Wild Apple Cider Yeast Sourdough

A couple years ago I fermented a wild apple cider using only the yeast and bacteria that were naturally on the apples. The cider had a really nice funkiness to it, very similar to French and Spanish ciders. I kept a jar of the yeast and bacteria after I bottled the cider and it had been sitting in my fridge for about 2 years. Rather than throw it out I decided to try building another sourdough starter with it. This is the result!

Bread fermented with sourdough culture built up from wild apple cider yeast and bacteria

Schedule: I based this loaf off of my sourdough schedule.

I started building up this sourdough culture about a week before I was willing to try baking a loaf of bread with it. It took a few feedings to see activity, and then after about day 3 it really started rising extremely well. I used bread flour for all of the feedings for this starter in a 1:1:1 ratio of starter:flour:water (40g each).

Since this is a 100% naturally leavened bread, I created a levain with my sourdough starter that was last fed 12 hours prior. This levain provides enough for 1 loaf of bread only. Be sure to keep a little extra of your actual starter to keep it going.

30 minutes before mixing the salt into the dough, I performed an autolyse by mixing the levain, water and flour together.



Started at 8:30am with the following ingredients. Mix everything together and loosely cover and let it ferment for about 8 hours.

  • 11g unfed sourdough starter (last feeding was 12 hours prior)
  • 54g filtered water @ 85-90’F
  • 43g bread flour
  • 11g whole wheat flour


  • 400g bread flour
  • 23g spelt flour
  • 23g dark rye flour
  • 340g filtered water @ 90-95’F
  • 108g levain
  • 11g sea salt


After mixing the dough, I performed 5 stretch and folds within the first 3 hours. The dough was a little on the sticky/wet side so I worked it as much as I could during the stretch and folds to help the gluten develop. The dough fermented at room temperature (around 70’F) overnight. After the overnight fermentation I shaped the loaf before proofing in a banneton for 3 hours.

I baked the loaf in a preheated dutch oven at 450’F for 38 minutes covered, then removed the lid of the dutch oven and baked for an additional 16 minutes.


This sourdough culture isn’t quite as sour as my whole wheat starter, but it definitely has a nice twang to it with a little bit of funk. After toasting it, the sour flavor definitely comes out a little stronger.

I fermented this bread side-by-side with a loaf from my whole wheat starter and this one definitely was a quicker fermenter and better riser. The crust has some really nice blistering and had some really nice natural scoring that took place in the oven.

This was an extremely promising first bake with this sourdough culture. I’ll definitely keep building it up and baking with it in the future.

Wild apple cider sourdough crumb shot
Wild apple cider sourdough top view

My Baking Notes

  • Ambient Temperature: 70’F
  • Started autolyse @ 5:40pm
  • Water temp: 92’F
  • Dough was 84’F at autolyse
  • Mixed @ 6:15pm
  • Dough was 79’F after mixing
  • 5 stretch and folds in first 3 hours
  • Started proof @ 6:25am
  • Preheated oven @ 8:10am
  • Into oven @ 9:15am

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