The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter emergency!

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Teresa_in_nc's picture
Teresa_in_nc

Starter emergency!

Well, it looks like I have truly lost it....my mind and my sourdough starter! This is the starter from Carl's Friends that I have maintained for over two years. I planned to set it out and feed it this afternoon and I can't find it in the fridge or freezer.

I dried some of this starter some time ago and have put half an ounce in a bowl with 3/4 cup warm water as directed when you order some starter from this group. I'm letting it sit to dissolve, but it's not dissolving completely. There are some little hard bits in the bottom of the bowl that I can feel with my fingers.

Should I just leave it alone to dissolve some more then stir in the 3/4 cup flour as per the directions? Or will the hard bits dissolve over the next 48 hours as it sits out to begin to grow?

I'm really sick about this and hope my own dried starter can be revived. Good thing I hadn't planned on sourdough bread for Chritmas gifts.

Teresa - who feels really stupid about now

 

dulke's picture
dulke

Teresa, I always use cool water only to dissolve dried sourdough flakes. It's like cleaning up after baking. Warm or hot water will set the dough, while cool water will dissolve residue.

 I think you should marshall on and go through one feed cycle to see if it revives. Otherwise, try dissolving some of the remaining reserved flakes in cool water, and then start the feeding cycle. 

Teresa_in_nc's picture
Teresa_in_nc

Thanks for the advice, dulke. I used 90 degree warm water to dissolve the starter per the directions I got with the dried starter. I let the dried sit in the water a little while and it seems to have softened up, so I added the flour, covered it with a damp cloth and put it into the oven with the light on but the oven off.

I never expected to feel so "attached" to this starter. Surely some of you must get attached if you name yours? I've been a little sad at my stupidity but now feel ready for the challenge of getting a new starter going.

Teresa

Teresa_in_nc's picture
Teresa_in_nc

Today I am happy to report that the Oregon Trail starter from Carl's Friends that I began 4 days ago seems to be thriving. The dried starter used was some I had dried myself many months ago. I kept the pulverized and dried starter in a clean spice jar in a kitchen drawer, but this is the first time I have needed to use it.

After 4 days you are supposed to feed the new starter with some dried potato flakes, flour and water - so I did that today and it's obvious the culture was alive and hungry. It is not as sour smelling as my previous 2 year old starter, but I'm just happy to have starter again and to know that my drying techinique must have been o.k.

Gee.....it takes so little to make me happy. Knowing I still have more dried starter in that jar gives me real peace of mind.

Teresa

talanhart's picture
talanhart

Teresa,  How is the starter doing that you restarted from dry?    Also, how old was the starter that you dried and saved? I am asking because you made a comment about the revised starter not smelling as sour.  After awhile, your starter will lose whatever was the original airborne yeast and take on whatever airborne yeasts prevalent to where you live and this might have something to do with the sourness of your starter.    I have a package of the Oregon Trail starter that I haven't started yet.   One of these days.