The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Active sourdough starter

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?

MmeZeeZee's picture

Managing a Long-Term Starter

June 27, 2010 - 1:14pm -- MmeZeeZee

There's a great thread on starting starters.  What about managing them?

I bake three to four times a week out of necessity.  I have two children under the age of four and a husband in the military.  I'm not really able to cultivate three or four different starters, so I'll let you in on a secret: I'm actually hacking a starter.  I made one according to Lepard's instructions and it worked like a charm.  Since then, I've been refreshing six days a week or so with whatever flour I'm using at the moment.  I'm guessing it's 50% whole wheat, 40% white, and 10% rye at the moment.

Freestylin's picture

So i really hope that someone out there can help me??????

For the past two weeks i have been growing a sourdough starter which i refresh daliy with 70g organic white flour, 30g organic rye flour and 100g spring water (disgarding most of the starter before feeding). I'm very pleased to say that my starter is ready to use, doubled in size over 24 hours, lots of bubbles and a thick layer of froth on top - only problem is i have no idea where to go from here!!! I have been reserching the net but dont seem to be getting anywhere so thought i would give this a shot!!!

My starter reaches its peak at about 7pm and by the morning it has subsided sightly....what im really looking for is a great recipe for a large white crusty loaf and the same in granary or brown. I am wondering if i should use it when its at its peak, and if so can i leave the dough to prove overnight so i can bake in the morning???

I have spoken to people who suggest that you can use yeast along side your starter as this gives good effects....have anyone used this method? does it work well and how would i go about doing this (working out how much to use of each).

Also i plan to bake at least every other day so do i need to put my starter in the fridge or is it ok to leave it out, refreshing it everytime i use it..up until now i have left my starter out in the kitchen.

Wow so many questions!!! im really keen to get going, and i would love to get some help from people who have been there and done it!

Thanks in advance!


phxdog's picture

Active Dry Yeast in place of 'Captured"?

June 24, 2009 - 9:40am -- phxdog

At the risk of committing heresy, I wonder if instant or dry active yeast could be the basis of a good sourdough starter. Here's my reasoning:

I'm told that dry active yeast has been 'engineered' to be very active and supplies a very high concentration of yeast to make bread rise quickly and consistantly. Intant yeast is very easy to use but works so quickly that it sacrifices the depth of flavor one gets with a long, slow ferment.

madzilla's picture

So I have been learning to bake bread.  I did NOT buy a bread machine, which I did consider for a while.  I was thinking about what would be easy, simple, less time consuming.  But when it came down to it, I just didn't like the constraints of a bread machine.  The loaf pans are so small, sometimes square, and the whole paddle thing just leaves me cold.  I had a bread machine when I lived in Germany.  I used it and hated it. It dumbed me down and I never understood the whole process of bread baking.  This made it impossible to troubleshoot or use anything other than the basic settings. 

Now, without a bread machine, I am so happy.  I feel like I have found a new hobby [that hopefully won't make me TOO fat!] and it is very exciting to create such wonderful works of edible art.  The breads that I have made so far, that have been successful, are a half-white, half-wheat loaf that is very nice, and would be great for sandwiches, cinnamon toast, and just about anything else.  The other loaf I have made that needs a bit of work is the artisan bread.  I have managed to get the right size, rise, and color...but need to work on the scoring and taste. 

Next I will try making a huge starter in the fridge and flavor it with some sourdough starter I already have.  Another really interesting thing I am doing, is using the bread mixes I am getting delivered.  Hodgson Mills makes some great mixes, but I don't use them as is.  I use them as additives to my breads for more flavor and the dough conditioning properties.  I could buy dough conditioner, but this is much more fun to experiment!

I also am working with gluten, and this addition is particularly helpful up here in the mountains.  I am at almost 8000 feet, so the high altitude is also a challenge.  But I am figuring it out as I go.

Thats it for now. Will post my recipes soon.

FLGal's picture

Nutrimill newbie from Florida

February 20, 2009 - 9:42am -- FLGal

Hello everyone.    I live in the Tampa Bay area and have been baking simple breads off and on for the last 20 years, sometimes with my Zojurushi and sometimes by hand - but I would not call myself an expert by any means.  I bake bread because I cannot stand the stuff that passes for bread at the grocery store and I cannot afford to buy everything at the bakery.  I love whole grain breads and I especially love sourdoughs!

groverman85c's picture

Baking in Beijing, dry bread, please help!

February 10, 2009 - 7:02pm -- groverman85c



I have started a bakery in China producing a local type of quick bread. the recipe is below


50 eggs

25kg flour

2.5 ltrs oil

4 kg sugar


we use a sour dough starter that was given to us by a company producing the same type of bread. we combine the ingridients and the prepared sourdough starter and then add luke warm water to mix them in an industrial mixer. we mix for about 1 min and the dough comes out relatively dry, not sticky at all.


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