The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First time question about Nourishing Traditions Sourdough Starter

aclovell's picture

First time question about Nourishing Traditions Sourdough Starter

I realize I probably need to toss what I did today and start over.


But before I do, I thought I would check with this group.


I was trying to make the starter from Nourishing Traditions.  On the first day, she wants you to grind 2 C. of rye flour, which I did.  However, I ground 2 C. of rye, which made a lot more than 2 C. of flour.  I used it anyway (so I'm actually not sure how much flour I used, maybe 4 C?), and instead of addingthe 2 C. of water called for, I ended up using 4 C. to make it "soupy" as she described.


So, the moral of the story is don't make sourdough starter for the first time when you are babysitting two extra little kids in addition to your own, trying to do some school at home with the older ones, and dealing with a crisis on the phone.


Anyway, is there any salvaging this?  Can I just follow the directions from there (for the next 7 days adding 1 C. of rye flour -- measured after grinding -- with water) or do I need to toss half of what I did yesterday and then follow the directions?  Or just start over?




rockfish42's picture

You should be fine, the basic idea is you want to have wet flour as the organisms you want to culure need water to reproduce. Most people like to keep a starter at equal weights of flour and water.

Debra Wink has an excellent post on the process that goes a bit more into science, but also has an economical and much faster way of making a starter

Yumarama's picture

you'll have enough starter to run a full blown bakery. Cut down DRASTICALLY on your quantities. You really have no need for several cups of anything, tablespoons are all you want to begin then once things fire up, you want to weigh, even though you'll still be in the couple-of-ounces area, certainly not cups.

Going with what you already have, scoop out a couple of tablespoons and start following the Debra Wink version which means using pineapple juice instead of water for the first three days, then switch to water and All Purpose flour from there on. 

Debra's made the process a little easier to follow in this post than the somewhat more technical version noted above (part 1 is here), although I'd recommend reading it anyway so you get a good idea of what's happening in that flour soup.