The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough starter from ABED

intheend's picture

Sourdough starter from ABED

Hi everyone,


I've tried 3 times to follow the sourdough starter from ABED and I've never been able to make it past Phase 2. I've tried two times with water, once using wheat flour and another using only bread flour. I also tried using pineapple juice and bread flour. Only once did it foam up during Phase 1 and when I added the Phase 2 ingredients, it just completely died out. I aerated 3 times a day and waited for 5 days for something to happen but it never did. I live in Los Angeles and was wondering if maybe the heat is killing the starter? Any ideas?



SourdoLady's picture

Five days is usually not long enough to see a starter wake up. Ten days is more average, and sometimes even 14. In very warm weather and in a non-air conditioned home, you might have a starter going in a week. Try it again, and be patient!! Definitely use the pineapple juice and whole grain flour. It will speed things up. Good luck!

wally's picture

You're giving up too soon.  Look, wild yeast's been on this earth longer than we have - ditto for lactobacilli.  But it takes time for the two to colonize a starter, kick out the bad bacteria that compete, and then begin to party.  Stick with the program - the yeast and bacteria will do the rest.


intheend's picture

Thanks for responding! I'm so new at making bread but I love the process and am trying to learn more.


I was following Reinhart's description that it should take around 4 days so that's why I kept giving up. I'll start all over again and hope that this time I make it to Phase 3!

intheend's picture

Ok so I tried this method again immediately after the post and I just had to throw my starter out again. I don't understand what is going on. Every time I get to Phase 2, I never get any bubbles or growth. I stir it just like suggested. Am I supposed to be feeding it or something? I let Phase 2 go for about 14 days and it just smelled so bad I had to finally get rid of it.

Can anyone give me some advice? I used whole wheat flour and did see activity during Phase 1 but never Phase 2. He says to move on to Phase 3 when you see activity so I never make it that far. I'm determined to make this work!

LindyD's picture

Am I supposed to be feeding it or something?

That would certainly help.  While I don't have ABED, all the sourdough instructions I've come across require you to feed the culture at least every 12 hours.   

Of course, you do have to discard a portion of before feeding.  

Also, try adding some organic rye to the mix.