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.

{ 1425 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Loberstein February 20, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Greetings from a sourdough rookie. I am ready to use my first starter. I’ve noticed that one quarter cup added to whatever flour used is all that is necessary. My question is, can the starter be added right out of the fridge to the recipe and proof the eighteen hour or so? or should it be at room temp.?
Thanks
Paul

Reply

Breadtopia February 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Hi Paul,

Either way is perfectly fine. You might not need to go the full 18 hours either. I’m usually in the 12-14 range, but that’s just me.

Reply

Linda February 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Hey Julie!

I’m so happy it worked for you. It’s a frustrating feeling to put so much work into something like that to find it didn’t take. Was it the sourdough I posted you tried?
Have a great weekend and happy baking my friend!
Linda

Reply

Kelley Dupree February 19, 2010 at 10:37 am

I have a starter going using some dried sourdough starter I purchased from the Breadtopia.com company. I would like to make 3 loaves a week to share with friends and family. Do you have a receipe for basic white sourdough bread using bread flour? Thank so much.
Kelley

Reply

Breadtopia February 19, 2010 at 10:43 am

Hi Kelley,

Yes, definitely. Try this sourdough no knead recipe. It doesn’t get more basic than this.

Reply

Julie Powell February 16, 2010 at 8:32 am

Linda, you are exactly right! I thickened the starter and then let it sit for a day and then put it in the fridge. It worked perfectly the next time I baked. Moist and light on the inside, crispy crust on the outside and no ridge. It’s like taking care of a pet, isn’t it? thanks!

Reply

Linda February 16, 2010 at 12:51 am

Hi Julie!
I just read your post concerning the “flattened bread” and it sounds like it’s been rising a bit too long. After reading many posts from Eric and my own recent experiments with the starter, it works great a bit thicker. I’ve taken his advice on leaving it in the fridge after I feed it. I leave it out for a little bit (4-8 hours) then I”ll efrigerate it so I won’t forget about it. The recipe I just posted may work better for you as well as it requires some yeast and the starter. It has a normal rise time and it tastes amazing!
Hope this helps.
Linda

Reply

Linda February 16, 2010 at 12:36 am

Hi Eric,
I followed your advice to the letter with my starter. I drained the liquid off rather than mix it in, in my previous state of ingnorance “), and my starter was perfection! I also fed it the day before I baked with it. I’m so thrilled. I also stopped adding the sugar and I find it’s nicer than it was before. I use 4 cups of starter at a time as I’m bread baking at least twice a week. It’s some of the best bread I’ve ever had. It’s tender and soft inside with a nice crunch outside. Thanks so very much for all your help. I’m itching to get the La Cloche. I think I’m going to get one this week!
I have a great bread recipe for sourdough I wanted to share. Again, thanks so,so much.

San Fransisco Sourdough Bread (single batch yieldsu8o0- 2 loaves)

1 package of yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup of warm water
2 cups sourdough starter
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar ( optional,my addition, double batch = 1 tbsp)
4-5 cups of flour (I use bread flour)
cornmeal for the baking pan
Dissolve yeast and water in large mixing bowl. Add starter,salt and sugar. Blend and add 2 cups of flour. Mix until you have a dough forming and then place on a floured surface and knead adding flour until smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl turning to cover all sides. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise to triple.
Dust a baking pan generously with cornmeal and devide your dough in two. Shape in round loaves by stretching the sides of the dough down and under. Place on prepared baking sheet and cover with kitchen towel letting it rise again until double in size. About 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Pour boiling water in a shallow baking pan and place on the lower rack or on the floor of the oven. Uncover the loaves, with a sharp knife slash a diagonal pattern on the top of each one.
Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake until well browned on top (approx 15 to 25 minutes longer) and loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottems. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Amazing bread!

Reply

Julie Powell February 14, 2010 at 10:44 am

I made these this morning and they are AWESOME! We used frozen blueberries (February in Colorado…) and I made sure to cook them on a med-low flame because they need time to cook through. Delicious. Use your own starter.

Blueberry Sourdough Pancakes
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2002
Prep Time: 20 min Inactive Prep Time: — Cook Time: 5 min Level:
Easy Serves:
16 (4-inch) pancakes Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup milk
1 cup sourdough starter, recipe follows
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, greasing the pan
1 1/4 cups fresh blueberries
Butter, accompaniment
Syrup, accompaniment
Directions
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, starter, melted butter, and vanilla until well blended. Add the dry ingredients, and stir just until combined, adding more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary to bring the batter to the thickness of heavy cream. Be careful not to overmix, and don’t worry if batter is slightly lumpy.

