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Glowing sourdough starters (and funding my book project)

Hendrik Kleinwächter

Feb 10, 2022

I would have never thought that glowing sourdough starters could be the way for me to ultimately fund my open source sourdough book. A fun experiment! Let me show you.

Being me and chatting with a friend from med-tech a few crazy ideas arised around glowing sourdough starters. This quest lead to creating a couple of beautiful art pieces that I will be selling to fund my free open source sourdough bread book (end of article)


A sourdough is a symbiosis of yeast and bacterial microorganisms. Both of them live in harmony. To make the perfect bread you need to understand this harmony and use it to your advantage.

Before starting on this coloring project I explored several thoughts:

1) Wouldn’t it be nice to somehow visualize when your sourdough starter has the perfect yeast/bacteria ratio?

For that maybe we could color the CO2 somehow, or the ethanol produced by the yeast. The bacteria will over time start to consume the ethanol, this is a sign that you are out of harmony. So once ethanol starts to decrease again, you start to have more bacterial fermentation.

2) Maybe you could just visualize the quantity of yeast microorganisms?

The yeast is most active at the starter when feeding the sourdough starter. Over time the yeast will then stop being as active as food depletes and the acidity created by the bacteria increases. You could definitely target the Yeast DNA and then add a coloring agent. A challenge could be that your starter doesn’t only have 1 yeast type, it can be multiple.

3) What about adding the Firefly protein to the yeast microorganisms?

This is where it get’s a bit science fiction. Using CRISPR one could merge the DNA of the glowing firefly protein with the yeast microorganism. Could that work? Maybe jellyfish could also be an option?

Step one

As you know I like to go down the rabbit hole. But this time I wanted to start with a smaller project first. I’d just purchase a luminous color that is activated by UV-Light to glow in the dark. This alpha test would allow me to see how such a sourdough starter would look like. Furthermore I also purchased a UV-torch allowing me to activate the color in the starter.


I was surprised how beautiful all of the pictures turned out.

The book

I am selling the pictures in order to fund my book project. It will be a completely free open source book on sourdough bread. It’s not a collection of recipes. It’s the solid foundation that you need in order to succeed baking every sourdough recipe. Most books out there provide you with recipes that can simply not be replicated at home because the flour is different, the starter is different, the temperature is different and so on. My book will change that.

CodeNascher from our Discord server already helped me to build a basic potential cover:

A free book

This book is going to be completely free (except a print out copy later). Crucial information that will have such a tremendous impact on the lives of so many people should be free. This way everyone around the world can start making more nutritious and healthy bread at home.


Because the book will be free I need your help to make this possible.

I will be writing this book in 3-5 parts and have outlined the concept in more details directly on the corresponding github repo. I am asking all of you to help with funding the first part of the book, which will allow me to write the first chapters. Everyone supporting the project will also get a saying in which chapters should be written next.

The money will be used in order to take some time off from my job. Plus, finding help from designers to make sure the book has a nice appealing user interface.

If you would like to fund the project, you can head to: my ko-fi page. There you can donate to fund the writing of the book. Each donor will be mentioned in the book. Each tiny donation will help to make this project become reality. I appreciate it a lot, thank you!

Buying the pictures

You can buy the pictures over here on OpenSea.

All the money will be used to fund my book project. Besides owning the NFT, you will also have access to a free consultation with me once every 6 months, plus a small revenue share from my new Sourdough Starter tutorial via YouTube.

Thank you, your rating will be displayed shortly. May the gluten be strong with you.

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