A Sourdough Starter Question -

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by OldGuy43, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've decided to try my hand at baking sourdough and started my starter. (Gee, that sounds redundant.) My question is should I feed it during the first week while it's fermenting. It seems to be doing really well, but not really increasing in volume. Every time I stir it and the bubbles go down it's still the same amount I started with. Not sure what to expect, and other than problems no one really says.

    Thank you,
    Mike
     
  2. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It won't increase in Quantity unless you add something to it, you can't make something from nothing. That said, the fact that you have bubbles and it is increasing in Volume means that it is working.
    I feed at 7 days and use at 14 to start out, stiring every day. After that, I relax and feed a day or two before I use it, or feed about once a week if I am not using it much. But my sourdough always seems to go bad on me at about 4-6 months old. I think the ceramic pot I purchased to hold my sourdough started is tainted with a bad mold. :(
     
  3. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you refrigerate your starter? Most say yes, but others say you can keep it room temperature.
     
  4. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bake bread once a week with my starter and here's what I do. I take it out of the fridge and pour it into a big bowl. I add two cups of flour and two cups of water and stir it well. I then put it in a warm place (my dehydrator has a bread rising function so that's where it goes) like your oven with a pan of boiling water alongside it. I then let it rise for three to four hours. At that point I take it out and measure two cups back into my starter jar which I've washed out completely and dried, and stick it back in the fridge. It has the consistency of a thick pancake batter. The rest I use for my bread loaf which is usually about two more cups.

    After that first week on the counter, where I leave it only until it's as sour as we want it, it stays in the refrigerator unless I'm using it for baking ... but I use it every week. Even if you don't use it every week, you're supposed to feed it every week ... which I'd do the same way I do for using it to bake with but I'd either give the extra away or throw it out. Sourdough starters really work best when they are used regularly.
     
  5. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Western MA
    How do you make a starter? I wanna do this!
     
  6. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, being just a beginner I thought I should let someone with more experience answer your question, but it's been over 16 hours so...

    Things you will need:
    • A ceramic or glass bowl
    • A thermometer
    • A covered glass container, NOT airtight (I used a glass canister from WalMart)
    • A wooden spoon
    • 2 cups warm tap water - 80-85 degrees (That's why you need the thermometer)
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 package fresh active dry yeast
    • A warm, but not hot place to let it sit for about a week (I just let it sit on my kitchen counter at 70-80 degrees)

    Preparation:
    Get all of your utensils immaculately clean and sterile. The way I did this was to wash them all in hot soapy water than boiled them in my boiling pot. Than, because my boiling pot was aluminum I washed them again in hot soapy water, rinsed thoroughly under hot tap water and let them drain dry inverted.

    My reasoning for going to all this trouble was that, from my reading most sourdough starter failures are due to contamination.

    The recipe:
    This is the one I used:

    http://breadbaking.about.com/od/sourdoughbreads/r/basicstarter.htm

    My tips:
    1. Never let anything metal come in contact with your starter, not even second hand.
    2. In the early stages your starter will expand a lot. If it's going to overrun the container just give it a stir with your sterile wooden spoon. The expansion is just gas bubbles. Stirring will knock them down, and doesn't seem to hurt anything.
    3. Stirring the mixture more than once a day doesn't seem to hurt anything either.
    4. Always clean your spoon immediately after using. I just run hot tap water over it.
    5. Likewise, always cleanup any spills right away. Once dry they really stick.
    6. It was my experience that after about 5 days the starter seemed to get (for want of a better word) "sleepy". I took this as a sign that fermentation was complete and added a cup of warm tap water and one cup of all-purpose flour to feed it.
    7. My plan is to let it sit, on the counter for a couple more days to mature before baking with it.

    I know some will disagree with some of my ideas, but this seems to be working for me. Tomorrow will tell. I found this recipe that I'm going to try:

    http://baking.food.com/recipe/rustic-country-sourdough-bread-157517
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  7. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Western MA
    Thanks!! :)
     
  8. rebbetzin

    rebbetzin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2008
    Tucson AZ
    I have started making sourdough bread too!! I keep my starter in the fridge. One a week I bake bread, and at the time I take out some starter, I add more water and flour and a tiny pinch of sugar, then let it set on the counter overnight. The next morning I put it back in the fridge.

    I got this really great baguette pan from my Aunt this holiday season I just LOVE it!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. ArmFarm

    ArmFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow that looks great! I make sourdough bread too, but my starter is fed with instant potato flakes, sugar and water. No kneading of the dough is required and the bread is delicious.
     
  10. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, my first attempt at sourdough bread was a disaster! Oh, it looked pretty and rose just fine, but it was SWEET(!) with only a slight hint of sour. Oh well, the chickens will like it, and I have other recipes.
     

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