Managing Your Sourdough Starter

Before you watch this video on sourdough starter maintenance, please know that it really isn’t a big deal to keep your sourdough culture alive and healthy. A good starter is naturally very hearty and robust. If I were as strong as my starter is, I’d be competing in Iron Man competitions. At a minimum, all you have to do is throw some flour and water in once in a while to keep it alive during periods when you’re baking infrequently. To keep it near optimum health, feed it once a week or so and keep it refrigerated.

If you’re baking regularly, say weekly or bi-weekly, it’s easy enough just to feed it after using the amount called for in your recipe before returning it to your refrigerator. If you really want to be sure your starter is in optimum shape, feed it once or twice the day before baking or the two days prior to baking day. In addition, here are a few points that are worth noting…

  • When you feed your starter, feed it with approximately equal weights of flour and water. That equates to about 2/3 to 3/4 cup of water for every cup of flour.
  • As a general rule of thumb, the amount you feed your sourdough starter depends on how much of it you have to start with. When practical, you want to approximately double the amount of starter you have each time you feed it. However, if you already have a couple cups of starter on hand and typically only use a cup of starter in your recipe, it doesn’t make sense to have to double the existing two cups of starter. In this case just dispose of a cup or more of the starter and then double what remains.
  • If it’s been a long time since you’ve fed your starter and you don’t plan on baking for a while, don’t feel like you have to go through a big rigamarole to keep it happy, just stir in a 1/2 cup of flour and about the same amount of water and forget about it. That will at least buy you a few more weeks before you have to worry about it again.
  • If you really don’t think you’re going to use your starter at all for a very long time, (some people don’t bake during the summer months, for example), you could dry some starter and freeze it. It will store this way indefinitely. Then revive it in the fall. See the videos on drying starter and reviving dried starter.
  • If you need a whole wheat or rye starter, it’s easy to convert your white flour starter by just a few successive feedings with the flour you want. You may have to adjust the water as some flours are thirstier than others.
  • Be sure to store your starter in a container that’s not air tight. This comment from Madelyn dramatically (and humorously) illustrates why.

I’m really belaboring this subject. Once you’ve played around with sourdough starters for a while and baked some with it, you’ll know all you need to know and develop a sense for what works best. If your bread is not rising as much as you think it should (you’re not getting the desired oven spring) then try what I said about feeding your starter a couple of times in the 12-24 hours before starting your recipe.

As with anything on this web site, if you have any questions or comments about anything please ask in the space below.

Jan 13, 2011 Update: In this video I mention a favorite recipe of mine that calls for 2 cups of sourdough starter. It’s been so long since I shot the video (and many favorite recipes ago), that I’ve forgotten exactly which recipe I was referring to. I do know it was in Ed Wood’s book, Classic Sourdoughs. He has many recipes in there that call for 2 cups of starter.

{ 1414 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Latimer August 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Made my starter with pineapple juice per your website, now have gone to the whole wheat flour and purified water stage. It’s doing great, can see many bubbles so hopefully, I’ll be baking soon. Many thanks

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Kaye August 20, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Richard, Is your shelf below the halfway point in the oven? I find mine does better if it’s a little lower in the oven. I think mine is on about the second shelf from the bottom. I leave room to put a pan of water under it since I don’t have a nice commercial oven that makes steam inside. :-) I always preheat my oven, stone and/or bread pot for 45 minutes to an hour before I put the bread in.
Good luck!

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Elizabeth August 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Kaye, Anita, and Christine, I have followed your suggestions with wonderful results, my sourdough starter is rising now. Thickening the starter by cutting down on the amount of water I was adding to the flour when feeding has made the difference, also leaving out of the fridge for 5 or 6 hours after feeding. It is now doubling in quantity with beautiful big bubbles and smells so good. My thanks to each of you for your very helpful suggestions…I was determined to find out why my starter was not rising after feeding, I feed it around every 5 days and use bottled water. so thankful for Breadtpia…

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Kaye August 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Hi Elizabeth, Happy to hear your little “pet” is not increasing and bubbling happily away!! :-) It does smell so lovely doesn’t it. Almost as good as it smells when the bread is baking.
Glad yours is happy now, cuz when our stater is happy we are happy!!

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Resa August 20, 2012 at 8:18 am

Enjoyed your initial video on maintenance for sourdough starter. I am so confused as to how to proceed with starter so here is my question. I have my starter, it rose and bubbled over and now i have hooch, I refrigerated it for a couple of days while i was away, I now want to bake, I have removed it from the refrigerator, can you please tell me exactly what I need to do to proceed with baking at this point and moving on. Thanks for your time.

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Richard August 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm

When ive baked sourdough bread, in the classic style, the top 3/4 of the loaf is nice and airey – the bottom quarter is dense and still wet. Not sure what causes this – as I use a baking stone.

Any help is appreciated

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christine August 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Are you heating the stone before putting in the dough?

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Richard August 18, 2012 at 9:01 pm

No – probably the problem, eh?

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Elizabeth August 17, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Anita, thanks for your continued suggestions, no, it is not as thick as a brownie batter, more like a pancake batter. I will decrease amount of water until my starter is more like a brownie batter and no, I am not leaving it out of fridge before I feed it. I have been taking it out, stirring, feeding it and putting it right back in fridge, so I will follow your suggestions. Thank you so much for all of your help.

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Kaye August 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Elizabeth, I feed my THICK starter that way. But even then it does rise a bit, but more bubbles than rising. It grows in volume if I feed it once a week, and usually stays pretty bubbly. Now if I leave it out after a feeding it’s been known to overflow the jar, LOL
Your starter should increase just by the sheer volume of flour and water.
Are you using filtered water? I always boil mine for about 10 minutes before using it to get rid of the chlorine that’s added to our city water. I use regular unbleached All Purpose flour to feed mine, but use Bread Flour when I bake bread.
Try setting it out overnight and see if it doesn’t rise for you.

