The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Active sourdough starter

elmsley4's picture

Newbie - Do I cover my sourdough starter???

September 2, 2012 - 7:13am -- elmsley4

Short & sweet:

1) When creating my starter, the instructions in the book say to cover for 2-3 days with a towel until bubbly.  My starter is now bubbly - as I feed it, do I keep it covered?

2) I read the bubble starter might NOT be yeast, but bacteria.  How can I tell?  The tartine starter uses 50/50 whole wheat and bread flour with water - no potato water, no pineapple juice and no apple cider vinegar.

3) Does anyone else find that a starter attracts bugs?  I'm getting some small flies and I found a baby spider attracted to the starter!

Thanks all!

PhilipG's picture

ordering a sourdough starter

January 25, 2012 - 12:50pm -- PhilipG

I was not very pleased with the starter I made using the one Bread Alone as my guide. I am thinking about buying one, form King Arthur or some, but my questions is, how much bread do they provide starter for. I currently use the Poolish concept, always bake at least four loaves each batch. Will the commercial starters allow for a four loaf batch? buy two? Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks, Philip

SCruz's picture

Separate starters?

July 3, 2011 - 12:43pm -- SCruz

I've been baking bread for about a year, baked 45 loaves at home in the last month. All with instant yeast and delayed fermentation.

Many people seem to feel that sourdough is the better bread. I've begun reading about it here and in books. I've begun making a starter, but I have two questions. I'm sure there will be more.

First, why do we have to maintain separate starters for white, whole wheat, and rye? The flour is just the food source for the yeast, and there are many benefits to blending flour: better rise, better taste, lightness.

lacuna's picture

Varying feeding when changing flour?

October 24, 2010 - 10:36am -- lacuna

Hi there,

I "captured" some yeasties using the pineapple solution method (substituting orange juice instead) a few weeks ago.  I'm very happy with my beastie whom I've been feeding white flour on a 1:2:2 ratio by weight.  I bake using recipes that use 100% hydration sourdough starter.

But I actually bake whole wheat bread almost exclusively, so when my white AP flour ran out, I bought some King Arthur white whole wheat instead.

cex112's picture

How long before I can use the starter

October 21, 2010 - 1:42pm -- cex112


A few days ago I started my first sourdough starter using the Bourke Street Bakery books recipe. Now this recipe says that the starter isn't ready to use until week 4 (if I'm reading it right).


Just wondered if people thought this was right, as I've seen other people suggest that after a few days its ready to go.


Thoughts and guidance would be most welcome.





Smita's picture

Starter bubbles but did not double

August 14, 2010 - 10:38am -- Smita

I have a 5-month old 100% hydration starter that I bake with weekly. I store about 2 ounces in the fridge. I refresh the starter on Friday night (1 part KA AP flour to 1 part water by weight) to bake on Saturday morning. In 8-12 hours, the starter usually doubles, has big frothy bubbles and a bright, fruity smell. This week the starter has bubbles, but did not double. It is about 15 degrees cooler this weekend (high eighties for the past month and now low seventies) Is the starter still any good? Will it need a few feeds to readjust to the new temperature?


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