The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sourdough starter

newgirlbaker's picture

sourdough starter

Hello all,

I received my dried starter from Carl and friends.  I reconstituted it as instructed, it worked well.  I have now added the flour and water for the final mix, all is well it looks perfect.  Question is, the directions say to put it in the fridge once it is complete.  Is that what you do?  Should I put it in the fridge?

Thanks in advance.

gaaarp's picture

newgirl, welcome.  And congratulations on your newly-born sourdough.  If the directions say to refrigerate it, that's what I would do.  I keep my sourdough (that I made myself without a culture) in the refrigerator.  Doing so slows it down so I don't have to feed it twice a day like I would if I kept it out.  As it is, I feed it about once a week, based on my baking schedule.

For now, follow the directions.  Once you get used to working with it, you can start to experiment.

Soundman's picture

Welcome to TFL, newgirlbaker!

A couple of thoughts about handling a newly created starter:

Once your starter is active, you can either 1) bake with it, or 2) keep it out and feed it every day, until you're ready to bake, or 3) refrigerate it for up to a week before it needs to be refreshed (fed a couple of times or so).

Your starter needs to be active and bubbly and rising well after you feed it in order to raise bread. Unrefrigerated starter needs to be fed frequently, most people say twice a day, to keep it happy and healthy. Refrigerating your starter allows you not to feed it every day, at least for a week. Still, you will have to take it out of the fridge, let it warm up, and feed it (twice a day) to get it active enough to bake with.

Also, a new starter usually takes a couple of weeks to build up the heterofermentative bacteria that flavor sourdough so wonderfully. But if the yeast in the culture are plentiful and active, they will probably raise bread. My advice is not to expect too much rise or flavor in your very first baking attempts, at least based on my own initial experiences. Sourdough takes, and develops, one's patience.

Good luck! Let us see what you bake with your new starter?

Soundman (David)

notherdigger's picture

     As I read these posts I realized I had done some things wrong with the starter I started about two weeks ago.  I have not refrigerated it at all and have not fed it every day.  Mayby every three days or so.  I made biscuits(good) and hotcakes several times.  It does bubble when I feed it but my question is this.  Any time I smell it when I haven't stirred it for a day or two it has a lot of 'Hooch" on it and it will burn your nose to smell it.  After stirring it settles down alot on the smell but it is really sour for sure.  It is Alaska style potato water starter.  Does it or any part of this sound unhealthy.  I'm still alive and have no apparent ill effects from using it so far.  Thanks in advance.

Spetch's picture

I feed my CG starter water and flour a few days before I bake.  After feeding and its bubbling and expanding I take 2 cups out put it back in the 1L mason jar and in a day ort so when it settles down I screw on the lid and put it back in the fridge.

Meanwhile I bake with the extra starter I already fed. 

I admit I neglect my refrigerated starter.  It wont get fed for weeks...months sometimes if I am too busy to bake.  When I remember I pull out the jar, stir the liquid back in, and give it some flour and water...and put it somewhere warmish with plastic wrap over it.  It doesnt take long for it to try to take over the room.

Its a VERY active starter!

It makes Excellent SD bread!

I've never put potato water in it because I never have potato water around when I go to feed it.

What doesn't kill you can only make you stronger....right?

notherdigger's picture

I like your attitude Spetch lol.  I think mine is pretty active and would be more so if I fed it regular.  Also I only used the potato water to make the starter but then floour and water and its always bubbly in the morning.  But I haven't tried making the bread yet.  I'm working up to that which is the main reason I made a starter.  I'll chance it soon and see what happens.  Thanks for the reply and have a fine day and a better loaf.

Spetch's picture

I have some pictures of a few of my loaves from this starter.  Im new around here and as soon as I figure out how to post pictures I will!

After reading this I pulled my starter out and fed it and I hope to make some SD this week!