The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First starter... confused...

Javaslinger's picture

First starter... confused...

Ok, I'm using the 1 cup unbleached white bread flour to 1 cup water method...  I'm using tap water, but it's from our well and there is no chlorine or chemicals added.


After the first day I could already see bubbles and by day two there we quite a lot, but the volume was not 'doubling'.  I have been feeding daily by pouring out 1/2 the starter and adding another 1/2 up flour and water.  It is a bit cold in the room (68 or so) but not bad...


Anyway, lately for the past couple days there seems to be less and less activity and the starter seems to be getting thinner and thinner... 


Is it dying?  Or have I failed to catch yeast?  Should I thicken it with more flour than water?  What should be the consistency of the starter?  So far I'm pusing onward with the same plan but I guess I'll aim to thicken...


any advice would be much appreciated...



Deka's picture

This link uses a day by day picture and written explaination of new starters.

It also compares the Debra Wink pineapple juice method to just water.

I have an 11 day old starter (house temps in the 63-69 deg range) that was created from this site.


silkenpaw's picture

I don't think you should be expecting a starter with that much water to double in size. It's too easy for the bubbles to escape. You are seeing bubbles and that means the starter is active. Keep feeding it. Good luck.

LindyD's picture

Don't worry about "catching" yeast - there's plenty of wild yeast present in the flour - about 13,000 of the little beasties per gram of flour.

Well water is great as well.  If you want to see a bit more action, add some rye or whole wheat flour to your bread flour refreshment.  Preferably organic.  

You didn't mention how old your culture is, but with refreshments every 12 hours, you'll begin to see it increase in size.  You just need time and patience.  

You also might check the top of your refrigerator to see if it's warmer up there.  If so, that might be a good place to keep it between feedings.