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Christine Hunt August 18, 2012 at 12:51 am

Hello, Good suggestions all, especially the part about it being a thick batter consistency.
I wonder if you are not feeding enough. If you want a good healthy starter it needs a big meal now and again.
I keep my starter refrigerated as well. When I’m ready to bake I remove it and let it get to room temp. before feeding. Then I give it at least 1/3 as much food as there is starter, more often half or more. It depends on how much baking I intend to do. Sometimes I feed as much as I have starter. I let it digest for at least 24 hrs. If I’m not baking within that time I feed again.

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Christine Hunt August 18, 2012 at 12:52 am

Hello, Good suggestions all, especially the part about it being a thick batter consistency.
I wonder if you are not feeding enough. If you want a good healthy starter it needs a big meal now and again.
I keep my starter refrigerated as well. When I’m ready to bake I remove it and let it get to room temp. before feeding. Then I give it at least 1/3 as much food as there is starter, more often half or more. It depends on how much baking I intend to do. Sometimes I feed as much as I have starter. I let it digest for at least 24 hrs. at room temp. If I’m not baking within that time I feed again.

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Anita August 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Hi Elizabeth – Well, it sounds like your starter is healthy – is it relatively thick, almost like a brownie batter, considerably thicker than pancake batter? Also, are you allowing it to warm up to room temperature when you feed it and try to monitor its rising ability? I hope someone can help you figure this out-

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Elizabeth August 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Hi Back, Anita, thanks for your reply, I was aware that my starter was a little too thin, so about 3 weeks ago I started decreasing the amount of water during feeding. It is thicker now, but still not increasing between feedings, I feed it once a week. It is beautiful and bubbly and has such a nice aroma. Not sure why it is not doubling in size. I keep it in the fridge with the lid slightly ajar.

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Elizabeth August 15, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I was given a cup of sour dough starter about 3 months ago that is doing nicely. I notice on the comments that so many people who have starters mention that their starters double in size after being fed. My starter never increases after being fed, but I have nice bubbles in it…I have never made bread with it, but I make sourdough biscuits often and they are delicious. I recently made sourdough popovers that were delicious. I got the recipe from the King Arther website. Is starter supposed to double in size, I do not know what to do to get mine to increase in size. My starter smells very good. Thanks for any suggestions.
Elizabeth

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Anita August 16, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Elizabeth- I also had a starter that behaved like yours; someone suggested that it was too thin, and I realized I hadn’t been adding enough flour during feedings. Once I remedied this , the starter was thicker and doubled easily.
Jo-Jo- You seem to have an Amish Friendship or Herman starter that requires sugar. I don’t know what will happen if you omit it, but my guess is that the types of bacteria in it need the sugar to reproduce. If you want to make basic breads, you should probably start over; otherwise you could experiment with what you have, but may waste a lot of ingredients.
Theresa- To be safe, I think the starter is supposed to be fed everyday if it is left out at room temperature; if you use it everyday, that is no problem. However, if it is refrigerated, it can keep almost indefinitely, used whenever you want, and fed much less frequently. For the best, most consistent results, most
recipes seem to recommend feeding at least every 1-2 weeks, while keeping refrigerated.
Pam – You can search the Internet for washing starter. It explains how to dilute a small amount of it with water and then build it back up again to the proper consistency.

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Theresa Libby August 15, 2012 at 10:05 am

Hi:

Should I not be taking my starter in and out of the regrigerator all summer and feeding it and putting it back? I leave it out for a few days and then put it back. I have left it out for a week and then put it back. Is it ok? How would I know if it is not?

Also how long do I have to wait before using the starter after taking it out of the refrigerator. Thank you for your advice. It is greatly appreciated.

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JoJo August 13, 2012 at 5:01 am

Please help! Yesterday I was given starter by a friend that has been going for about a decade. His directions for feeding include 1 1/4 c sugar. I am not fond of sweet pancakes or breads. Can I just start omitting the sugar when I start to feed it? He said to keep it refrigerated until 2 days before use. Let it sit in warm temp 75-80 degrees for 1st day, second day I should feed it. Then it is able to be used on third day…I just want to get rid of all the sugar. Am I going to have to make a new starter to get rid of sugar? I hope I explained this clearly.

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Pam Hamilton August 9, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I am new to the sourdough bread making and my friend gave me a starter and she said it needed to be washed but I have no idea what that means. The starter has a dark hootch on top what do I do? It is from the Ed Woods starter can you help me to figure out what to do. I have trouble understanding the book. Also what is the difference between bleached and unbleached flour. Thank You for any help you can give me. Pam

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Anita July 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Hi Bob,
If I understand you correctly, I’m concerned that you won’t end up with a good starter for next week.
Usually the starter should be fed with equal amounts (by weight) of flour and water, depending on the amount of starter you have. I use a simple formula instead of weighing everything. To 1 cup starter, I add 1 cup (filtered) water, and a scant 2 cups (all-purpose) flour (about 1-7/8 cups). This makes a nice thick batter- like consistency that rises easily and isn’t too watery.
So if I had 1 TB of starter to begin with, I would add 1 TB of water and a scant 2 TB of flour. If you have this in a clear glass measuring cup, you can easily see if it doubles or not. I would feed the starter twice a day while it was at room temperature. For the next feeding, stir it down completely, see what the measurement is, and then add the same measurement of water, and a little less than double the amount of flour. Or if you have a different formula to use, follow that. If the starter is strong and rising at least double between feedings, you can refrigerate it and not have to feed it for awhile, and not have to keep increasing the volume.
I”m not sure that only feeding it 1 tsp of water and flour a day (on the countertop) will keep it healthy, plus it will be too thin. Good luck with your baking next week!

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Bob Stallman July 29, 2012 at 11:40 am

I just received a small amount (1 TBS) of starter as a gift and had a few of questions about increasing the volume. I just fed it with 1 tsp of flour and about the same amount of water. It is on the counter in a one pint container with a very loose lid

1. Should I keep it at room temperature for awhile to encourage growth, say, for a week?
2. How often may I feed it?
3. How much should I feed it?

thanks!

