The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Can anybody help me?

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mommoe71's picture

Can anybody help me?

My starter, made with AP flour turned my sour dough a brown color on the inside does anybody know why?Is this BAD BACTERIA?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

How often do you feed it?  The more detail you give, the better.

What is your water supply? 

What is your sourdough container for storage and mixing? 

What temperatures are you keeping your starter?

How brown is the crumb, any pictures?

I see you have posted an earlier question along these same lines.  Maybe with more information, we can solve this with you.


mommoe71's picture

I've been feeding it about  every seven days or so,depending on when I make bread. My water is well water which has never given me any problems.I have been keeping it in the frig untill about a week or so ago I left it on the counter,room temp. about 70 degrees after it didnt show any life.I feed it and I always put it in a clean bowl at feeding time.I left it on the counter for about a week hoping it would show more life but it really didnt. It smelled ok,I thought anyway, not a noticeable difference from the past year since I created it.I proceeded to make my usual weekly loaves of bread and when I cut in to it it was a light brown color.I thought maybe i''d grabed my loaf of wholewheat instead but nope! I've never had this happen before and I cant find an example on this site so far.I'm sure I havent read everything yet though. I'm not sure if I'm forgetting anything. Oh wait I did put in some extra sugar when it wasnt responding.Oh no what have I done to my yeasties!!!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Here is what I understand.  I think you have been making a sort of beer with your starter and when this is added to your bread it discolors it.  I gather you were putting it into the fridge as part of your schedule up until a week ago.  Now you have had it out on the counter for a week without discarding or feeding it every day and you put in a little sugar.

Sounds like we need to get your starter back on track.  Right?

Try this: 

  • take a small amount of starter, One Tablespoon.  Try to get a thick spoonfull from the bottom.   Discard the rest.  

  • Now combine this spoonfull of starter in a clean jar or glass with about 4 tablespoons of water and 6 tablespoons flour.  It should be like warm goopy toothpaste in consistancy. Stir well, cover and let it sit on the counter top. 

  • After 24 hours, spoon out a tablespoon and discard the rest.  Mix this with 4 tablespoons of water and 6 tablespoons of flour.  Cover and watch. Repeat after 24 hours.

If your starter should at anytime quickly rise and then fall long before 24 hours are up,  stir it and remove a spoon full, then discard and feed as above.  Shift to a 12 hour discard & feeding schedule or twice a day.  When it's back to being white and rises under 12 hours after a feed,  then you can use it and go back to refrigerating the starter like before.  Good Luck!


SourdoLady's picture

I agree with Mini. Do what she has said and I'll bet the starter will be fine! Starters eat an incredible amount of food. When kept at room temp you will need to feed it two to three times a day to keep it healthy. I recommend keeping it in the fridge until a couple days before you want to bake and then bring it out and build it for your recipe.

ehanner's picture

As Mini says above, a little more information would be helpful.

I suggest that you feed your starter at least daily and leave it at room temp until it is healthy and active. Feed it using a ratio of 1 part starter:3 parts water: 4 parts flour.

So for example that would be 25g (about 1 large teaspoon)old starter combined with 75g water and 100g flour. There are lots of other ways to feed but this will work.

I'm not sure why your bread turned brown with such limited information but it shouldn't so let's start by giving your culture a little TLC. Never add sugar to the starter by the way. The food it needs should come from flour.

Hope this helps.


rainwater's picture

I've only kept a starter for about 6 months, but I thought AP flour was not a good option for starter????  Also, making sure the flour you use is at least "unbleached" if not organic.  If any of the veterens think this is misinformation, I stand corrected.

I always give my starter a pinch of whole wheat or rye flour with I feed with "unbleached" bread flour...just because....

bassopotamus's picture

I've fed with bleached white flour, and it is fine, but each feeding, about 1/4 of the flour is either whole wheat or rye

mommoe71's picture

This recipe is from Better Homes and Garden Homemade Bread cook book 1981.SOURDOUGH STARTER- Soften 1 pkg active dry yeast in 1/2 cup warm water(110).Stir in 2 cups warm water,2 cups all-purpose flour,and 1 tablespoon sugar. Beat till smooth. Cover with cheesecloth; let stand at room temp. 5 to 10 days, stirring 2 to 3 times a day.(Time required to ferment depends on room temp.)Cover and regrigerate till ready to use. -To keep starter going: After using some Starter,add 3/4 cup water,3/4 cup all-purpose flour, and 1 teaspoon sugar to remainder. Let stand at room temp. till bubbly, at least 1 day.Cover and refrigerate for later use. If not used within 10 days, add 1 teaspoon SUGAR. Repeat adding sugar every 10 days. That is the basic starter recipe and the sourdough french bread recipe in the same book (which I use) is 1 pkg active dry yeast,5 to 5 1/2 cups APF,1 cup sourdough Starter, 3 Tbl sugar,2 Tbl butter, 1/2 tsp. baking soda,2 tsp. salt. I

mommoe71's picture

Im really thankfull for everyones help. Now I hope you can understand a little better after reading my recipe. There is no discarding of any starter and its all purpose flour and sugar. I use this recipe because it was the first one I tryed and my husband likes it.Im going to try Mini's suggestion. Im also glad to see that it wasnt BAD bacteria .Beer hugh?Well no wonder my hubby likes it!!!!!! THANKS ELAINE