Lightly grease a large, heavy griddle or skillet with vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake, allowing space for spreading. As the topsides start to bubble, about 1 minute, sprinkle blueberries into each pancake. When the undersides of the pancakes are golden and the blueberries are set, flip with a wide spatula. Cook until golden brown, 1 to 1/2 minutes. Cook over break. Serve immediately with fresh butter and syrup.

Reply

Linda February 12, 2010 at 6:12 am

Hi everybody!
I just wanted to say thanks to everybody who writes in. I really want to thank Eric. I realize you have a life outside doing this and yet you always make time to help. I’ve been going through some tough times over the past 3 1/2 years due to an accident and surgeries. I needed this distraction. Thank you all, especially Eric. For allowing me to focus on something else. I hope my recipe additions will be accepted and enjoyed. I am learning a lot. Thanks for allowing me to share with you!
Linda

Reply

Julie Powell February 11, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Thank you Linda and Eric! I will try one of them this weekend!

Reply

Linda February 11, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Hi there!

I have a recipe for sourdough pancakes and waffles that only reqires 1/2 cup of starter. So if you have a small amount left and don’t want to waste, here you go!

Sourdough pancakes and Waffles
1.)
1 cup whole wheat flour,unsifted
1 cup all-purpose flour,unsifted
1/2 cup sourdough starter,room temp
2 cups warm buttermilk (110 degrees)
2 eggs
1/4 cup each of milk and salad oil (I use canola)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
melted butter ( for cooking)
In lge bowl combine flours, starter and buttermilk until blended.Cover and let stand at room temp for about 45 minutes (or cover and refigerate overnight)

2.)
Beat together eggs, milk and oil (for waffles, increase oil to 1/3 cup)
Add flour mixture and stir.

3.)
Combine sugar, soda and salt. Stir into batter, then let stand for 5 minutes.

Makes 12, 4 inch waffles, or 12 pancakes, 4 inches in diameter.

Hope this helps.

Reply

Breadtopia February 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Here’s one that uses 2 cups of starter. A great way of using up a lot of starter fast. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s “great” according to the person who sent it to me. If you try it, you’re required to report on it ;).

Sourdough Pancakes
2 cups sourdough starter, room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoons warm water

In a large bowl, add sourdough starter, sugar, egg, olive oil, and salt; mix well.

In a small bowl, dilute 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 tablespoon of warm water. Important: Only add baking soda to batter just before you are ready to cook the pancakes. Fold the baking soda/water mixture gently into the prepared pancake batter (do not beat). This will cause a gentle foaming and rising action. Let the mixture bubble and foam a minute or two.

Heat up a lightly-greased griddle (I like to use my cast-iron skillet griddle) until fairly hot; then pour the sourdough pancake batter onto the griddle. For each pancake, pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup sourdough pancake batter onto hot griddle.

Cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from heat and serve.

Reply

Julie Powell February 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I would love a good pancake recipe too! One that’s not gluey. I made one (that I found online) but I think it had too much starter and had a pastey-gluey texture- yuck. Thanks!!!

Reply

jack February 11, 2010 at 3:28 pm

does anyone have pancake recipes requiring 1/4 cup of starter?
instead of throwing it away, i would like to put it to good use!
thanks in advance

Reply

Breadtopia February 11, 2010 at 11:30 am

Hi Tami,

I just use the tea kettle because it usually has purified water in it and it’s all around handy to use. The water is just at room temp.

Are you asking how often you can feed your starter? It depends on how healthy it is and how fast you’re trying to increase it. But generally speaking, daily feeding would be about right I guess. After a while of playing around with it, you can just tell from looking at it

Bread flour is fine. It’s what I use most of the time.

Reply

Tami February 11, 2010 at 10:59 am

If your trying to increase the amount how soon can you add the flour and water, within a day or what? I noticed in your video you were putting water from a tea kettle does it need to be hot or warm water? And last can you use any kind of flour, I usualy use bread flour. will that hurt it? Thanks for the information!

