The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Paddyscake's picture

Sourdough Starter Confusion

February 24, 2006 - 8:09pm -- Paddyscake

I haven't had much luck with my ?s
I hate to be a pain..but I am confused..I understand starting & feeding my sourdough starter..
but once established..when I take it out from the fridge, am I supposed to dump all
but a small amount and feed or should I be feeding double the amount of what I already have?
I know I ask alot of questions..sorry..but thanks for all you help : )

Paddyscake's picture

Thought someone out there would enjoy the soap opera of a sourdough newbie..LOL!
I have been studying the techniques of many mentors here..I had my notes on the long
proof of my starter,autolysing, folding & shaping, slack doughs, retarded rise..too many
facts for my feeble brain I fear!! I took my starter out Friday, poured out but 1/4 cup
and fed with 1/2 c flour & 1/2 cup H2O..a little later bubbling and very happy..into the
oven with the light on overnight..Saturday morning (12 hours later)slowing I feed
& back into the oven. Sunday morning..I think I waited too long..still bubbling..but there
is hooch too. I mix my starter, yeast,milk,lemon juice & flour..cover and let sit 30 min.
Un oh..really stiff so I add a bit of H2O..way too sticky..then flour..still a mess.
I cover and decide to let it sit for 45 min..while I make Sunday breakfast..french toast,
fresh strawberries & bacon. My husband decides to assist and dumps the dough out on the
bread board ..OK..I tell him wait..not ready yet and cover it up. We eat..I go back
to my doughy mess..hmm not too bad..dough has relaxed I fold..put it to rest ..I'm in
the shower and now remember I haven't put in the salt, sugar and olive oil!!..another 45 min
has gone by and it has risen..Hmm..I know I am committing bread suicide..I pour my dough into my food processor..add the salt, sugar and olive oil and do the wicked deed..and pray.
I let it rest again..fold and back into the bowl. A hour has risen
I divide and fold and into the fridge ... and so the sourdough rises.. I hope
until tomorrow...
I do have a dilemma..usually I get out of work at 2:30 PM..but tomorrow 5:30..
if my house is pretty cool the 60's ..can I take my bread out of the fridge to rise
@ 6AM ish? so I can bake tomorrow night..and/or can I wait until Tuesday to bake..when I
get home earlier?

taxman103's picture


January 28, 2006 - 5:31pm -- taxman103

Hello fellow bakers,

I baked some sourdough today. The bread tastes fine but doesn't look very good. The sides and bottom were nice and brown but the tops never browed. They look lake dirty brown water. Any suggestions would be appreciated.



whitedaisy's picture


January 21, 2006 - 3:13pm -- whitedaisy

I've been thinking about making a sourdough start for about a year. I've been putting it off because I have a very small condo kitchen. I'm not sure that I have room for the process. Is it as big a deal as I think it will be?

heymaryn's picture

I have recently started making sourdough bread. I bought a King Arthur starter and it is wonderful, but not particularly sour. I have been reading about adding sour salt to the dough. Has anyone had any experience with this product?

Teresa_in_nc's picture

Cool rise question

January 17, 2006 - 7:35pm -- Teresa_in_nc

After reading the articles by SourdoLady I have a question about using a cool rise in the fridge after shaping the loaves:

Would a rise at a cool room temp, say 50 degrees F, be food safe and achieve the same long, flavor developing rise as in the fridge at colder temperatures?

I simply don't have room in my refrigerator to store two loaves of bread rising on a large sheet pan. But I have an unheated laundry room off the kitchen that stays between 40 and 50 if I don't leave the door open to the kitchen.

Any advice is appreciated.


sonofYah's picture

Well, this is my first blog. And It won't be very active at present. I seem to be working a lot of hours lately. About 60-70 per week. I have a full time job with a short-line railroad in SW Indiana. We move railcars for a major plastics/chemical plant in the area. I am also working part-time at a local grocery store bakery.

Wish the bakery job paid more. They have offered to train me as a bakery manager. But the money doesn't seem to be there. And if it is, the present manager could become upset. I think I would be making more than she does after 17 years with the company. Besides, it is not my type of bakery. Couldn't get my hands in the dough. Would have to deal with commercial breads and such.

Probably better off starting my own bakery. Then I could focus on the naturally leavened, whole-grain, artisan breads I enjoy making.

I have found a location on a major thouroughfare in town. It is a little small. But has great parking, wonderful location, and the rent is really reasonable. Now to buy the equipment. But first, I need to work on the business plan and make another appointment with SCORE.

Looking at raising some initial money by selling subscriptions online for meal menus. I figure I can make up four special menus monthly. The meals would be easy and nutritious. Yet fit for a special family meal. Also putting most of my wages from the bakery in a seperate checking account for expenses.

Looking at the possibility of apprenticing myself out to a local baker who makes the types of bread I am interested in. This means I would have to quit the other bakery job. But I have the okay from the owner of the shop where he works. This individual was trained in Italy. He has started and sold three bakeries in the area.

But first, I need to see where my railroad job takes me in the next month. There is the possibility that I could get the new Clerk's position. This would allow me to get inside out of the weather. It would also mean that I would be working days. Which means I would not be able to work at either bakery. I could work for myself though.

Decisions, Decisions.

Well, enough for now. 'Til Next Time.

QuiltedMoose's picture

I'm soliciting your opinions please.
When feeding the Sourdough starter, which is best: 1/2 water 1 cup flour or 1 to 1 ratio.
Thx QuiltedMoose


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