MacPike Family Starter recipe

MacPike Family Starter

Bennington, United States



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MacPike Family Starter

Since 1960

Our original Starter was brought to Maine from Alaska and given to my grandmother in the early 1960's. She was told it came from a starter that was created around 1896. She kept it active until her death in 1988 when my mother took it over. I've maintained my portion from this starter since 1991. I've lived in multiple places with it -Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York and now Vermont.


This starter has a very mild odor with a subtle amount of tang. The amounts of flour and water used when feeding were once random. Over the years, I found it prefers being a consistency similar to cake batter. More recently I have adopted a 50/50 water to flour ratio that yields this consistency. Weighing also helps in maintaining more consistent bakes.

Taste & flavour

MacPike Family Starter top shot
MacPike Family Starter jar shot
MacPike Family Starter front shot
MacPike Family Starter rising shot


Starting ingredients

  • 4oz Starter
  • 4oz Flour
  • 4oz Water

Feeding ingredients

  • 6oz Flour
  • 6oz Water
Because I keep my starter stored in the fridge when not in use, I opt to feed it every 12 hours. With each feeding I increase the volume of flour and water until I have the total volume needed for the recipe(s) I'm making. This generally takes 2 to 3 days and yields a nice vigorous starter. As the starter becomes more vigorous, this frequency might increase to 8 hrs, especially in warmer months
6oz Flour 6oz Water

Working method

The reserved starter is removed from the fridge, brought to room temp, and fed with equal parts (by weight) of flour and water. I use Gold Medal brand unbleached flour and tap water that has been left out overnight.
4oz Starter 4oz Flour 4oz Water


Sourdough Pancakes

Light and sweet tasting. The same batter can be used to make waffles.
MacPike Family Starter Sourdough Pancakes first overview
MacPike Family Starter Sourdough Pancakes second overview

English Muffins

MacPike Family Starter English Muffins first overview

Sourdough Bread

These are the loaves toward the back. Often made with oatmeal or a squash/oatmeal combination. Our basic family recipe.
MacPike Family Starter Sourdough Bread first overview
MacPike Family Starter Sourdough Bread second overview

Sourdough Boules

Based on a King Arthur Flour recipe, these boules use a combination of bread and semolina flour. Topped w/sesame seeds
MacPike Family Starter Sourdough Boules first overview

Ciabatta Bread

I use starter instead of making an overnight yeast sponge.
MacPike Family Starter Ciabatta Bread first overview
MacPike Family Starter Ciabatta Bread second overview

Ione's Waffle Recipe from QFS Blog

A great variation from the recipe I've been using.
MacPike Family Starter Ione's Waffle Recipe from QFS Blog first overview

Anita Sumer's Sourdough Donuts Recipe

These are surprisingly light and fluffy. Next time I need to think about fillings.
MacPike Family Starter Anita Sumer's Sourdough Donuts Recipe first overview

Danish seed bread

A rye bread with sun flower seeds pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, cracked rye kernels, and wheat bran.
MacPike Family Starter Danish seed bread first overview

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