Reply

Julie Powell February 8, 2010 at 11:05 am

I’ve encountered a really bafflng issue with my bread. I have been using the same home-grown starter for months, and bake bread about every other day (I have teenage boys.) The last two loaves have both seemed to be fine until I bake them. At that point, they seem to “flatten out” and get ridges in them…unlike anything I ever had before. The taste is still amazing, but it’s almost like they have over-risen. The crumb is much coarser and has more holes. I’m thinking it could be my starter. Could it be too fermented? Should I let it chilll in the fridge? I leave it out on the counter each night and feed it each day. Could the starter be too thin? Currently its’ like thick pancake batter and seems ok. The only change that I can see is that the smell of the starter is more fermented smelling than ever- more “alcohol” smelling. Think I should add more flour to the dough? It’s always been on the soft side (I make the KNSourdough and let it rise 18 hours or so)Can someone help? This is our staff of life! Thanks!

Reply

Kelly February 8, 2010 at 7:52 am

I basically manage a small market with a take-out restaurant. The restaurant portion use to be a separate owner who recently left. We are now scrambling to make a menu. My boss’s mother-in-law likes to bake and provided the store with her (cooks.com’s) sourdough recipe. My concern is with the sourdough starter we are using for this bread. It is very thin (about the consistency of water) and is fed using 1 tsn instant potatoes, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of water. It also never gets a head or froth on it. Then, a cup of the starter goes into one batch of dough. Since I am now in charge of making the bread, I’ve been reading up on sourdough and about everything I have read says the starter should be thick and only a little is needed per loaf. Has anyone had any experience with this kind of starter? Am I even making a sourdough? The bread is pretty sweet once it is finished baking.

On other note, I started my whole wheat starter yesterday and hope to use that to make whole wheat sourdough for the store. I love to make (usually way too many cookies around the holidays) but this is my first try with savory breads (verse stuff like banana bread).

Reply

Linda February 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Hi Eric,
I have one more question. Last night I ran a little experiment deviding my starter in half and feeding them seperately. I threw half of one away and fed the rest of it fresh and later I fed the other half and left them out the same amount of time. The starter left out a normal amount of time seemed to have a normal appearance about it even though I questioned the fact it may not be good any longer. It had that liquid over the top you have to mix in.
The earler starter left out longer had the liquid build up again. I just refed both of them and now I will check them at the same time to see if they are the same. My question after that long explanation is, why does the liquid form and does it ruin a starter beyond the point you should use it?
I find this interesting and I’m enjoting all the recipes on your site. I look forward to baking them all.
You should contact the food network and propose a show idea. I’ve not seen one on just bread making. Ya never know!
Thanks,
Linda

Reply

Breadtopia February 7, 2010 at 5:44 am

Hi Linda,

That’s high praise. Thank you very much.

I use equal weights of flour and water to feed my starter because I like a stiffer starter. It seems to work the best with most sourdough recipes and, perhaps more importantly, I think it’s easier to judge the health of a thicker starter. It traps the air bubbles better than a thinner starter as so rises more. The rise is a good gauge of the starters vibrancy.

The only reason I can think of to use sugar in a starter is to speed up the fermentation process. And I guess you’d want to do that if you were in a hurry to see things happen. As I understand it, the complex carbs in flour are broken down into simple sugars by the acids in starter. The yeast feeds on the sugar. So adding sugar directly would surely turbo charge a starter.

Reply

Linda Kidwell February 6, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Hi Eric,
I’ve been making successful breads and rolls my entire adult life and I’ve learned more today on this site about sourdough than I ever thought possible in one sitting. It’s like going to Bread making school. I love it! I’m new to sourdough and have been making it for the past several months. The kit I bought says to use equal amounts of water and flour and adds 1 tsp of sugar as well. I notice your measurements are based on weight not the cup. I also see you don’t add the sugar. Why do they recommend adding the sugar? What does it do for the starter? Should I not add it? Thanks for all you do and I’m hooked! Your time is so appreciated!!
Linda

Reply

malaika February 6, 2010 at 11:09 am

Thank you so much Eric! I’ll keep an eye on it. For the record, it’s never too much information. I know breadmaking isn’t rocket science but it’s for sure a science..and I love all the information you..and the other more experienced bread bakers give here. Thanks a bunch!

Reply

Breadtopia February 6, 2010 at 11:01 am

You didn’t kill it! It takes quite a while for cold starter to wake up.

