The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough and Starters

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Capturing the wild yeasts.

chavezc07's picture

Starter - bubbles but no rise

October 2, 2015 - 4:27pm -- chavezc07

Hi All,

So I have lots of experience making sourdough starters from scratch. I've made new ones about 5 times now, I made them in different parts of the country and I've made them all in exactly the same way and never had any problems - until now.

I'm feeding my starter, every 24 hours, like I always do - discard 80% and then add:

100g 50/50 white and whole wheat flour

100g filtered water

sheep1's picture

Age of starter for use in recipes...

October 2, 2015 - 11:22am -- sheep1

I have a pretty active whole wheat sourdough starter going now, almost 2 weeks old.  I've been having to feed it twice a day.  It's kept on the counter top, between 68-70 degrees.

Some recipes call for "refreshing" a bit of starter for a few hours before using the whole refreshed amount in a recipe.  Other recipes just say "sourdough starter" but don't qualify an age.

How do you prep your sourdough starters for a recipe? Do you refresh for a few hours, or use directly from an overnight on counter?  I am baking with mostly 100% whole wheat.

adrianjm's picture


October 2, 2015 - 7:29am -- adrianjm

Tried a higher hydration this time (74%) and did the finger test prior to baking. There was some spring, but not back 100%, yet this is how the bread turned out. The top is loose and ready to be ripped off and used as a big cookie! The only thing I changed was the hydration - it's usually around 65% - but I heard that this type of thing can be caused by under proofing.


yeastbunny's picture

Mouldy starter ....should I just give up ?

October 1, 2015 - 1:30am -- yeastbunny

Hello fellow bakers,

I'm about to give up on my quest to get a sourdough starter going.

This is my second or third attempt that has failed.

Given my previous failings, I went really OTT in terms of making sure I did everything "by the book" (or went beyond the book), namely :

(1) My container and lid went into the dishwasher on a high heat cycle. (used a Lock &Lock food safe, my previous failed attempts used a glass Kilner jar)

(2) I used bottled mineral water (Vittel) to initiate and feed my starter during its infancy.

markgo's picture


September 30, 2015 - 7:40pm -- markgo

First of all, I just want to say, THANK YOU. 

You people have been instrumental in my strong bread game. So, go ahead -- pat yourselves on the back. 

When I started baking bread, I remember my first product resembled and tasted similar to a wet roll of paper towels. But I didn't give up! Fast forward a few years, with some more research, baking method adjustments and with divine guidance from P. Reinhart, I was able to produce some acceptable breads using commercial active dry yeast (JUL2010):

Cecilia.Bedelia's picture

Slow, runny starter--advice?

September 29, 2015 - 8:10am -- Cecilia.Bedelia

Hello everyone! I'm a novice, relatively, with a scientific mind who has been baking with sourdough and generally pursuing the subject of fermentation as a hobby (is that a thing?) for about a year and a half. I "captured" my starter from "wild yeast," and have always had great success with it. 

Thanshin's picture

Fermentation, bulk rise, and fridge

September 29, 2015 - 12:03am -- Thanshin

This morning I had to take a decision: Leave the dough in the fridge for 12 more hours or leave it on the counter.

Composition: 78% hydration sourdough (500g bread flour, 380g water, 100g 100% sourdough, 10g salt) Weight = 980g Starter Ratio = 10%

Process up to this morning: 3h autolysis, Long knead*, 12h fridge, [at that point I had to decide between 12 more hours of fridge or 12h countertop.]


sheep1's picture

Fresh flour- WOW- for starter..

September 28, 2015 - 4:54pm -- sheep1

I'm pretty new to Fresh Loaf and wanted to share an observation.

I just started my first successful sourdough starter last week.  I live in the San Francisco Bay area.  I tried two other times in the past to start a sourdough starter, but that was in Southern CA.  I don't know why they didn't take, but it could have been old flour perhaps...


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