The Fresh Loaf

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Rex's picture
Rex

Starter

My starter looked good for 2 days and on day 3 it separated with a layer of water in-between the top crusty layer and a bottom soft layer. Is this ok or do I start over. My starter is 50/50 bread flour and whole wheat. can I start feeding?

Ford's picture
Ford

It is too early to tell whether your starter is still viable.  I would keep on feeding (once each day) at the ratio of 1:1:1 starter:flour:water (by weight).  Use unbleached all-purpose or whole wheat flour, and chlorine free water.  The starter does not need the extra protein in the bread flour.  Throw away all but about 2 ounces of starter in between each feeding to conserve the amounts of materials you use and to keep from having a bath-tub full of starter by time it has matured.  The pineapple juice in the beginning is a good way to get the starter at the right pH and prevent unwanted bacteria from propagating.

It will take about 2 weeks for your starter to get to a useable stage and about a month for it to be mature.  Patience is the key!

Good places for more information on making a starter are:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10856/pineapple-juice-solution-part-1

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10901/pineapple-juice-solution-part-2

http://www.sourdoughhome.com

Ford

Rex's picture
Rex

Great resources...thanks.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

that's new...  

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the kitchen is as hot as mine, I haven't fed it for 3 days and forgot to cover it:-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

under it?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

would be possible, if improbable,  in my 90 F kitchen -but anything is possible here lately :-)  Still. I say feed it like Ford says, stir it , cover it and wait a day to see if it goes dormant like it should at day 4.

Rex's picture
Rex

Ok thanks. I started feeding every 24 hrs...we'll see in a couple of days. So is "white" flour just "bleached" flour? The recipe that I am using is Chad Robertson's starter and calls for 50/50 white and whole wheat.  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

not whole flour (full of bran flecks) and that those whole bits have been sifted out.  Although, there is a white whole wheat flour now.

Whether you like bleached or not is up to you.  In starting starters, the more of the bran you can get into the starter, the better as more wild yeast dwells on the outside of the wheat than the inside.  Either will work when patience is involved. 

BetsyMePoocho's picture
BetsyMePoocho

Rex,

Good advise from everyone.  I'd like to add that if the "hooch" or liquid develops a "Pinkish" color it is not a good thing, or if it develops a funny smell.

Generally when I feed "Cornelius", my sour dough starter, I just stir the liquid back in. Feed him as Ford suggests and leave him covered on the counter.  After about 2 to 3 hours at room temp he starts to get happy then I put him back into the fridge.... I do this once a week if I have not used the old boy.

He is a little over two years old now.