The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Seed Culture

alpenrose's picture

Seed Culture

I am following Peter Reinhart's receipe for Seed Culture/Starter (page 38: Artisan Breads Every Day). Phase 1 went well. I went on to Phase 2 the stage that is supposed to take from 1-4 days. I noticed yesterday that when I stirred it it was foamy underneath the surface, but smooth on top (no bubbles). I waited another two days and now I am down to a very liquid state and no foam.  Did I wait too long? Is the room to cold? What are next steps from here?

Thank you,



jcking's picture

Foamy underneath is a good sign to move to the next step. How cold is the room? Move on to the next step.


alpenrose's picture

Hi Jim:


Thank you for your response. The room gets coolish at night (65 +/-). The culture has moved beyond foamy now and is just liquid. Should I just start over?



Ford's picture

Refresh, don't restart.  Try to find a warmer place, 80 to 85°F is optimum.


raqk8's picture

Sounds like you left it too long and the little yeast in there broke down the rest of the flour. Try refreshing with some flour and water and moving on to the next step. Although keeping it in a warmer place is optimum, it is often very difficult to find a place that is warm all the time. My starter lives around 70F, so it just takes a little longer to ripen.

Raquel @

FoodHacker's picture

It stays around 70ish F in my kitchen especially now that it's getting colder weather out and when I first started mine about a week and a half ago it didn't do anything for the biggest part of the first week but now all of a sudden it's going gangbusters!!!

I'm keeping my starter in a pasta sauce jar that has the increments made into the jar itself and I'm actually having to go by and knock it down a few times per day (I have been leaving it on the countertop).

I kinda jumped the gun and and made a loaf from it already today and it didn't turn out half bad (even though I just found out that my crappy oven when set to 500 it only gets to around 450 max)

If your starter gets to the point where it's got a soupy consistency it's still good you just need to refresh it, my understanding is this ... if you have 2 ounces of starter you need to feed it 2 ounces or if it's 4 ounces feed it 4 ounces and so on ... basically whatever your starter weights that is how much you need to feed it