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Sourdough help

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Sheblom's picture
Sheblom

Sourdough help

Hi


I am pretty new to the world of baking and thought I would try my hand at making a sourdough starter for future sour dough bread. Now I have done it the old school way and mixed 1 cup whole meal flour + 1 cup water, covered and kept in a contant warm place [a spot above my geaser where we dry cloths. On the secound day it frothed up nicely and looked good. I didnt feed it on the secound day as the recipe I was following said I should and fed it on the third day, I took out halp and then by pure idocy fed it 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water instead of 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 of water. I then proceeded to cover it and covered it a bit too well and did not leave a place to breath. On the forth day I saw no activity at all and realised my mistake. 


I prompty rectified the mistake by taking out half and feeding it half whole meal and half water and covering is with slight damp chese cloth with and ealastic around the stop for it to breath. I did this with no more raising at all like on the 2nd day. On the forth day I changed over from whole meal flour to all purpose flour and still no result. There is some activity, there are a bunch of bubbles but not through out. Every day there is hooch on the top which I mix in before I take out half and feed.


Today on the fifth there is still not much activity but there is a distinctive yeasty flavour smell with a hint of dried apricots to it. So i think I have some starter but it not raising at all.


Today I also took out a quater cup and seperated it into a new jar with a feeding of quater all purpose four and quater water. So now I have two sourstarters I would very much like to get going and to keep going!


If any one can tell me what I am doing wrong or what I can do to boost my sour dough so that they are on the health thriving side so I can make some delicouse bread!


I would be most thankful!


Allan

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I suspect there is probably quite a bit of activity going on. It is probably just happening so fast due to the apparently very thin consistency. That consistency will also make it hard for it to hold any bubbles for any observable growth/activity. Also suspect what you describe as hooch, is more likely just water that has separated from the flour mixture.


Preferably, at this stage, you want, at least, equal weights of water and flour. At least a thick batter consistency. This will allow it to hold more bubbles, where you will more likely be able to observe some expansion/contraction. If you continue to get separation, try stirring the dough a time or two during the cycle, and/or thicken the mixture even a little more.


Also, you don't want it too warm. The (desirable)bateria that you are trying to culture along with the wild yeasts thrive best at temps below 80°F(27°C), 72 -77°F(22 -25C) being ideal.


Lots of threads here on starting a starter. Use the search box near the top left of the pages here. The sourdough 101 thread/tutorial is a popular one.


Good luck, and welcome.


 

Sheblom's picture
Sheblom

Hi
Thanks for the reply. They sem to be the same consistency as pancake batter, but today theyzarnt showing as much life as yesterday.
All Isis to day is give them a stir and move them to azslightly cooler spot.
What would the best course of action be for me to get my sour dough going? As they smell very good with a fruity flavor with some yeasty under tones. So tonight all I did was to give them a stir but no feeding. Must I just leave them and give them a stir every night till I se some action going on?
Any help on what to do next would be much appreciated!

Thanks

Allan

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

By the third or fourth day, the starter is probably ready for daily discarding and feedings. However some activity should be observable. I would still thicken it up a little and observe it over about 12 hours to note changes in bubbling activity and changes in expansion and contraction. By day 3 or 4, any growth or activity observed is typically a sign that the wild yeasts have started to grow and and are ready to fed about every 12 hours or so.


What is the temperature of the starter's immediate environment? What are you using as a guide for starting this starter? That way you will be more prepared on what to look for, what to possibly expect, and how to proceed.


At this point, maybe it's time to ditch the "old school", and use a proper, systematic guide. There are many good ones, here and other online sites. Again, here is a link to a popular one here:


 http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10251/starting-starter-sourdough-101-tutorial


Good luck.