The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Pictorial aka Creating a Starter

carltonb's picture

Sourdough Pictorial aka Creating a Starter

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

The feeding chart

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

The initial mixing process

Day One "0 hours"

Day Two AM

24 hours later

Mixing process

Day Two PM 6+ hours later

Day Three AM 16 hours later

Day Three PM 6+ hours later

Day Four AM 16 hours later

Day Four PM 6+ hours later

Day Five AM 16 hours later

At this point continue to feed the starter and use as needed in your formulas.


Torii's picture

Do you have to use bread flour? could you substitute all purpose?

tomrycroft's picture

I'm making a batch right now with All-purpose flour. I've read that the increased gluten in bread flour may actually work against the large open texture I prefer in sourdough, stiffening the dough and making the pores smaller and more regular.
I'll let you know how this comes out! It's the first bread with a new starter, so anything can happen as I see it.