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Kaye July 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Hi Bob, I started mine from dried starter from Breadtopia. Seems like I started it in a small bowl until it outgrew that and then put it into a pint jar. If I remember right, I fed mine once or twice a day for several days. I stirred it a couple times a day. I seem to remember I added Tablespoons of flour with just enough water to get everything to come together. Mine is quite thick even now.
I left mine on the counter until I had probably 2 cups or so then transferred it all into a 1 1/2 Liter jar. Marked with a marker on the outside of the jar where the starter was in the jar. I have been feeding mine about once a week and use some for one thing or another. I generally double the amount if there is room in the jar. I try to bake bread once a week or so. I leave mine in the fridge and when I see it’s not bubbling, I feed it. Once in a while there will be hootch on top and I just stir it back in before feeding and return it to the fridge unless I’m going to bake the next day.
I hope this helps.

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Bob July 30, 2012 at 8:55 am

Thanks Kaye,
Your advice sounds good. I’ve fed it a couple of times and am leaving it outside the refrigerator. I’m still doing about 1 tsp of flour with a little less than 1 tsp water. I see small bubbles, so I guess it’s OK. I don’t want to rush the starter, but I’ve got family coming in about a week and would like to make pancakes or waffles for them, and have enough to do so again if they like them.

thanks again!
Bob

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Kaye July 30, 2012 at 10:49 am

Hi Bob, If I remember right, mine made mostly small bubbles at first. Once I started feeding it more it got more bubbles :-) I think the stirring helps to, seems to rearrange things. I still do take mine out every few days to stir it good in between feedings.

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Elizabeth July 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Kaye, you mentioned that you make sourdough biscuits, would you be willing to share your recipe…I am looking for a sourdough biscuit recipe…

Thanks,
Elizabeth

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Kaye July 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Sure, I think this recipe was posted somewhere on here, not sure who posted it, but we love them. They are actually not much harder than putting frozen ones in the oven and they are as good or better imho.
SOURDOUGH BISCUITS
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup margarine or 1/3 cup butter, cold
1 cup sourdough starter
Directions:
Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
Cut in the margarine or butter.
Mix in sourdough starter.
Turn out dough onto lightly floured board.
Knead a few times, until all of the flour is mixed in.
Pat/roll dough to 3/4″ and cut out biscuits; place them on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake at 425°F for 12-15 minutes, until slightly brown.
Enjoy!!

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Jan Goldsmith July 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I have a starter, made from scratch, which has been going on for about 10 years, and was very healthy and active, though not very strong-flavored. Well, I recently asked a friend to feed it once a week while I went on a three week vacation with equal parts water and flour and when I got home, it was just about dead. It was very watery and I think she forgot to put it back in the refrigerator last time she fed it; it smelled kind of funny, too. I added a lot of flour and water, and now it looks a little better, but I tried making bread with it and the bread rose a little but came out way too dense. Can it be saved? And if so, how? thanks for your help.

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Kaye July 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Hi Jan, I’m sure not anywhere near an expert, but you might try reducing the amount of starter you have to maybe a half a cup to a cup. Then feed it enough to double what ever amount you’ve saved. Let it set out on the counter covered (but not tightly, it needs to breathe). See if after a few hours you see indications (bubbles) that the starter is reviving. I think I’d leave it out of the fridge for a couple of days and feed it once or twice (stir it in between feedings). Once it appears to be lively again return it to the fridge. Or try using part of it for a loaf of bread, feed it to replace what you removed and then return it to the fridge.
If this isn’t right, someone will come along and tell you a better way soon I’m sure. Good luck :-)

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Jan Goldsmith July 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm

thanks so much; it sounds like a good idea. I once dropped the jar and reconstituted it with just a cup of it, so your idea sounds perfect.

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Kaye July 22, 2012 at 7:38 am

Hi Jan, If you decide to try bread with some of it before you begin to feed it again. Be sure to feed what you keep out a time or two until you see the bubbling action. If you want to make something else, try English Muffins, Crumpets or pancakes. I found a wonderful SD pancake recipe. Tried it the other night and they were really good. I also love to make Sourdough biscuits. So easy and much better than the frozen ones :-)

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Linda July 22, 2012 at 9:41 am

Where did you find the pancake recipe? The one I found has good flavor, but very flat.
Thanks

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Kaye July 22, 2012 at 11:08 am

Linda, I can’t remember where I found it, but here is the recipie. I halved it to give it a try. There are two of us and we ate all of them! They are SO fluffy and good. See what you think. Definately not flat :-)
RICH SOURDOUGH PANCAKES
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups Sourdough Starter
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter melted
Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Add milk and sourdough starter.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar;
add to the egg mixture, mixing well. Stir in melted butter.
Lightly grease a hot griddle. Drop the batter by 1/4 cup onto
the griddle and cook until light brown, turning once.
Makes 6 servings.

Elizabeth July 18, 2012 at 11:34 am

I am new to sourdough baking, I am confused about feeding the sourdough starter, am I supposed to pour off the liquid that forms on top of the starter between feedings before I feed again or just stir the liquid that has formed on top of starter into the starter and then feed. Thanks for your help.

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Kaye July 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Hi Elizabeth, I think you can do either. I don’t bother to dump the “hootch” off the top of my starter, just stir it back in when I stir or feed my starter.
Mine is beginning to mature and it smells so nice!!

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Christine Hunt July 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I’m with Kaye on this one. I have poured the hooch off a few times but mostly just stir it back in. When I’m feeding just before baking I will sometimes pour off the hooch before feeding. I, too have a lovely, fragrant and good tasting starter.
Christine

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Gabrielle T. July 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Has anyone had success with a gluten free sourdough?

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Andrew C July 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I wanted to read the comments before posting something already discussed and answered, but I was curious whether I can use all-purpose flour to feed my starter instead of bread flour. Because bread flour tends to be more expensive, I wanted to make the most of it and use only when necessary.

Much Appreciated,
Andrew

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Breadtopia July 14, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Sure, you can use AP flour.

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Kaye July 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Hi Andrew, I use AP flour to feed my starter. When I bake bread, I do use Bread Flour and it works just fine.

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LoriR July 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I received my starter about 2 weeks ago and began the process for reviving it. All seemed to be going well, bubbly nicely so I refrigerated it after about 10 days or so. I went to use it today, but my loaf did not rise at all. Should I be taking the starter out a day before I bake, feed again, then use it?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

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Breadtopia July 5, 2012 at 3:45 am

Hi Lori,

That seems to be a long time to go without feeding. Probably aught to feed it about once a week minimun. Feeding the day before using is also a good idea, not only so it’s fresh and more active but so you can see if the starter rises after you feed it. If your starter rises, so should your bread and vise versa.

