The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is my (Tartine) starter ok?

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Is my (Tartine) starter ok?

My starter does not smell like stinky cheese??

I let it sit for the first 3 days and it smelled like stinky cheese.

Now I have been feeding it every morning for about 3 or 4 days, and in the morning when I go to feed it again it already smells sweet............like after I just fed it.

Is it ok?  Am I still on the right track?

Thanks!

jcking's picture
jcking

A picture would be nice. Smell is one indicator of the bad bacteria going away. Which is good. How is the rise and fall, doubling, going?

Jim

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Hi Jim,

I am sorry, I do not know how to add a picture :( 

But I am glad you said the smell should go away, because it did. (even though I really enjoyed the stinky cheese smell)

It is rising!.....double the size in 3 hrs and the smell is sweet & something else I don't know how to describe.

How does this sound?  Like I am on the right track?

Thank you.

jcking's picture
jcking

Make sure you read and re-read all the info in the book. There's a few small details that are easy to overlook.

Fornituri te salutant!
(Those who are about to bake salute you!)
Jim

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Thanks Jim, I love that saying!

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Fornituri te salutant

What language is that?

jcking's picture
jcking

Ancient Latin or Greek, I believe. I cut and paste a lot of bread related sayings and info.

"Chrysippus of Diane wrote the first technical book on baking in history, dating from around 1900 BCE."

Jim

interncampari's picture
interncampari

Hi All -- Another tartine starter question...heres where i stand:

1) made initial culture with 50/50 blend 

2) after 2-3 days had good activity and strong stinky cheese smell.

3) discarded 80% and started daily feedings nightly after work

4) the stinky cheese smell went away after a week of feedings, and has been replaced by a slightly sweet, floury smell, however there is little to know activity, just a handful of surface bubbles, but no rise and fall.

5) Some things to note:

a) I keep the starter in a glass bowl on my kicthen table away from sunlight covered by kitchen towel

b) the temperature ranges from approximatley high 60s to low 70s 

c) i dont pay much attention to quantities of flour and water when i do my daily feedings, i just add a handful of flour and then enough room temp water to make a thick batter.  (It ends up being approximatley 1/4 cup of the 50/50 blend and slightly less than that in room temp, filtered water).

Should i just keep my daily feedings and be patient? Is there anything you might change based on my description? Any thoughts would be much appreciated. 

 

 

fermented's picture
fermented

Not sure if you have had help already or if you are still experiencing issues but what it sounds like to me is that you are not feeding the starter enough. To know for sure you could try feeding it with more flour and water and see if the activity picks up at all. Based on the tartine recipe you should be feeding the starter double its wieght in flour, and again double its wieght in water.