Some chlorine in the tap water isn’t going to do in an otherwise healthy starter, it just isn’t its favorite thing. You don’t really need to use bottled water though either. If you leave tap water sitting out overnight, the chlorine will evaporate out. Or even an inexpensive Brita type charcoal filter will easily remove chlorine from tap water. I know you didn’t ask for this much detail, Malaika, I’m adding for general info in case anyone is interested.

Reply

malaika February 6, 2010 at 9:41 am

How bad is it to use tap water (town not well) when feeding the starter. I totally spaced it and forgot to use bottled. It was fed right out of the fridge over an hour ago and there is no signs of life. Is it slower to respond because it was cold or did I kill it with tap water? Please tell me I didn’t kill it!

Reply

Breadtopia February 5, 2010 at 4:52 pm

The 20% in 2 hours is a really good thing. I think just one more good feeding in a few more hours then into the fridge before bed and it should be in good shape. If you already have a lot of starter, consider disposing of some before you feed it again so you don’t end up with a ton of it. Plus by a “good feeding” what I mean is feed it an amount of flour that’s a decent percentage of what you’re starting with.

When adding flour, add just enough water to approximately maintain the consistency you have now as that seems to be a good one.

Reply

Katie February 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I think adding flour did the trick. It’s already starting to show signs of life, tiny bubble are forming & it’s grown 20 percent in a 2 hours.
Thanks for the advice Eric!

When should I start storing it in the fridge?
It’s a week old now, but just starting to get active again.

Reply

Katie February 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Hi Eric,

I’m new at this & I think I drowned my starter. I thought I was supposed to add equal amounts of juice & wheat flour. Day 5 the starter was really bubbling, looked like it was talking. I fed it water & wheat flour – it quit bubbling. I fed it twice since, it’s runny, just foams on top (light foam color) & smells like it’s starting to ferment. Has it gone bad or can it be saved?

Reply

Breadtopia February 5, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Hi Katie,

I don’t know but I would add some more flour to stiffen up the mix and see what happens. It’s hard to tell what’s going on when the mix is runny so make it more dough like.

Reply

Will February 5, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Eric, thanks for the encouragement. I’m following the “pineapple solution” method and have added 5T whole wheat and 3T water this morning. In just 2 hours it had almost doubled in size. Success. Hopefully I’ll be able to build it up enough to bake with it Sunday night.

Reply

Breadtopia February 5, 2010 at 9:20 am

Hi Will,

I would have done just what you did. If you keep getting mold then something is amiss, but I would just plow ahead and see what happens.

Reply

Will February 5, 2010 at 8:51 am

I got my start going on day 5. Unfortunately there was a small amount of mold, not on the mass of starter but formed on the remnants from sloppy stirring that were on the side of the container. I scraped out the mold and transfered the starter to another container and proceeded on. My starter is much thicker than your demos.

Is a small amount of white mold going to cause problems? Should I abandon this one?

Reply

malaika February 3, 2010 at 6:26 am

Thank you Julie! I think I will try it both ways and see what I come up with.

One last question for now..how often do I feed my starter if I plan on using it at least once a week?

Reply

Julie Powell February 2, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Malaika- I have to share with you my recent experience with storing my starter. I had to go on an unexpected trip to Europe last week, and put my starter in the fridge- loosely covered with saran, and recently fed. I asked my husband to stir it every couple of days. When I got back yesterday I took it out and let it get to room termperature again. I just baked with it today and the bread rose better than ever! The starter on the counter is bubbly and healthy. I think storing it actually improved it! Rest assured, it will work with very little maintenance!

Reply

malaika February 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Not sure if this is the right area to ask these questions or if they’ve already been asked (though I’ve read the comments and still am unclear) but…
Once the starter is made, is it to be stored in the fridge or at room temp.? I don’t know if it matters or not but I hope to bake at least one loaf, if not two, a week.

Also..if the answer is to keep it in the fridge, does it need to come to room temp. before you can use it to begin making your bread?

Thanks so much for helping out a complete amateur!

Reply

Noreen January 26, 2010 at 10:03 pm

I live at 9,500′ and have started sourdough starters with the “pineapple solution” recipe. My questions are:
1) High altitude affects baking, how does it affect the starter & feedings?
2) Do you need separate starters for rye & whole wheat, or can you use the white starter for all breads. ( I have a rye, whole wheat, & white starter growing)
3) When is a starter “too” thick? My white sourdough starter is stringy & very thick. My rye is not stringy, but very thick.
4) I’ve read different ratios for feeding. Which is best for 12 hr. feedings?
These are my first attempts at growing sourdough starters, they are doubling or tripling & seem to smell “yeasty”. Any answers would be appreciated!