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LoriR July 6, 2012 at 8:11 am

It was not in the fridge for more than 2 days before using in and I was feeding it regularly. I tried to revive the starter after my failed attempt by feeding, but starter would not revive, no bubbles, no rising (I marked the container to see). Is my stater dead?

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Stephanie July 1, 2012 at 9:11 am

I’m just starting out with sourdough starter. I fed it according to directions last week, and this week I just want to feed and put back into the refrigerator. I understand that I can refrigerate right after feeding, but does the starter need to come to room temperature before feeding?

Thanks.

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Breadtopia July 1, 2012 at 9:45 am

No, it does not.

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Pat June 28, 2012 at 10:23 am

I have received some sour dough starter from an Amish Store. The instructions state to feed after each use: 1 c warm water, 1 c flour, 1/4 c sugar. Stir every day. I notice that your starter doesn’t mention sugar. Is this going to work with your recipes and do I need to continue to put the sugar in. I was going to make bread today but noticed I need to feed it a couple times to make sure it is active. I will await your reply, Thank you very much, Pat

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Jan Goldsmith July 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I had some of that Amish starter at one point; it’s an entirely different type of starter, and you make a sweet bread out of it. Sourdough starters for bread don’t use sugar, except when you first set them up.

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joe June 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm

just made starter and have wire jar was wondering if i should take off rubber gasket or leave on.

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Linda June 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I also use an old canning jar with the wire holding glass lid down. I am not using the gasket and having good luck. When I have starter out on counter I take lid off completely and just cover with a tea towel.
Hope this helps

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Christine Hunt June 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Take off….your starter has to breathe

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Kaye June 26, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Hi Joe, I use a 1.5 liter jar with a wire bale. I removed the rubber gasket and fasten the jar with the bale when in the fridge. Note: When my starter is room temp and I’ve fed it, I don’t fasten the bale on the jar until the starter has cooled completely, just to be on the safe side .
When I take mine out and set it on the counter to get it lively before baking, I drop the lid down or remove it as Linda does. I cover mine with a double fold of waxed paper and fasten it with a silicone oven band. When I plan to bake, I removed all the starter from the jar, put it into a large plastic bowl with a lid and feed it. I then wash and dry the jar, return the unused portion of starter to the clean jar and return it to the fridge.

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Linda June 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm

I have been trying to find ways to use my sourdough starter that avoids using the oven in this hot climate. On another site I found a recipe for crumpets. What a wonderful, easy use for leftover starter.
The recipe calls for 1 c starter, 1t sugar, 1/2t salt and 1/2 t baking soda. pour into a crumpet mold( I used a round thick cookie cutter) bake like you would pancakes on the griddle, unmold and flip when bubbly on top. They can be frozen and popped in toaster.

Any other uses for sour dough starter would be greatly appreciated.

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Linda June 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Theses are much thicker than pancakes!

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Kaye June 27, 2012 at 9:36 am

I couldn’t stand it and bought 2 sets of 4 crumpet/english muffin rings. Made the crumpets for our breakfast and hubby ate a bunch of them! He likes that they are thick. I’m going to have to try English Muffins too :-)
I did try the sourdough waffles, not what I expected, they were rather “limp” but the flavour was nice.

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Linda June 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I ended up buying 4 “cookie cutters that are 1″ thick. They are a little smaller than the 1 I borrowed from a friend and have not tried them as yet. I tried the crumpets again last week and this time added about 1 T of maple syrup to the white starter and honey to my sour dough starter. They came out very well.

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Stephanie July 1, 2012 at 10:12 am

Can also use a scone pan in the oven. Added a little warm water before baking to make consistency more like pancake batter. Alsos added 1T syrup.

9 mins at 350 worked just fine.

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Cynthia Brown June 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Hi, a few days ago I ordered the live sourdough starter. When I fed it the first (and now the second time) I have used whloe wheat flour
do I need to continue with whole wheat flour and more importantly will it work as well?

Thank you!

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Linda June 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I started with the white flour and eventually got whole wheat going also. To me, so far both work equally well.

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Lindylou June 11, 2012 at 12:23 am

Hi Gloria.
I store my starter in a kilner jar with the lid resting on the top not clipped. I then put the jar in a plastic bag, larger than the jar, which i tuck under the jar. This stops any little bugs being attracted to the starter. Flies just love the smell of an active starter. This way the jar is sort of sealed yet there is plenty ventilation. I made my starter (Fred) in May 2011 and its been going ever since.

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Anita June 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Hi Gloria, Yes, it does need a little ventilation. After feeding, I store my starter in the refrigerator in a clean glass wide- mouth jar with a lid, but the lid is not screwed tightly, just sitting loosely on top. Just make sure there is plenty of room in the jar or container for your starter to expand more than double, about 2-1/2 times to be safe. If you keep the starter at room temp, it may expand more than this, so choose a container large enough.

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Gloria Atterbury June 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm

When I place the starter, after making bread, do I cover the starter completely and store it in the frig. Or do I just cover the starter loosely and let the starter breathe.

Thanks a lot!

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larry June 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I used your very active sourdough starter after following all of the directions for the no knead recipe- carefully weighed the ingredients etc -and my loaf came out as flat as Florida.

I didn’t have a proofing basket so I used a plastic bowl sprayed with oil and coated with corn meal.

Is that the problem or ought I add yeast to the sourdough starter next time?

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Colin June 7, 2012 at 7:59 am

No knead breads work because the length of time proofing allows the glutten to develop. There are 4 main reasons why your bread didn’t raise. 1- your starter isn’t viable. check to see that your starter develops bubbles when you feed it. 2- No glutten development. Even with no-knead breads I like to do a couple of stretch and folds during the bulk ferment. Sourdough fermenting and proofing is a long process, 3 hours for just the bulk ferment is a minimum and the proofing can take even longer. 3- Overproofing. If your starter has ‘eaten’ all the sugars it won’t develop the CO2 needed to raise the dough. A couple of weeks ago I left the final proof in my baskets too long and when I knocked them out they went flat. I was going to discard them but my wife talked me into baking them anyway. I got a good oven spring out of them and the crumb had some of the best holes I have achieved yet. 4- Poor surface tension when forming loaves. This will cause the loaves to spread out rather than rise up which is the reason we slash them prior to baking. If you aren’t sure if it is the forming issue proof and bake in a greased bread pan which will keep them from spreading out.

