The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Seed Culture Problems

RussellP's picture

Seed Culture Problems

Hey, I'm looking for some advice from this wonderful community of bakers that I have found.  I made a sourdough starter about 4 years ago but had to discard it when I moved recently and am having some trouble making another.  I"m following the BBA recipe and have attempted to make two starters to see if one would develop but on day 3, I haven't seen any rise in the dough so i'm looking for some questions!  One starter is made from Hodgson mill Rye flour with pineapple juice and the other is made from King arthur flours whole wheat flour with orange juice.  They are both in a 4 cup measuring cup with plastic wrap covering them.  Like I said, neither has shown any signs of fermentation, any pointers or hints are welcome! I miss my sourdough! Thanks!

jcking's picture

In his follow-up book Reinhart says to stir at least 3 times a day. It gives the yeast some oxygen to help it grow. You may also try bottled spring water as a safety net. It will come around if given the time. And since it's winter try finding a warm home for the starter. Or warm the water to 80°F.


alpenrose's picture

Dear Rus:

I just went through the same obstacle course. I was using the same Rye flour and pineapple juice from cans of pineapple in their own juice (no additives). i tried three different times and could not make anything happen. I tried with Wheat Montana ww flour and it was hardly any better. Then I changed over to the formula found here at the Fresh Loaf:

I still used the same Rye Flour and pineapple juice (1st 3 days then filtered water).  The key for me was finding a place in the house with the right temperature. I finally figured out that the guest bathroom which has it's own little wall heater could be closed off and the temperature maintained 24/7 That is what the problem was--TEMPERATURE!  Seven days later I now have something that grows to double within four hours of feeding.  But absolutely make sure your temperature is well above 72 degrees wherever you decide to put that little bowl! I also kept mine tightly covered with a lid and wrapped in a towel (got a little obsessive after 3 failures!).

alpenrose's picture

Oh boy--I forgot to mention that I used 1.5T of Rye flour in the first 3 days, the other .5T was AP!  Hope I didn't mess it up too bad for you!  Either way, the Rye flour does work, as I gradually reduced it to 100% Rye.

De ble's picture
De ble

Try the following technique using dried raisins, the video is in Italian. That is how I got my starter and it is wonderful.