The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sourdough starter

jcorlando's picture

Whole Wheat &/or Flax Seed Starter????

January 19, 2011 - 1:41pm -- jcorlando


I'm making a Sourdough starter, rather small at 15g flour and 15g water.

What are you thoughts on using King Arthur Whole Wheat
or fresh Flax seed ground to a flour?

It would probably change the tastes, but would it work??

Also, I live in Annapolis, on the water.
It's cold here (mid January), but air smells clean and fresh
(unlike my condo which is warm but smell like a bachelor  LOL..

So I'm leaving the starter outside to pick up whatever
fresh yeast is blowing out there.


Any thoughts?

lynnmichael's picture

When should I feed my starter? Beginner here...

December 3, 2010 - 8:17am -- lynnmichael

Hi there, 

I'm an absolute novice, who inspired by "Tartine Bread," mixed up my first starter two weeks ago. I used the formula of equal parts lukewarm water to 50/50 mix of WW and AP flour. Although my starter bubbled now and then after daily a.m. feedings of equal parts water and 50/50, it never doubled in volume.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I've been slowly brewing away with some thoughts over the years....  Starters and their differences.  Why is it that sometimes a weak rising sourdough starter culture will bounce back quickly (too quickly) and suddenly "stabilize" after chilling or a near death experience?

I have a timing theory thinking the yeasts might have syncronized their life cycles through temperature control and also the idea that perhaps getting the desired yeasts to spore (hibernate) and then wake up the correct yeast using the same selected bacteria group to do the job.  I have always (still do hopefully) kept my ears and eyes open for explanations. 

I was pointed to a podcast on research extending life spans recently and the mention that yeasts were also affected perked up my ears.  Why not?  I began to think about it more and more and it made sense.  Maybe this was one explanation for what I was observing.  Longevity of yeast perhaps.  That the yeast were living longer budding more and producing more gas in their life spans before dying letting the next generations take over.  The peaks that stay peaked for longer periods of time after feeding the neglected starter.   Hmmm.  Puts the expression "never starve a starter" into question.

There is also lots of other information in the interview like a quick mention that 2% sugar intake shortened life span by 20% which also could be applied to yeasts.  I wonder what the details are there?  The BBC Podcast features Prof. Cynthia Kenyon, director for the Hillblom Center for Aging, Univ of Calif. San Fran.   Topic: Latent capability to extend lifespan.

Toward the end of the interview, I was struck by our own TFL member diversity and how contributions from so many have enriched the site.   Listen and enjoy!

"Lay back and bake at TFL!"

rhodriharris's picture

Please advise me on sourdough starter

November 3, 2010 - 3:48am -- rhodriharris

Hi all, i have a starter 1/1/1 ratio, yesterday, day 3 i fed in the morning and by the evening it had risen by half its size again.  I left it and fed today, day 4 in the morning.  Two and a half hours later it had doubled! 

What do i do next??? Feed straight away or leave it for 24 hours till day five and feed it then?

At what point can i put it in the refrigerator and do i feed it first and then put it straight in or leave it rise a bit then place it in the refrigerator?

gaaarp's picture

Did I Kill My Starter?

October 10, 2010 - 9:25pm -- gaaarp

The most common question I hear about sourdough starters is how to create one. There are a lot of good threads on that here, and many people have reported success with one or another of the methods described in these pages.

The question I hear next most often is, "Did I kill my starter?" This usually happens because the starter has turned a funky color, and maybe started to smell funny, after being either underfed or neglected.

erlinda100's picture

Sourdough starter

May 12, 2010 - 11:57am -- erlinda100

Hi,   I ordered a Zojirushi bread machine from KAF.  I also purchase a Crock and they are sending me fresh sourdough starter with it. This will be my first try at baking bread.  I am intimidated by the though of feeding a sourdough starter daily, and all the waste with feeding and discarding.   I may make sourdough bread only once a month so I don't want to discard so much starter.  My question is how long can I store the starter in the fridge before I feed it?  I don't want to become a slave to this but I don't want it to die me either. What do you suggest.

Thanks Erlinda

jennyloh's picture

I think I'm being ambitious here.  Building starters, and started with 3.  Actually no,  I didn't start with 3.  I started with 1 full rye.  50g/50g,  following by a 1:1 ratio and then 1:1:1 ratio by the 3rd day.  I realised too late that I was going to build a giant and alot of wastage. I decided to split them into 3.  

I wonder if they are ready or I should just go on feeding them? Looking for advice.


Rye Starter - Day 5 without refreshment yet.

I took out about 160g from this rye starter and then added 50g/50g.  I think I should have thrown out more.  It's not as bubbly as the one that I added whole wheat.


Starter 2:  Added White flour - Day 5 without refreshment (using Dan Lepard's % of white leaven formula)

80g of initial rye starter/100g white/80g water

It's more bubbly and seems to have tripled.  Is this ready?


Mother Starter (Peter Reinhart)

I actually read wrongly and used Reinhart's formula on the 4th day.  But it's also very bubbly.  Should I continue with this formula to create the mother starter as per Reinhart's formula?

80g rye starter/60g whole wheat/20g water


Looking for suggestions and advices.

ANFlynn's picture

Contaminated Starter?

April 26, 2010 - 4:43pm -- ANFlynn

I was wondering if it is possible for your sourdough started to some how get contaminated with commercial yeast?  My started (made by Reinhart's method in BBA) made great bread for a while.  Lately, though, I have noticed that the rise is too fast and although the starter still smells sour, the bread isn't coming out like it used to.  It acts just like instant yeast!  Thoughts?

Niashi's picture

What is the highest amount of starter you've gone through in a day?

March 22, 2010 - 11:09pm -- Niashi

Greetings all,


Today I was very active in cooking. I am just new to sourdoughs and today was the first day I cooked with my starter. I went through 871g of starter today. I made sourdough bread (first loaf ever. I slightly screwed up, but will be making the second loaf here shortly) and sourdough pancakes.


My poor little starter went through a lot of work today!


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