Hope this helps.

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larry June 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Good tips. I think I did let it proof too long now that you mention it.

I do have to write that the taste was fantastic

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Angela Abrusci May 31, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Making my first starter was exciting! Watching it bubble and come to life gave me hope that I could make sourdough bread. Once I started to feed it though, the starter is not as vibrant. I’ve fed a few times and it gets a few bubbles and then starts to settle with a thin layer of hooch on top. I haven’t attempted to bake with it yet and I’m wondering if I should just pitch it and start over, which I really don’t want to do since I’ve been at this for a week, or if there is some way to revive it. I’m extracting a cup of starter and adding a cup of flour and 2/3-3/4 c. water. Any suggestions?

Also, if I have to start over, can I add some of this starter to the new one for the sourness or will it ruin the new batch?

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noreen May 25, 2012 at 7:24 am

Hi,
First time on your website, interesting!
Question: A friend of mine has started working with and baking sourdough and she is doing good. She gave me a starter. Left it on the counter, thinking I was going to bake with it soon. Got busy and forgot to feed it two days. When I looked at it, it seemed to “dry up”, not soupy anymore. It was kinda tough. Then fed it, one cup flour to one cup water (little much water?). Didn’t bubble. Did it again the next day, didn’t bubble (waited a several hours). I then put it in the frig. Realized I had the kefir on the same counter as the dough. Friend mentioned in conversation to make sure the kefir is at least 8 ft away from the sour dough starter. Did I kill the starter? The kefir seem to be still “alive”.
Thanks!!!

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Christine Hunt May 25, 2012 at 11:09 am

This is interesting to me. It would seem that your kefir has “stolen” the yeasts from your starter. I know you can make a starter with kefir….why not just replace the water in your next feeding with kefir. I understand it makes a tasty loaf of bread! If you don’t want to continue feeding your starter with kefir you could slowly reduce the amount of kefir in future feedings. What do you have to lose at this point?

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Mary Lamb May 25, 2012 at 6:01 am

I’m very happy with my starter. I don’t bake terribly often but it ‘behaves’ well on my schedule. I like to put nutrition statements on each batch and I’ve been winging it for the starter.
My question is how many calories in a cup of starter. I’ve started working toward an answer thusly: I’m using a ratio of 1 cup flour to 3/4 cup water. Not counting the existing starter I’m mixing it into, how much volume does that come out to? I know it’s not as much as 1 3/4 cups and I know it’s not as little as 1 cup. If I can get a count on what I add, I’ll calculate that to a per cup count and use it for the starter as a single ingredient.
Ugh. Did that make sense? I’ll try again if I’ve confused y’all too much. :)
Thanks for the help!

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Christine Hunt May 25, 2012 at 10:53 am

Okay…I’ll try this…
If you are using 1 cup of flour to 3/4 cup of water you have a four to three ratio of ingredients. Given that, if you are using 1 cup of starter for each loaf of bread and you are only counting the calories in the flour you would multiply the number of calories in a cup of flour (400 calories for a cup of white, unbleached flour) by 4/7 (4/ 7 =.5714 x 400 = 228.5 calories) The fact that the starter doubles with each feeding is of little consequence since the ratio of flour and water don’t change. This formula should be fairly accurate as long as you take the time to look up the number of calories in a cup of whatever kind of flour you are using. I used this website http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-hodgson-mill-white-flour-unbleached-i89274 to help calculate the calories in the example given.
I am not a mathematician but I do cook and bake a lot. If there’s anybody out there that has an easier or more accurate way to compute this or different logic….go for it! lol

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Mary Lamb May 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Hi and thanks. I started out using that but was told that the bacteria would act on some of the flour leaving it less calories. I don’t know where I’d look for someone who’s taken the time and trouble to calculate that though. I’ll go conservative and stick with the flour content but I’m still convinced my cup of starter doesn’t contain a cup of flour after it’s acted on. And, as you say, calories are a variable so I’d imagine digestibility would be too. Sometimes I think it down too much. Thanks for responding. :)

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Christine Hunt May 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Mary Lamb, Your cup of starter doesn’t contain a cup of flour. It’s comprised of water and flour. That’s where the 4/7 comes in. You have 4 parts of water to 7 parts of flour. That is what my calculation is based on. So for each cup of starter you only count just over half of it as flour. I don’t know about the chemical decomposition of the starter vs caloric change, although I would think that for home use this formula would be accurate enough. Good Luck…

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Mary Lamb May 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Ah. Of course. Thanks for your patience, Christine!

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Anita May 25, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Hi Mary,
I went through the same problem of calculating how much flour is in a cup of my starter when I was rewriting some of my yeast bread recipes. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but the proportions change because the flour absorbs more of the water; that’s why 1 cup of flour mixed with 3/4 cup water does not equal 1-3/4 cups of starter. You should mix those two amounts together in a measuring cup and see what the volume of ‘starter’ actually is- let’s suppose it is 5/8 cup (I’m guessing here) or 10 Tablespoons. So theoretically, 10 TBS of starter would contain 1 cup of flour, and therefore 440 calories (King Arthur all-purpose flour). After you measure this accurately, you can extrapolate how many calories in 16 TBS, or 1 cup starter –
I don’t use the same flour/ water proportion as you do, so my starter has a slightly different number of calories per cup. Also, I don’t know how much the chemical action of the bacteria changes the calorie count, but it is an interesting point. But I have heard that sourdough bread is healthier, and is digested differently, because it is a fermented food.

