The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


soxkat4's picture

Well, Betty (my starter) got brought out last night, but after fighting traffic and the crowds in the grocery store and my computer, I just fed her and let her rest. I'm now realising that instead of putting her back in the fridge, she's still in the oven. My recipe calls for using the starter cold, if she's room temp, do you think that will make a difference? I kind of doubt it but I'm curious what you all think.

By the way, she's named Betty after Betty Crocker, the cookbook I got the recipe from. I know, not nearly as advanced as Peter Reinhart, but I like to play/research on several different approaches so I'll work my way up to Peter's barms and sponges!

bottleny's picture

No-waste method of making starter from scratch

November 6, 2005 - 9:00pm -- bottleny

I really like Samartha's way of making a starter: no throwing out

The "usual" way of making a starter is throw out the half of previous
one and then add flour and water.

Repeat several times and then you have your own active starter.

Just as mention here,
you may toss out about 83% of flour to make a starter. Even though
flour is cheap, you don't need to throw anything out and you can make a
~500g starter ready for making a sourdough bread by following Samartha's
.(step by step with photos)

Floydm's picture

Spotlight on Sourdough

November 1, 2005 - 7:59pm -- Floydm

Certified Executive Pastry Chef and Certified Culinary Educator carltonb has provided some wonderful information on baking with sourdough. There are three parts:

There is a pictoral essay on the steps involved in the development of a starter culture.

Next there is a feeding chart that provides details behind the pictures in his essay. Scaled down, this provides an excellent formula that a home baker could use to create a starter culture.

carltonb's picture

Sourdough Feeding Chart

November 1, 2005 - 9:31am -- carltonb

The following schedule is a guide for starting a starter from scratch.

During this process the starter should be held at 70 to 75 F to encourage fermentation.

A mature culture will be able to multiply 2 to 3 times in volume every 8 to 10 hours.

Schedule Flour Water Starter Time Before Next Feeding
*Day One AM 1 lb Whole Wheat Flour
1 lb Bread Flour
2 lbs 24 hours
Day Two AM 1 lb Bread Flour 1 lb 1 lb 6-8 hours
Day Two PM 1 lb Bread Flour 1 lb 1 lb 16 hours
Day Three AM 1 lb Bread Flour 1 lb 1 lb 6-8 hours
Day Three PM 1 lb Bread Flour 1 lb 1 lb 16 hours
Day Four AM 1 lb Bread Flour 1 lb 1 lb 6-8 hours
Day Four PM 1 lb Bread Flour 1 lb 14 oz 16 hours
Day Five AM 1 lb Bread Flour 1 lb 14 oz 6-8 hours
Day Five PM 1 lb Bread Flour 1 lb 14 oz 16 hours
All additional days AM 1 lb Bread Flour 1 lb 14 oz 6-8 hours
All additional days PM 1 lb Bread Flour 1 lb 14 oz 16 hours
carltonb's picture

Sourdough Pictorial aka Creating a Starter

October 31, 2005 - 4:03pm -- carltonb

This is a pictorial process for created your starter. You can follow the attached chart to see the
feeding schedule I use for a two-a-day feeding.

I like this method because it meets my particular work needs.

In this example the starter was kept between 74 and 80° F for the entire process except for Day Four PM to the AM schedule on Day Five. This time I left it in an area that was at least 84° F. You
can see how the fermentation "got away." This will be corrected by returning the starter to the 74
and 80° F range.

Day One

Your ingredients

scormeny's picture

hello from a portlander

October 31, 2005 - 11:30am -- scormeny

Hello! I am a Portland, OR dweller and felt very lucky to stumble across this site. My boyfriend is the real baker between us -- he makes about a loaf of bread a week, usually sourdough-based, and we often also make sourdough pancakes.

Floydm, I was hoping you might have a suggestion about whether any local bakeries will share or sell some of their sourdough starter. My boyfriend and I had a great starter that we'd originally gotten from King Arthur Flour in Vermont, that had thrived through two years of at best indifferent attention, but our recent move to Portland, and the extended inattention and non-refrigerated temps of the cross-country drive, killed it.

timtune's picture

I just set a starter out last night. Made of raisin water and unbleached all purpose. Hopefully i'll manage to get some loaves outta it this time.. hehe..

This is the 2nd time i'm doing this. Earlier this year, when i knew very little about making bread, my starter looked fermented, but they didn't produce anything or make dough rise... Guess it's just some other bacteria, not wild yeast. I live in a tropical country. Hope it's ideal for wild yeast and not some other nasty microbiological impostors...

Didn't use wholewheat flour. The last time i used wholewheat flour for an overnight poolish, it was fermented till the loaves smelled nasty and tasted bitter. lol

Hmm, how do u know if ur starter is ready to be used and how long b4 u can use it, usually....


Subscribe to RSS - Sourdough