Reply

Julie Powell January 18, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Hi, my starter is awesome and I have been making NK sourdough bread at least 3 times a week (I have 2 teenage boys.) I feed it about 1/2 c water and 1/2 flour every day (and remove/discard the same ammount if I am not using it for bread)- MY question: I am about to travel on business – first for 3 days, then for 6 days at a stretch. Should I have my kids feed/maintain my starter while I’m away, or should I put it in the fridge? Do I need to feed it in the fridge? (Its been out at room temperature for about a month, and loving it) What can I do to keep it happy, but be low maintenance? Thank you so much.

Reply

mark simpson January 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I am having ‘troubles????’ with my starter. I use it often, a couple times a week, but whenever I put it in a jar to store in the refrigerator something happens. The lid becomes stiff and firm to the touch, and the thing explodes when I open it! Is this just an indication of a great starter, or am I using the wrong kind of flour (bread flour), using too much sugar ????

Reply

Caroline January 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Thanks! I think that’s the “problem” — my dough is too wet. I’ll add some flour and see what happens. I appreciate the help!

Reply

Breadtopia January 14, 2010 at 11:31 am

Hi Caroline,

It’s not that it’s so critical in itself, it’s more that lots of bubbles and a good rise in your starter is a sure bet visual test that it’s healthy. If your starter rises well, then so should your bread. Or another way to look at it is if your starter performs well and your bread doesn’t, at least you know your starter is not the problem.

It’s possible to have a healthy starter with little rise and few big bubbles. But that same starter will rise well and be all bubbly and spongy if you just thicken it up with more flour and wait a while. When you feed your starter with equal weights of flour and water (e.g. 1 cup flour + 2/3 cup water), you’ll end up with a stiffer mix and one that’s more likely to rise nicely since a stiffer mix is going to trap the gas bubbles better than a liquidy one.

Also, no need to find a warm spot. Normal room temp is just fine.

Reply

Caroline January 14, 2010 at 11:11 am

Thank you for this great video!

A quick question — how important is it to see lots of bubbles in your starter? I am totally new at this. I have been proofing my starter the second time for about 4 hours. It is rising a bit, but I’m not seeing a lot of bubbles. Just a few. Should I keep waiting? Set the dough in a warmer spot? Thanks.

Reply

Elena January 13, 2010 at 12:13 pm

So, what you are saying is to keep feeding and using it.
thank you Eric

Reply

Breadtopia January 13, 2010 at 11:17 am

Hi Elena,

I don’t see why you couldn’t manage it in a similar way to what’s described here but just scaled way up. And with the exception of refrigeration. See my comment here about that.

Reply

Elena January 13, 2010 at 10:51 am

Hi Eric, I’m a new in sourdough. Help me to understand What if I bake every day in a big quantiries how do I maintain my starter? And how do I grow it in a big proportions?
thank you

Reply

Roni January 6, 2010 at 10:44 am

Julie, glad your starter is working away doing it’s thing.

Nancy, Pizza Sauce is great. Recipe for the dough worked out better for a thick crust than mine did for a thin crust. I rolled half of it out to nearly fit my 15″ pizza pan. Was cracker like when baked and the crust was hard. The thick crust done in a 1 1/2″deep x 11″ x 7 1/2″ pan turned out fantastic, and a much softer crust. Thick crust went over much better. Again Thanks, it was my first Pizza success, and it didn’t shrink up when I was trying to roll it out so we will be making many more.

Reply

Julie Powell January 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Hi, Roni. Well, you were right-on. I opened the glass crock so it’s closed but not sealed and got it a little bit warm in the kitchen and stirred it up and now it is bubbling away! I also mixed up a batch of no-knead sourdough bread with it and that is rising like crazy too, so I guess it just felt a little nervous in it’s new crock. BTW, the pizza sauce post was not mine…but hope it turns out great for you. Thanks for your help!
Julie

Reply

Tammy January 5, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Hi Eric,

Wow, was I glad to see the videos on sourdough starters. I have Peter Reinhart’s book “Baking with Whole Grain” and really enjoy it. I’ve made several recipes with much success. The sourdough I attempted was a total flop however. I did use rye flour thinking perhaps I could capture the great taste of European rye bread. Didn’t happen. I now want to attempt sourdough again, but this time will start with whole wheat flour. Then perhaps move onto rye.

