The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Bread

kdwnnc's picture

Sourdough Bread

For my first try at sourdough, I used the recipe from .  I began the starter on Tuesday, fed it on Wednesday, and on Thursday morning it showed the signs of being ready.  I tried to make the attached bread recipe on Friday, but it did not rise hardly at all and when it came out of the oven it was under-done, even though I used all the methods I could to test done-ness.  I think the starter was not actually ready, and I will try again in a few days, but does anyone else have any theories on why it did not work?  

rick.c's picture

A new starter will generally be active for a couple days, then peter out, then become active again.  I think it is different types of bacteria grow then die off, then the good ones start to flourish.  Try feeding it for like a week or more before using it again and see what happens.  Hopefully better results, and good luck,


rick.c's picture

You don't need to keep the volume specified on that page.  Especially if it is un refridgerated and you are trying to get it more active.  You could try keeping 1 TB and adding 1 TB each of water & flour.  It would amount to less waste in the long run, just build up the volume to what you want to use when you are going to use it.

Yerffej's picture

Your starter was not ready.  You can find a wealth of information on this site regarding sourdough.

Jeff's picture

I'm new at this but here's a couple of thoughts from a chemist;

Chlorine and salt both kill bacteria.

Try using filtered water and add no salt to your starter. (I don't think salt is in the starter recipe, anyway.)

I got my starter from King Arthur and it's worked out very well.

I find that I have to make their stronger version of sourdough bread to get the best sourdough flavor.

Rick B from Mass.

Sam49's picture

search for Debra Wink on this site

or search for a thread about 3-5 weeks ago titled It's Alive and look for my post in that with links to her detailed work on how to develop a starter

I loosely followed her plan and developed a starter that has been working well.