The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

what's a starter supposed to look like?

flour-girl's picture
flour-girl

what's a starter supposed to look like?

OK. Please excuse another newbie sourdough question.


I'm following Hamelman's recipe for the Liquid Levain Culture.


I started it on Sunday and it puffed up like crazy after the first feed. It hasn't really done that since then; it just has a bunch of small bubbles on the surface. But it hasn't really risen.


It smells quite good, like sourdough.


Am I doing OK? Should I just keep with the twice-daily feedings for next several days?


Sorry for the newbie questions, but thanks for any help.


 


Happy baking!


Flour Girl

LindyD's picture
LindyD

You're doing great, Flour Girl. Just follow his instructions and keep on feeding on his recommended schedule.  It takes time to develop a strong culture and as it matures, it will get even better.


Never apologize for asking a question - that's why Floyd set up this site.  :-)

Porkys's picture
Porkys

I'm a newbie too.  I maintain two separete starters, one from S. F. and the other the Oregon Trial sourdough.  Just took out the one, S. F., that I have not fed in a while and fed it.  Lots of clearish liquid on top and just gave it one cup Seal of Minnesota flour and one cup warm water.  I already have bubbles.  I'm trying to feed each twice a month. 


I have yet to bake a descent loaf of bread, but the pancakes are great.


Porky

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Did you really mean it, Porky, when you said you're feeding twice a month?


Or did you mean twice a day?


If you are only feeding on a monthly basis, you will never be able to bake a decent loaf of bread with either culture because they are being starved and cannot produce the yeast and bacteria necessary to raise and flavor your breads.


They are living organisms which need to be encouraged to grow by regular feedings daily, if not twice a day.  Only when the cultures are active and double or quadruple within a given amount of time, can you refrigerate them for short term storage.


There are some good threads here on cultivating and maintaining sourdough starter which you might find helpful.  Check out the sourdough section.

flour-girl's picture
flour-girl

guys. It's quite bubbly, but hasn't risen after that first feeding. I'll just keep feeding it every 12 hours and maybe try some pancakes this weekend with the discard portion. I think I'll wait a while for real bread, though.


 


Thanks!


Flour Girl