I look forward to giving it another shot. Your videos greatly encouraged me. Thank you for taking the time to make and post them.

Tammy

Reply

Roni January 5, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Julie, it should revive with additional feeding. You might even feed it a little more in about 4 hours just in case. But see how it is doing before feeding again. I only feed mine once a day usually b4 bed. In the am it is bubbling up just fine.
I made your Pizza Sauce, it is still on the stove. You didn’t say if it should be cooked so I cooked it up to meld the flavors. It smells great. The dough is in the described dough rounds in ziplock baggies in the fridge until dinner tonight. They aren’t growing and have only been in the fridge about an hour. I have not attempted to make Pizza Dough in about 20 + years. The last time the dough kept shrinking back as fast as I could spread it out. I was so ticked off I swore I would never try it again. So you inspired me and I am giving it a try.
Roni

Reply

Julie Powell January 5, 2010 at 11:55 am

Thanks, Roni- I did clamp it last night and today it looks kind of sad and flat. I’ll leave the top unclamped now, add a little flour and warm H2o and hope it revives!

Reply

Roni January 5, 2010 at 11:20 am

Nancy, I have the same qualms as you do. I do not like to waste all the extra starter so I dry mine and keep it in a glass jar. I will try your Pizza Recipe and thank you so much for submitting it.
I might even give it a try today. We have a Traeger Pellet Stove BBQ and one of the things in their cookbook is Grilled Pizza. I will try your dough and see how it goes…Thanks again.
Roni

Reply

Roni January 5, 2010 at 11:12 am

Hi all, I wanted to say that the dried starter I dried last May before a lengthy vacation turned out to revive into a bubbling batch of starter. I now have about half of my gallon crock bubbling up nicely. I have used Bob Packer’s recipe for Sourdough Chocolate Cake with tremendous success. That recipe is fantastic. I do recommend it, it is moist and so good.
To Julie Powell, You do not want to seal in the air when keeping starter. It can explode on you and needs the air to breathe. I started my dried starter in a jar like you describe but I know to leave the jar lid un clamped. Just leave it closed but do not clamp it. It should be open about 1/4″ or so. The starter needs the air to breathe.
Hope that helps…
Roni

Reply

Nancy Gedney January 5, 2010 at 10:38 am

Hi!
I haven’t read all the posts yet, but you mentioned you didn’t have any uses for starter that you throw away before feeding what you keep. I found one! I hope this isn’t redundant to other posts. I took the 1/2 of the starter I was going to toss and made pizza dough out of it. It’s a lovely, soft dough that works beautifully for homemade pizza — AND can be frozen as well. Here’s the recipe from the King Arthur Flour website:
1 cup starter, unfed
1/2 C hot tap water
2 1/2 C. King ARthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
4 tsp Pizza Dough Flavor (from King Arthur website)

I didn’t have the pizza dough flavor, so omitted. Threw all the ingredients into my bread maker; processed on dough cycle. It was very sticky when done, so I threw a couple of handfuls of flour on it to get it handleable. Cut it in 1/2 and froze it in rounds about 1 inch thick, 4 inches round. It did grow in the freezer before it froze completely. But what could be easier than this. I hate to throw anything away especially starter. I give the rounds away to friends for a quick easy supper. BTW, the easy pizza sauce I use with it is delicious: 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz); 1 can tomato paste (6 oz); 1 Tbsp dried oregano; 1 Tbsp dried basil; 2 cloves garlic pressed; 1/2 tsp salt; 1 Tbsp olive oil; 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. Mix together and Voila! Freezes well, too.

Nancy

Reply

Julie Powell January 4, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Hi!
I have created my own wonderful, fermented, bubbly starter that I would like to keep healthy for a long, long time. Do you think it’s best to store it at room temperature in a glass crock with a rubber seal on it, so that it’s mostly air-tight? Or should I allow a little bit of air in it. Until now I have had it in a pyrex measuring cup with saran wrap/rubber band….but I need to reclaim the pyrex. Thanks so much,
Julie

Reply

Leave a Comment

Optionally add your bread image (.jpeg image format)

{ 2 trackbacks }