The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough and Starters

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Capturing the wild yeasts.

Thaichef's picture

Is this the correct way to test your sourdough starter ?

March 25, 2015 - 1:52pm -- Thaichef

Hello :  I kept my starter going for a while and just fed it about two hours ago. It is not bubbling now but I hope that it will after 4-5 hours.

I remembered reading Tartine Bread book at the Barnes and Noble book store and it said "to test if your starter is ready is to do a "float test" . I did and drop about 1 tablespoon of starter into a cup of water. The starter sinks to the bottom which according to Chad Robertson, the Starter is not ready!!!

I was surprised since I had been using my starter without any problem for a while. So... what to do???


108 breads's picture

Any reason to give up commercial yeast? Oh yes

March 24, 2015 - 1:53pm -- 108 breads

In case anyone is searching the freshloaf forum or hanging out, but too scared to try to begin a starter, or too disillusioned after a brief try, here's my intimate look about why to give up commercial yeast. Health, yes, but other reasons as well.  Confidence is a big one.

Scott_R's picture

No-knead sourdough; hot or cold oven?

March 23, 2015 - 3:54pm -- Scott_R

I've been making no-knead bread for quite a while now, starting what that famous NY Times article/recipe from Sullivan St Bakery and moving on from there.

The one common element: putting the dough into an oven and heavy container that are both pre-heated.

I was thus puzzled by this:

"Place in a cool oven, set the control for 375oF, turn the oven on and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack."

What the heck?

Eve Psmirth's picture

Every dough turns to goo

March 21, 2015 - 5:07pm -- Eve Psmirth

I've been using the same starter for about three years, and it seems healthy. I feed it, it doubles and falls, it smells the same as ever.

Lately, however, whatever dough I make with it turns into goo. English muffins, a plain old load of bread, a plain old loaf of bread using a different recipe.

Any ideas what's going on?

kalikan's picture

FWSY levain storage

March 21, 2015 - 4:11pm -- kalikan


I must have had a brain fart moment earlier today - meant to mix up just enough FWSY levain to bake one recipe (2 breads), but instead ended up with enough for two (4 breads)...

Has anyone tried storing extra levain in the fridge for an extra day or two? Or am I now committed to either throwing out half of the mixed levain or baking 4 breads tomorrow morning?

Thank You!

JessicaT's picture

Is it possible to be too clean when creating starters?

March 20, 2015 - 12:40pm -- JessicaT

Is it possible to have things too clean when making a starter? I've tried to make a starter from scratch, twice now, and both times ended up with mold growing on the side of the jar. The first was just a water and flour starter, so no surprise there, but the second one was with pineapple juice and flour and developed after a week.

Its been suggested by my beer brewing friends to use something called Starsan to sanitize the jar I use for my starter and the spoons I mix it with. What are everyone's thoughts on this?

PetraR's picture

When you have greedy hungry kids...

March 19, 2015 - 6:16pm -- PetraR

... you end up like me , preheating the blooming oven at 1.14am to finish 2 loafs of Sourdough bread. pfff


MUM, I can not take NORMAL bread to work, it does not fill me up and it does not taste !

Yeah, compliment, but pressure too, to get some bread done for the little boy * 26 years of age and 6ft 3 * so that he not starves at work. 

Nooo, I do not mind really, I love baking, just got the timing wrong this time. 

JessicaT's picture

Adjusting a loaf size.

March 19, 2015 - 2:00pm -- JessicaT

Hi everyone, been a long time since I've been on here, and baked a loaf of bread!

I'm looking to bake the Norwich sourdough recipe this weekend, and would like to adjust the size of the recipe since I find it makes a couple loaves too many.

I'm looking to halve the recipe. Would I just halve the amount of flour used, and then adjust the percentages accordingly?

Revised recipe:

450g white flour

60g whole rye flour


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