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Misty Fish May 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm

I am new to making sour dough bread. A friend gave me some of her starter and a receipe but I am confused. The reciepe calls for 2 cups starter. I was told to keep it in the fridge and do but when I take it out do I feed it before I use it to make the bread or after? Then do I put the starter right back in the fridge or do I need to leave it out for a while? Also she does not do the over night way I am reading about could somone type out a basic sourdough bread receipe. I would be very greatful. I have never made bread at all so its all new to me.

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Christine Hunt May 23, 2012 at 11:03 am

Yes, I always leave my starter out for a day , feed it and give it time to work before making bread. Then I feed it again after baking and leave it to have it’s meal before putting it back in the frig. You do not have to refrigerate your starter at all if you do a lot of baking with it. I refrigerate when I know I won’t be baking for a week or more. Otherwise I leave it out and feed it daily.
Basic Sourdough Bread (compliments of: http://breadbaking.about.com/od/sourdoughbreads/r/sourdobrd.htm)
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp shortening
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup sourdough starter
2-3 cups bread flour
Preparation:

In small saucepan, scald milk and shortening. Set aside and allow to cool until lukewarm.

In large bowl, add sugar and salt. Pour in warm milk and melted shortening. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

Mix in starter.

Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is too thick to be mixed with wooden spoon.

Turn dough out on floured board and begin to knead for 10 minutes, adding flour when dough gets sticky.

Put dough in greased bowl and turn over so that dough top is greased. Cover and let rise in warm place for 90 minutes.

Punch down dough. Cover bowl and let rise a second time for 30 minutes.

Punch down dough. Turn onto board and knead for about 3 minutes.

Shape dough into a round loaf. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 60 minutes or until double in size.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Using a sharp knife, slash an X on the bread top. Bake for 40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped on.

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Mary Ann Rogers May 18, 2012 at 11:16 am

I knew some people who took great pride in having a family batch of sourdough starter that was 100 years old. With that perspective in mind, I was trying to keep my starter and not start new. I keep it in a small crock in the refrigerator covered with saran wrap. Today, when I went to use it, I noticed that the “hooch” was grayish in color. Is that a problem? Is that bad bacteria?

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Breadtopia May 18, 2012 at 11:57 am

Probably not. Your starter just isn’t being fed enough.

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Stu Borken May 18, 2012 at 8:39 am

Thank you so much for the clarification.

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Stu Borken May 17, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Is the measurement of 1 cup flour and 2/3 cup water considered a 100% hydration, since the weights are similar? I never quite understood when contributors said they used a 60% hydration or 75%, I always wondered how did they know the hydration? Sometimes I just eyeball it when I add flour and water to a starter…..I guess I shouldn’t….

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Christine Hunt May 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm

That’s way over my head too. I have always just “eyeballed” my starter too and used what I would call good common sense. The 1 cup flour and 2/3 cup water is about the same as what I feed my starter too. If you want to get a really good sour put it in the frig for a week or two (without feeding it or using it) and then take it out and take it out and begin feeding again. There are probably other ways to do this, like just keep feeding it but I didn’t want to continue to feed and have so much starter so I used the frig “method”. Here’s a really good easy recipe to get going with your baking.
SOURDOUGH BISCUITS
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup margarine or 1/3 cup butter, cold
1 cup sourdough starter
Directions:

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
Cut in the margarine or butter.
Mix in sourdough starter.
Turn out dough onto lightly floured board.
Knead a few times, until all of the flour is mixed in.
Pat/roll dough to 3/4″ and cut out biscuits; place them on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake at 425°F for 12-15 minutes, until slightly brown.

Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/grandmas-sourdough-biscuits-18995#ixzz1urVl0nVr

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Tereza May 17, 2012 at 11:11 pm

OK, so when you say eyeball the sratrter with the amount of water and flour to feed it, what should the consistency be. This is my first time making the starter and have never seen a starter before, so it is hard for me to use common sense. When feeding, I add the flour first and add the water and mix it, and usually it takes 1/2 amount of water( that supposed to be added based on the 1C flour, 2/3C water)to make a doughy, runny like a thick waffle batter, and smooth texture, then I stop adding water. Is adding less water bad for the starte? SOS…

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Christine Hunt May 17, 2012 at 11:49 pm

You’re making it way more difficult than it is…what you are doing is right. Just keep doing it and go back through some of the posts on this site. You’ll find answers to most of your questions and you will find yourself more confident about starters.

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Breadtopia May 18, 2012 at 5:36 am

Hi Stu,

I always just eyeball it too. After a while you just get to know the desired consistence and you mix the ingredients until you have it. But yes, you’re right about equal weights being 100% hydration. It goes by the weight of water as a percentage of the weight of flour. So 60% hydration, for example, means there’s 60% water by weight compared to the weight of flour (100g flour + 60g water = 60% hydration, 100g flour + 75g water = 75% hydration).

As long as I’m on it, when you hear about “baker’s percentages”, it’s the same thing. Flour is always the 100% and all the other ingredients are a percentage of that. So when a recipe calls for 2% salt, that’s 2% of the flour weight is salt, for example.

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Tereza May 16, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Question: I have a starter that I made a week ago. Attempted to feed it, there are a lot of bubbles on the surface but the volume is not increasing. Is this starter still good to use? what can I do to save it?
Thanks

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Christine Hunt May 17, 2012 at 9:28 am

Tereza,
Your starter volume will increase with each feeding. It sounds like you have a good starter going, just keep feeding it and soon you will have more than you can use unless you bake 4 or 5 times a week.

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Tereza May 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Hi Chrstine,

Thank you! How long usually the feeding process takes before it is ready for baking, also how often you feed it. I have started feeding it daily and with 1 C flour, and abot 2/3C water.

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Michael M May 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Sorry – another question – I’d like a basic sourdough recipe that involves 1C of the starter. Thanks.

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Breadtopia May 16, 2012 at 5:17 am

Baking with sourdough is very flexible. Take any sourdough recipe and use 1 cup of starter instead of what’s called for in the recipe. You might want to adjust the flour a bit to achieve the same consistency as the recipe intended (takes practice), but even that’s usually not necessary.

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Michael M May 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I hear in your video and see in your text that you should feed your starter the day before you plan on baking but all of the baking recipies I see involve more than 1 day of prep / rising time. Also, I cannot seem to find a basic sourdough loaf recipe using this type of starter. Great videos!

