The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough and Starters

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Capturing the wild yeasts.

jkandell's picture

Hamelman on starter elaboration

August 19, 2014 - 6:55pm -- jkandell

I'm confused about Hamelman's levain method in Bread. In the formulas, he routinely has you mix up the final levain from an active starter of 20% weight (5% for rye), fermenting for 12-16 hours at 75f. ( I think this is the "Detmolder one-stage" method?) 

But in his technical instructions on  p148 , Hamelman instructs to build the levain over two and three elaborations, starting with a small amount and growing by a factor of two or three at a time until you get the final levain.

rgreenberg2000's picture

Resilient little bugger!!

August 19, 2014 - 10:30am -- rgreenberg2000

It's been a while since I have participated here, but I just had to post this am.  I am amazed at what a resilient little bugger my starter is..... For reasons I won't go into it has been neglected a LONG TIME in my fridge.  In fact, last night, when I decided to pull it out, I literally had to chip out most of it, to get at the small amount that remained with some moisture (the consistency of putty.)

AndersS's picture

300% hydration starter

August 17, 2014 - 3:06pm -- AndersS

Hi there :)


I'm new to the site, which I only discovered yesterday, and I spent pretty much the entire day today reading all kinds of interesting stuff, but now I just have loads of questions :) I'm an avid baker and I been using sourdough for the last couple of years, though I've restarted quite a few times because I've accidentally killed my starter. Even though I've used sourdough for some time my knowledge on the subject is quite limited, and that's the point of my thread.

Carabiniero8's picture

Can I make a starter from an existing Sourdough loaf?

August 17, 2014 - 2:23am -- Carabiniero8


Our bakery down the street makes delicious sourdough bread. I've been buying from them for years, but now the thought occurs to me that perhaps I can harvest the starter from the loaf itself and bake my own sourdough bread?! Is this a crazy idea? If not, how do I go about doing this? 

Thank you,

Starter Newby

RabbiBeth's picture

To cover tightly, to cover loosely or not to cover?

August 16, 2014 - 11:51pm -- RabbiBeth

HI!  I'm new to sourdough baking and am excited!  I have been reading and researching a lot.  My starter is lively and ready to use.  (King Arthur Flour starter which I have prepared for usage)

My question is about storing in the refrigerator.  I am holding half of my starter for a friend for a few days. I presently have her half in a mason jar with a screw on lid.  While keeping it in the fridge until I can give it to her, do you recommend I keep the lid on tightly?  Loosely?  Use saran wrap instead of the real lid?

mthompson's picture

New starter

August 15, 2014 - 9:13pm -- mthompson

Hi. My new starter is 7 days old. I just made it with all purpose flour and water. I have about 450g of starter now after all the feeds. From day 3, the starter was doubling well within 2-3 hours after a feed. I feed with 50g flour and 50g water every 12 hours. Today, after the last feed, it rose to double and then started falling. By the time it was time for the next feed, it was completely flat. I fed it with 50g water and 75g flour and now it's nicely doubling again. I have a few questions - 


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