The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sourdough starter in Grand Rapids

jamiekuiper's picture

sourdough starter in Grand Rapids

Good Morning! 

I am new to this community but have been in love with bread for as long as I can remember. My father taught me how to start my own leaven and use it to make bread. When I moved away to Grand Rapids, Michigan I tried (unsuccessfully) to capture my own starter. I am aware that climate plays a role in starters, and was wondering if ya'll had any tips for starting a starter in Michigan. 

Currently I am feeding a small starter but it has been slow going; it has been a week and it's not even CLOSE to being ready to raise bread (see photo). 

I am very happy to have found this community! Any suggestions welcome :) 




Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Great to have you on board.

The yeasts and bacteria within a starter come from the flour itself. If a starter isn't kept warm enough (78°F is an ideal temperature) it can slow down a lot! So warmth is the key to speed things up.

Other things you can do is add some whole rye flour, not overwhelm the starter with too many feedings and too much fresh flour when things are going slowly. So taking off half and topping back up every 24 hours at this stage will be better. Once it is stronger then you can feed more and more often. But for now warmth and patience is the key.

HansB's picture

What Abe said and the number one thing I think is to have patience.

jamiekuiper's picture

Thank you so much! I will do as suggested :) 

Wild-Yeast's picture

1.) Use organic wholewheat flour (adding a bit of organic rye helps).

2.) Use pure water (bottled or distilled water). Regular tap water once the colony is established.

3.) Maintain temperature as close to 77 dF as is possible.

4.) A Tablespoon of Pineapple Juice will provide a slightly acidic environment which sourdough likes.

5.) Keep the starter container covered.

6.) Keep notes.

7.) Persist and Good Luck!...,