The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

White dots on my four day old sourdough starter

Geut's picture
Geut

White dots on my four day old sourdough starter

Hello,

My sourdough starter has developed some white dots on its surface... is it normal?

Lechem's picture
Lechem

When it comes to feeding next take from the inside (untouched by those white dots) where the starter is fresher. Now when I store lower hydration starters I keep them in a Tupperware container with a lid that I don't close too tightly. This seems to keep it from drying out. If you've gone really low hydration then perhaps make sure the surface of the starter is moist before putting in the container.

What is the method you're following at the moment?

Geut's picture
Geut

Thank you (:

This is my first one obviously.. The first day I just put 100 grams of simple white flour, 50 grams of water and kneaded it. Then I put the thing in this bowl covered with Saran wrap (with some holes in it). I'm keeping it on the counter top.

After two days, I took 100 grams of the mixture (with the crust on it's surface), 100 grams of flour, 50 grams of water, kneaded it and returned it two the bowl with the Saran wrap.

And now it looks like this.

I was worried that it could be some harmful mold/bacteria growing on it.. I hope it's really just dryness.

Should I keep it in the refrigerator even if it's only 4 day old?

Lechem are you Israeli too?

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Is to start off with 100% hydration till the starter begins to show signs of life. Once the yeasts and bacteria have woken up then turn it into a stiff hydration starter. Things speed up when it's more hydrated.

Have you seen any signs of fermentation yet? When you break open the starter what's it like inside and how does it smell?

Don't refrigerate till your starter is viable and strong. You also want some wholegrain in there. So here's how I would feed continuing as a stiff starter...

Take 100g fresh starter from inside and not from the crust. To this add 50g of boiled and cooled! water. Break the starter up in the water and mix till it's fully distributed. Then add 100g flour (80g white flour + 20g wholegrain). Knead into a dough ball. Before placing it into the container wet your hands and roll the starter so it's not completely dried out. Place it inside a jar or container that has a screwtop lid. Tighten the lid but then gently unscrew it just enough so it's not completely airtight. so flies can't get in but the starter can expand and not build up pressure.

Leave in a warm place.

How often are you feeding it?

I don't think it's mould, let's hope it isn't and see if we can feed this out by taking from the fresher inside of the starter.

I'm not Israeli. I'm from London :)

Geut's picture
Geut

Thank you.

Yes, when you look at the bottom of the bowl you can see some bubbles. And it.. smells, but not too badly. I'm feeding it every other day.

Oh okay. Lechem means bread in Hebrew.. (:

Lechem's picture
Lechem

To match my bread street sign!

Once your starter begins to expand, smell better and when it comes to feeding the inside is more spongy then start feeding every 24 hours. For now your schedule is fine.

With a 100% hydration starter even if you skip a feed you can give it a stir. But obviously not with a 50% hydrated starter. If you think it looks like it's drying out then take a tsp or two of water and wet it. Keep it moist.