Home NEWS Local Scene Phantom Bakers Sharing Sourdough Starter In Walnut Creek

Phantom Bakers Sharing Sourdough Starter In Walnut Creek

Photo: The Phantom Baker

If someone famous hasn’t already said the true measure of a community is how it rises to help others during a time of crisis – we’ll say it now.

Over in Walnut Creek, outside the entrance to Buena Vista Elementary off San Juan Avenue, an anonymous baker with a talent for making sourdough bread is sharing the wealth with neighbors.

A self-help kiosk complete with a recipe and history of the starter – which is over 100 years old (attached below) – along with sample containers of precious starter are fresh and replenished every day.

And, yes, there’s also a link to a web presence. Now, all we need are some photos of the finished product – if you partake, let us know how your started ended up!


  1. So easy to share a little kindness, which is what will get us thru this Pandemonium. I gifted the Fed Ex and UPS delivery workers each with a tub of wipes I found I had stashed-you would have thought I had given them all of Christmas.What other random acts of kindness are going on out there? I also share my print (how quaint) newspaper with friends who enjoy it but don’t subscribe.

  2. Does anyone have the recipe they can post? We would love to have it. We’ve been passing around a starter here in Santa Cruz/Aptos

  3. HISTORY AND RECIPE HERE: My neighbor told me this got picked up as a story – so fun stuff, glad to see there’s interest and thought I’d check in here as the Baker behind the mask. If you’d like a soft copy of this starters history and the pancake recipe, feel free to email me at: ‘BuenaVistaSourdough@gmail.com’ and I’ll send that sheet to you. I also just brewed up a fresh batch of samples and will be restocking the Kiosk box daily. It’s just outside the front entrance to Buena Vista Elementary (off San Juan) in WC. It takes a Village so the more the merrier, and hoping this little project helps fight off any Cabin fever. Enjoy!

    • Thank you! I sent my husband to grab me one yesterday (after getting there at 8 A.M. to find none left). They were gone by 12:45 when he got there… however, my friend has a friend who lives in that neighborhood and grabbed me one! This is such a cool thing you are doing! I hope I can keep it alive….I’ve been trying to make my own for months now but I haven’t had any luck! Now that flour is scarce, I was afraid to keep trying. I’m going to give it another go!! I’ll freeze half incase I mess it up but I think it might be easier with an already started one! I’m super excited to try!!!

    • Yeehaw! Stick a Lone Star flag in your loaf and send us a picture! And “howdy” to our friends and family in Texas!

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