The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How does my Tartine starter look?

DirtyBirdNJ's picture

How does my Tartine starter look?

Hello everybody! I just read Tartine Bread and got my starter going about 48 hours ago.

Here is the starter after 24 hours:

I was worried that the top water looked dark and it was all settled at the bottom. Today before dinner, about 48 hours after the intial mix:

Wow! What a difference! Here is a shot from the top. You can see that the culture bloomed up so much that it touched the cloth covering it. Definately smelled a little bready... very slightly sour at first but not much really.

So tomorrow some time I'll be doing the keep 20% and feed it. How's it look so far?

freerk's picture

Hey DirtyBird,

It looks... strange! I have never seen a sourdough starter that seperates like yours seems to do. What sort of starter is it, what flour did you use to get it started? Are you fully incorporating (mixing in) every new feed?

Once mixed, the starter should stay mixed and not "seperate"

Did you bake with it already?

greetz from Amsterdam



MangoChutney's picture

It looks like flour and water which is beginning to ferment.  Keep up the good work!  :)

Ford's picture

The starter is still very young and will be at least two more weeks before it is ready for making bread.  Keep feeding and stirring.  I find that 100% hydration (equal weights flour and water) are right for me;  others prefer less water.  A cup of flour weighs about 4.3 ounces and a cup of water weighs 8.3 ounces.


jcking's picture

It certainly doesn't look like the pictures in the Tartine book. Too much water.

freerk's picture

you should stir it!

Baker Chris's picture
Baker Chris

When you feed it make sure it is equal parts water and the 50/50 flour blend, plus the innoculation of starter, and stir it thoroughly - you should have a thick batter.  If you keep letting it bloom / rise and watch it regularly as it peaks and begins to fall, feeding when it is just past its peak, you should develop that nice balanced culture.  Looks like you've got it in the fridge?  Suggest you keep it on the counter unless the kitchen is too warm, meaning north of 85F.