The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

starter trouble

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Julius's picture
Julius

starter trouble

I am having trouble with my starter. I have successfully made the Tartine bread several times. Lately, when I follow the same start instructions, my starter looks limp with a liquid layer separating out on the surface. i' e tried different containers, flours, water, etc. to no avail.

Any ideas would be appreciated

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Try more flour and less water to thicken it up some and give more food for the culture.  The poor beasties are probably starving but not dead - they are tough to kill.

Julius's picture
Julius

Thanks - worked perfectly and this morning my leaven passed the float test with flying colors.

I then followed the Tartine directions and put the dough into a container and started doing the turns every 1/2 hour. After 4 hours the dough was no more advanced than when I started. Extremely sticky to the point that I said the heck with it and used flour to "knead and slap" the dough to develop gluten. It finally passed the window pane test and is rising, very very slowly.

An thoughts about the 4 hours of folding and the persistent stickiness of the dough?

Thanks so much - it is bizarre since I've made this before with classic results.

 

panosa's picture
panosa

Hi my first post, had exactly the same problem with same recipe, dough was just too wet. 

Did you get any response on what could have been the problem, still convinced that this 100perc hydration starter too wet. 

Panos

Julius's picture
Julius

I have made the Tartine bread several times since and found that I had to really let the starter develop for almost two weeks. This last time I tried the America's Test Kitchen recommendation of starting the dough off in a cold oven and turning the heat to 425. When the oven reached that temperature I timed a half hour and then took off the cover of each pot. The resulting bread tasted great but had less crust than when I start in a hot pot as described in the Tartine book.