The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sourdough batter

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gsampson's picture
gsampson

sourdough batter

I started a wild yeast sourdough a few days ago, went through three refreshments and finally reached the point where I was supposed to mix it with the last batch of water and flour, let rise for 6-8 hours, then refrigerate overnight before starting baking with it.  In the previous refreshments, it had bubbled and developed a nice sour smell, but instead of rising to about double in the time suggested, it has just barely risen and isn't making much movement.  Anybody have any ideas about what one should do at this point?  Any thoughts on why it hasn't risen?  Thanks, Garrett

demegrad's picture
demegrad

Whatever you do don't give up.  It's hard to say for sure what might be happening with your starter but overall I'd say it's still very very young.  I remember reading on Peter Reinhart's blog an article he wrote pertaining to problems people were having with his sourdough starter.  If I'm remembering correctly it had something to do with the bacteria in the begining of a starter being over abundant or at least out of balance in relation to the yeast, and just like yeast the bacteria "eats" stuff in the flour and water and produces gases.  The gases give the impression to the baker that everything is going well when in fact there is much less yeast than you think.  But don't worry, just stir it down and continue feeding it and leaving it at room temperature until it's healthy.  Then you can keep it in the fridge.  And you'll know when it's healthy, I know that's vague but when it's healthy it'll double in 4-6 hours easy.  My experience was that when I feed for a week before attempting to make bread.  It didn't work well, I ended up combining some commercial yeast with water and flour then kneaded into the dough.  Same thing happen the second use of the starter.  Thrid time was the charm for me, so it was three weeks old at that point, now it's about six months old and works every time.  Honestly I like it better than regular yeast.  You can stretch out the time over days so that making bread only requires a few moments of time per day.  Well good luck

demegrad

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