to your recipe like an obedient bread-baking student.

After the bread maker had done my physical labor for me, I thanked it and then put the dough in an oiled bowl, which I set in the oven with the light on. Then I prepared myself for the inevitable: two hours later, I knew that dough would still be the exact same size lump.

Well, two hours later that dough had puffed up like a giant yeast balloon, and I took one look at it, shrieked out loud, and did a celebratory dance around the kitchen. Then I formed the dough into a French-style loaf and put it back into the oven to rise again, and IT PUFFED UP AGAIN! The baking process was the best. My kitchen smelled exactly like San Francisco (except for the fishy smell of the wharf, which was missing). When the bread was done, I confess I did NOT follow your instructions, which suggested waiting an hour or so before cutting. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? WAIT TO CUT THIS BREAD??? I. don't. think. so. With the skill of a seasoned Samurai wielding a deadly sword, I slashed off a hunk, slathered it with butter, chomped into it, and thought these words ...

Linda is forever my hero.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am baking another loaf as we speak and when it comes out of the oven, I confess that I will NOT wait to taste it. I hope you don't mind.  :-)

Sincerely, Peggy Parks, Muskegon, Michigan

Linda,
I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful starter! I made bread last week and everyone raved about the results. Thanks again.  Angela Reaves Godwin, July 8, 2004

Dear Linda: 
Today I made my first loaf of Sourdough bread. I used the simple starter, flour salt method.  Lordy! Girl I've been making bread since I was 13 years old, which in dog years is about 400 years ago! This is the best bread I've ever made. I briefly considered sending half the loaf to the neighbors, and then greedily decided to experiment with putting it in the freezer after tightly wrapping it with plastic wrap. I'm calling this a science experiment--LOL !!

Dear Linda, Years ago, when I lived in San Francisco, I used to go to Alfaro's on the Wharf to buy my bread. I have to say, this loaf is as good as anything I ever purchased there.  Thank you also for your wonderful tutorial!  Kudos.  Kindest regards, Nancy

Hello Linda, Thank you for the excellent instructions included with your sourdough starter. I have successfully baked perfect San Francisco sourdough bread. A Very Satisfied Customer, Bill Frank

Linda:

I just wanted to get back to you on the results of my first batch of bread. I started culturing the starter on Tom Neubecker's First BreadThanksgiving day and baked my first batch today. The instructions were excellent!!! I followed them to the letter and I got a perfect loaf (actually 2 loaves) of bread. In addition to tasting good, they look fantastic. I plan to make some of them as Christmas gifts now that I have gone through the process once. I even thought I would send you a photo of my first 2 loaves. The photo is attached. 

Tom Neubecker  Cincinnati, OH


Dear Linda, This starter is indeed the best!  It really tastes like San Francisco sourdough. How many times I have tried other recipes and starters only to throw it away.  Not this one....Never! And thanks for being so very helpful. You are always willing to respond and answer questions. This has been an OUTSTANDING experience.  Barbara Hospel

Cynthia Ferguson said: “I loved my starter so much I am ordering another one for my daughter!”

I recently ordered a starter from you and my husband and I enjoyed pancakes this morning. They were wonderful. This was not my first experience with sourdough starters and I had owned one for about 15 years, but had to give it away to a new home when we moved to Hawaii for a few years.

We are back in Florida now and I decided I wanted my starter back so I began the process of looking for one again. I looked long a hard for a new one and found your website. I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with your product. I've never owned a starter that tastes this good. So good, in fact that I just ordered another one for my daughter in California.

Again, thanks for the wonderful starter! Cynthia Ferguson


Linda:

Just to let you know, that I have had a huge success with the sourdough starter. I made my first loaf after just a few days from the sponge. Not real tangy but a perfect rise. Then after another day or so, the sponge was starting to really work and I made another loaf. The bread had a magnificent flavor. Just outstanding! I made a proof container out of a cylindrical shaped syrofoam cooler. (made for keeping soft drinks cold) I cut a small hole in the side and inserted a 5 watt window candle light into it. Perfect temperature of 85 -87 degrees. Thanks again for an outstanding sourdough. (and great instructions) Sincerely,  Dave Yurick

I bought your starter on ebay about a month ago. My mother made sourdough bread for us boys growing up, but as we left home, and over the years, she neglected her starter and it passed away (his name was Oskar). Returning to the family farm, starting a family of my own, I yearned for the bread of my youth. I purchased your starter and revivied him to bubbley glory. I now bake twice a week, sometimes more. Oskar is vigorous and great tasting. My family and friends hound me for loaves. The hardest thing is keeping my 14-year-old daughter from tearing into a loaf and not burning her fingers. I have streamlined a good recipie. I keep a quart of Oskar in the fridge.

14 oz flour in mixer
2 TB sugar
2 cups Oskar from Fridge cold
mix lightly for 1 minute then add
1 cup lukewarm water
2 TB kosher salt

Nows the touchy feeley part. Add flour till the dough does not feel tacky in your hand. Experiment a little.

First rise is 12 hours, then shape and let finish for 2 hour approx.
For working folks this is great, make dough in morning, bake at night and enjoy.

Thanks
Britt Johnson BJ FARMS Oregon


My bread turned out awesome thanks to your fine starter. Thanks for all your help, you've been great!

Matt


Wow! So far, this stuff is ACTIVE!! I formed a loaf this morning but had to leave for a meeting. When I got back, this thing had kept on growing, way more than I had anticipated!

I've had different sourdoughs over the years and this looks like its going to be a "keeper".  Vic

I have baked many loaves already! Every day I am baking one or two. My husband devours it. Likes the half rye half white ones the best!

BARBARA HOSPEL

I am having so much fun experimenting. The starter is wonderful. I have a rye starter and a white starter. I just put some rye flour in some of the white starter and boy ...it took off. !

This starter is indeed the best! It really tastes like San Francisco
sourdough. How many times I have tried other recipes only to throw it away. Not this one..Never! And Linda is very helpful. She is always willing to respond and answer questions. OUTSTANDING!


Just baked the second loaf this evening. Rose higher and lighter than any I've had. Served it to a small group from our church warm from the oven. Wow, did they rant and rave!! Vic Beltz

Hi Linda
I received your starter and it is alive and well, I haven't tried any bread yet but have had sourdough pancakes,biscuits and cornbread. I have tried to make starters in the past using several different methods but they all failed. Your starter became active on the first mixing and is doing great. The tips you sent on temperature and feeding were very helpful. Looking forward to the bread.  Thanks AL