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Breadtopia May 16, 2012 at 5:12 am

Hi Michael,

I should have said to feed your starter one day before you start the recipe. So if the recipe spans 2 days, for example, you’d feed your starter 3 days before actually putting the dough in the oven to bake.

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Kaye May 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Question. You say to double the amount of starter when you feed it. If you already have two cups and don’t want to double that much, do you have to throw the extra away? Could you put part into another jar and feed it so you will have more starter to “start” with??

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Anita May 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Hi Kaye,
I don’t throw any starter away, but I also don’t feed it/double it every week. It is kept refrigerated. When I plan to bake (approximately every 2-3 wks), I ususally remove 1 to 1-1/2 C starter and I feed/ double that to use in my recipe. Sometimes I use more , sometimes less. I alter my recipes to accomodate the amount of starter I want to use up that day. The rest of the original starter goes back in the refrigerator with either a ‘mini’ feeding or a regular feeding, depending on whether I want to double the rest of the amount or not. If I accumulate too much, I give some away, make pancakes or waffles a couple times, or maybe bake bread twice in one week. I have put some in smaller containers and also ‘started’ a rye starter. Once I made several pizza shells, parbaked them, and put them in the freezer. It is easy to manage starter without throwing it away, if you like to cook.

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Sheryl May 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Hello Eric:
I have a question about my starter, I would like to know how to slow my stared down it is so active that adding a quarter cup of flour to maybe a half cup of starter with equal parts water is giving me a four cup rise. I started this with the recipe on your site it is fantastic. Have family requesting my bread on a weekly basis. Thanks for the great site and vidios. Will send pics soon bread goes to fast to get any.

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Breadtopia May 8, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Hi Sheryl,

Are you already keeping it the fridge between baking? That’s the best way. If you are, then try keeping a smaller quantity, so when you do have to feed it, you don’t end up with a ton of it.

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Sheryl May 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Thank you I have also started giving cups of starer away. Very strong starter away. Have a great week!

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Sheryl May 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I have been doing both depending on when I a
am asked to bake. I am having fun just don’t want to drawn in starter.

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Krista May 7, 2012 at 10:07 am

I have been trying to break into making sourdough. I started a starter a while back and although it seemed healthy it never really made anything other than DENSE undesirable loafs. I was keeping it in the fridge using it for baking about once a week. Feeding it before and after use. So I disguarded it and tried from scratch again, keeping it on the counter this time. I tried making muffins about a week after the starter matured and it BARELY rose at all. I keep it on my kitchen counter which is quite cool (unless I’m using the oven or stove like 4x/week). Maybe my kitchen is too cool for proofing bread…any suggestions? How often should I feed it? Should I wait longer for it to mature to make bread? I keep it in a glass jar, and it doesn’t look as bubbly as my first starter and sometimes I see a clear liquid form on the top…

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Julie May 7, 2012 at 10:37 am

Hi Krista,
I am also new to sourdough and your experiences sound like mine! One thing I have been doing is keeping my starter fed on a regular schedule (every 12 hours at first and then every 24 hours) and I have been using my scale rather than volume measurement. I concentrated on getting a strong starter and it took about 2 weeks. At every feeding time, I would discard all but 200 grams of starter. To that I would add 100 grams of white flour and 100 grams of water. I also switched to using parchment paper as a lid for the starter jar so that the starter can breathe. Once I followed this scedule my breads started turning out wonderful. Once you get your starter strong and viable, then you can tweek it, ignore it more, get more relaxed with it. Hope this helps.

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Krista May 8, 2012 at 10:21 am

That sounds great, thank you!!!! I’ll keep you posted.

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Jan May 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Just a thought for those who abhor tossing their just-fed excess sourdough starter: use two cups of starter for sourdough pancakes. The pancakes keep in the fridge for a few days and are easily reheated in a toaster oven. Great prep for weekend guests or with fresh fruit for a dessert. Just sayin’.

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michael May 4, 2012 at 10:31 am

Eric do you have to dicard part of your starter when you feed it. If so why.AlsoI am having a hard time navigating your web site.If I google manage your sourdough it will send me to your site.But if I go to your site I can not find that information

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Polly T April 30, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Hi, I got interested in Hermann Cake where you feed a mixture then divid into 4 portions You then bake one portion and pass the other 3 onto friends wo feed the mixture etc. I’d like to use the same idea for sourdough starter. If I pass on 1/4 cup starter dough to a friend and they feed with equal parts flour and water and stir regularly could they get a sourdough starter they could divide and bake 1/4 cup in a stretch and fold recipe? If yes, how long might this take? How many feeds might it need? Thanks Polly

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tina April 29, 2012 at 10:14 am

Can you use your sourdough starter right from the fridge?or should you leave it out the night before? Or just take it out a few hours before? Thanks!

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Linda April 29, 2012 at 10:59 am

Tina,

I took my starter out of the fridge and fed it in the morning and late afternoon. I then fed it again the next morning and waited for it to at least double and then measured out what I needed for the recipe. I then put the rest back into the fridge without discarding any.

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Breadtopia April 29, 2012 at 10:59 am

Hi Tina,

I usually use my starter straight from the fridge. It just lengthens the overall proofing time a bit.

However, if your starter hasn’t been fed within the past several days, you might want to take it out the day (or evening) before baking and feed it well. Or if you’re starting your bread recipe in the evening, you can feed your starter that same morning and let it sit out for a few hours to digest its meal.

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Christine Hunt April 29, 2012 at 11:03 am

I have never used my starter straight out of the fridge. I always feed it until it begins to show signs of life and then do my baking. Sometimes it’s after the first feeding, sometimes after two feedings, but it’s always after it’s good and bubbly before I bake.

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Linda April 28, 2012 at 7:58 am

I would like to share my latest Whole-Wheat Sourdough Potato Bread recipe that I got from (homejoys.com) website. It’s wonderful, and I baked this in a Dutch Oven. My first success with sourdough.

