The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

never made sourdough before- I need help!

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smilinbrite's picture
smilinbrite

never made sourdough before- I need help!

I got a starter from a friend about a week ago.  I fed it like she told me and left it out to do it's thing.  It wasn't bubbley- is it suposed to be?  Anyway, I tried to make sourdough bread a couple of days ago and my dough felt like playdough- it was really soft and squishy.  It never rose, so I just had 2 lumps of nasty sourdough (I let my kids play with it and they had a lot of fun!). 

  I can make regular bread- but have never tried sourdough before.  Do I need to start over with my starter?  Is the dough suposed to be soft and sticky?  Please help!!!

~Smilin

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

It doesn't sound like your starter is happy. Was it bubbly when she gave it to you? How much starter do you have and how much did you feed it? Are you feeding with flour and water? Is your water highly chlorinated? You also must dump and discard a large portion of the old starter before you feed it to keep it healthy. If you can give me some more info I will help you.

smilinbrite's picture
smilinbrite

No it wasn't bubbly when she gave it to me.  She told me to add 1 cup water(bottled water) and 1 cup of flour and 1 Tablespoon of honey or sugar.  She said it would get thick.  It got thicker -like a thick pancake batter.  I haven't discarded any, just used 1 cup that it called for in the recipe.

 thank

~Smilin 

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Okay, how long was it left out to do its thing? If the starter is left at room temperature it will need to be fed every 12 hours. This is why most people keep their starters in the fridge in between uses. Do you know if this starter originated with commercial yeast or if it is a wild yeast starter? How long has your friend had the starter before she gave you a start?

If the starter was originally made with commercial yeast it will eventually either convert to wild yeast from the yeast spores in the flour or it will die. Sourdough is acidic and commercial yeast can't live for long in an acidic environment.