The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Who Knew a Starter was Different from a Sponge (Day 2)

Shutzie27's picture

Who Knew a Starter was Different from a Sponge (Day 2)

After 27 hours it was finally time to feed my starter....1 cup of regular, all-purpose flour seemed almost anti-climatic after the long day of anticipation and worry. Maybe it was the dry milk, but it just didn't look like it had obtained the yogurt consistency I needed. Before unwrapping the plastic, I couldn't help but worry: was there really yeast fermenting in there? I was only barely decent at creating the magic that was bread using store-bought insta-active-dry yeast; was I over-reaching by trying to create my own....? Neer one to dwell on potential failure, I embraced my "Go down fighting" attitude and took the plastic movement...gentle shake of the glass bowl...JIGGLE!!!! It was thick!!! It was gloopy!!! It was not the thin, watery concotion I had mixed yesterday! I had successfully completed step one!!! 

Bolstered by this victory, I carefully measured out the cup of flour. 

I didn't have a plastic spoon, so I used my red, can-withstand-the-fires-of-hell Kitchenaid set icing spatula. The recipe said to "blend" it in until it was smooth, but I was so worried that mushing everything around would separate the milk from the water from the yeast (if there was any even in there yet) I more or less gently folded some in....and quickly found it was getting sticky....suddenly, with far more than half a cup to go, I was doing more scraping than stirring. Out of blind faith, or perhaps just to avoid losing my nerve, I steadily folded in the rest of the flour. 


Here's what I was left with, after getting out as many lumps as I could: 

Sourdough starter after flour is mixed in


It's not the greatest picture, but it's almost a dough in and of itself. Now I'm waiting for it to get bubbly. I hope I know when to use it...two to four days...I know I'll be checking every day.


******UPDATE*****: Complete and utter failure. :-( I came home on Day 3 and found that I grown about four to six different types of mold. It was not fun to clean up, either. So, for now, active dry yeast in a jar it is. 


teketeke's picture

Hello, Shutzie27

I can understand how you feel and check your newborn starter everyday... for me, I have been checking my starters several times a day since I started !   I have had troubles with sourdough baking yet. but it is fun!   That is exciting to make bread with sourdough, isn't?   I am thinking about sourdough all day long :)



msbreadbaker's picture

That's what is so funny about the starter thing, you get addicted to it! When it is successful, it looks so good, looks clean and has bubbles. Appears to be talking to you. I really don't have "too much time on my hands"!!

Jean P. (VA)

Shutzie27's picture

I know what you mean about getting addicted to it, Jean, but I think that attempt has left me once bitten twice shy (at least when it comes to growing my own yeast). Today though I'm working on a ciabatta, so hopefully that'll turn out well. So far, the starter looks great!