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Christine Hunt April 28, 2012 at 10:12 am

Linda, I was excited to see your potato sourdough bread as I want to make a potato rosemary bread. When I went to the site you recommended it didn’t take me to your recipe. Please share the actual page or type it in?
thanks, Christine

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Linda April 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Christine,

I am sorry that you were unable to locate the recipe, here it is:

Whole Wheat Potato Bread
Makes 4 loaves (homejoys.blog.spot)

Ingredients:
2 medium potatoes
2 1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 T soy lecithin (optional)
1/8 tsp vitamin C (optional)
2 T vital gluten (optional)
1 egg (optional)
1 1/2 T instant yeast
7 cups whole wheat flour, approximate measure

Note: I halved the recipe and made one large loaf, and baked in a Dutch Oven. I used 1 cup of mashed potatoes that I had left over (which included butter and milk)

Directions:
Cover potatoes with water and cook until soft. Drain water and save. Mash potatoes adding a little of the potato water if needed. You should have at least two cups of potatoes. Allow to cool to warm.
Measure potato water, adding more water if needed to make 2 1/2 cups.
Combine mashed potatoes, water, oil, honey, salt, soy lecithin, vitamin C, gluten flour, and eggs. Mix well.
Add three cups of flour and mix. Add yeast and mix. Add flour until dough doesn’t stick to sides of bowl.
Stop mixer and allow to rest for ten minutes.
Knead for five minutes with kneading hook on medium speed or by hand.
Form into loaves. Place in greased bread pans. Allow dough to rise until double.
Bake bread at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool.

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Linda April 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Christine,

Please ignore the previous posted recipe, this is the correct recipe for Sourdough Potato Bread. My apologies:

Sourdough Potato Bread
Makes 3 loaves or many rolls
(homejoys)

Ingredients:
2 cups active sourdough starter- (1 cup)
1 medium potato (1 cup)
2 cup water (or milk) (1 cup)
1/3 cup oil (1/2 of a 1/3)
1/3 cup honey ( “ )
1 1/2 tsp salt (3/4 tsp)
1 T soy lecithin (optional) (1/2 T)
1/8 tsp vitamin C (optional)
2 T vital gluten (optional) (1 T)
1 egg (1/2 egg)
7 cups whole wheat flour, approximate measure (3 ½ cups)
Directions:
 Cover potatoes with water and cook until soft. Drain water and save. Mash potatoes adding a little of the potato water if needed. You should have at least one cup of mashed potato. Allow to cool to warm.
 Measure potato water, adding more water if needed to make 2 cups OR use milk in place of water.
 Combine starter, mashed potatoes, water, oil, honey, salt, soy lecithin, vitamin C, gluten flour, and egg. Mix well.
 Add three cups of flour and mix. Add flour until dough doesn’t stick to sides of bowl. Stop mixer and allow to rest for ten minutes.
 Knead for five minutes with kneading hook on medium speed or by hand.
Place dough into oiled bowl, spray top with oil and cover. Allow to raise for 3-4 hours or nearly double.
 Form into three loaves or rolls. Place in greased bread pans. Allow dough to rise until double, probably 2-3 hours.
 Bake bread at 350 degrees for 30- 35 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool

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Leroy gonzales April 28, 2012 at 7:52 am

Dear Baker, I have been trying to raise asourdough starter for about 21 days without refrigeration. My wife thinks I am sick or crazy but I find the challenge inspiring to conquer a basic essential to life. You were the first to tell me to match or put equal part flourwith my starter batch. I actually just fed my starter 1 cup sifted all- purpose bleached flour and one cup of filtered water a day. I stir it every day and left in my room because it’s the warmest room in the house around 66 degree. I have tried to bake aloaf or two but the haven’t resulted in great bread yet. My wife won’t touch it and I give the over hard crust to the dog kind like biscuit. I was using an old ice cream bucket but it was getting pretty heavy. I noticed you didn’t say what type of flour you where using. where you also using just heated tap water. I was told by a baker acquaintance that sifted all-purpose bleached flour would work what your opinion on this matter. My bread isn’t sour enough. Thanks for your video

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Christine Hunt April 28, 2012 at 10:21 am

Leroy, You must have enough starter to open a store! But more isn’t always good. I suggest you discard some of your starter. I know it will be hard to reduce but it sounds like you could take a cup or two of what you have and toss the rest! Then add your equal parts water and flour and let the starter work to get a good sour flavor. You can tell when the starter is getting the flavor you want by the way it reacts to feeding. It should have an overall bubbly appearance and smell sour. If you use 2 cups of what you have you can add 1/2 – 3/4 cup flour and water daily. Once you have the reaction you want I would refrigerate for a week or more to help get the flavor your looking for. The more you use it the better it gets…so bake a loaf or two once a week or use to make pancakes but use it and feed it. In the old days all the scraps from baking went back into the starter. I haven’t tried that yet. Anybody else? Hope this helps.
Christine

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Gary June 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

Dear LeRoy
It seems as though you may have read my response with regards to the 5 gallon buckets. I use that to make large amounts of loafs, I make bread for the homeless. When making your starter whatever amount of flour you use weather it be 1/4 -1/2 cup make sure you use an eqivalent amount of water measured by weight. It would be a good idea if you could use a weight measurment for both ingredients. It is the most accurate way to add to your volume and you will get consistant results. best of luck to you.

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Leroy gonzales April 28, 2012 at 7:49 am

Dear Baker, I have been trying to raise asourdough starter for about 21 days without refrigeration. My wife thinks I am sick or crazy but I find the challenge inspiring to conquer a basic essential to life. You were the first to tell me to match or put equal part flourwith my starter batch. I actually just fed my starter 1 cup sifted all- purpose bleached flour and one cup of filtered water a day. I stir it every day and left in my room because it’s the warmest room in the house around 66 degree. I have tried to bake aloaf or two but the haven’t resulted in great bread yet. My wife won’t touch it and I give the over hard crust to the dog kind like biscuit. I was using an old ice cream bucket but it was getting pretty heavy. I noticed you didn’t say what type of flour you where using. where you also using just heated tap water. I was told by a baker acquaintance that sifted all-purpose bleached flour would wor

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Stu Borken April 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm

I have had the same experience and poured off the hooch and then ran water from the tap onto the surface and washed it then put fresh water and flour into it and it awakened.

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