The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter

roserenaud's picture
roserenaud

Starter

I have started a new starter with 4 oz. flour/water, feeding daily, and holding the temp at 73 degrees F

After 10 days of small bubbles and nothing else, I added pineapple juice instead of water for 2 days.   Now at the 14 day mark, I have sour smelling goo with a lot of little bubbles, but no rise.   I feed every day, and about the 4 hour mark after feeding I get a little rise but no double in size, and by feeding time the next day, the mixture is flat and goes back to the little bubbles and sour smell.

Any suggestions?

BaniJP's picture
BaniJP

Why did you add pineapple juice?

roserenaud's picture
roserenaud

Some of the forums suggest adding pineapple juice as a kick start.  The forum says it has something to do with the PH level of the water and most says it works to get the yeast growing.  

VLewis's picture
VLewis

Yes, I just failed this morning as well.  My starter was like yours..liquidy, very small bubbles.  Ive heard of pineapple juice as well.  I am going to start over using Rye flour.  Perhaps you should try that.  I am also going to put mine in the oven with the light on.  I started with just white flour and filtered water, but most of the videos I have seen on you tube start with Rye. Good Luck!

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

You are so, so close to the finish line that it would be sad if you chuck it to start over.

The Pineapple Juice Solution, Part 2

Scroll down to the third phase. If it's been very many feedings since you last gave it whole grain, that may be all it needs to get it over the hurdle.

My best,
dw

roserenaud's picture
roserenaud

Thank you for this suggestion.   I will give it some whole grain flour and see what happens next.

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

I wouldn't advise putting it in the oven at this point. That you've gotten this far in the progression without applying heat, tells me that the temperature isn't the problem. Give a feeding of whole grain -- wheat or rye, doesn't matter -- but not too big a feeding. Then wait at least 24 hours. If it doesn't take off, give it a stir and wait another 24 hours before feeding with whole grain again. Once it's up and running, you can go back to white flour. Have faith, you're almost there :-)

OldLoaf's picture
OldLoaf

Have you read the post by Debra Wink about using pineapple juice?  Very informative...

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

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

Part 2 gives you the procedure/recipe further down the page.

 

VLewis's picture
VLewis

I’ve started feeding it whole grain 7 days ago. I think it’s best to restart, but thanks for the advice. 

V

ninarosner's picture
ninarosner

What I've found is that just because a starter doesn't rise a lot/double in size doesn't mean it's not active. The wetter the starter is, the less it will rise because the air bubbles will move through the liquid up to the top. If it's bubbly, then something is definitely happening. 

RE the sour smell - I realised this was happening to me because my starter was actually really active, so it was getting through all its feed before the next feeding, and then producing extra acid.

I think your starter is still alive - What I would advise is to remove all but a tablespoon, then feed it 50g wholewheat flour + 50g water, twice daily for a few days. See what happens!

This video is GREAT for troubleshooting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf90Mt-uhSY

AGGut's picture
AGGut

I was in your position a couple of weeks ago.  Started over with Debra’s instructions  using only rye flour and tangerine juice the first 3 days and got beautiful results.  


Day 1: mix...2 tablespoons whole grain flour* (wheat or rye)2 tablespoons pineapple juice, orange juice, or apple cider

 

Day 2: add...2 tablespoons whole grain flour*2 tablespoons juice or cider

 

Day 3: add...2 tablespoons whole grain flour*2 tablespoons juice or cider

 

Day 4: (and once daily until it starts to expand and smell yeasty), mix . . .2 oz. of the starter (1/4 cup after stirring down-discard the rest)1 oz. flour** (scant 1/4 cup)

 

1 oz. water (2 tablespoons)
HansB's picture
HansB

It seems that everyone tries very hard to complicate creating a starter. 

https://youtu.be/SuU0xmqEZyI

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I saved the link for future reference. Simplistic and super great.

roserenaud's picture
roserenaud

Thanks for all your help.   After adding whole wheat flour as suggested and waiting 24 hours, unfortunately, a thick layer of black mold appeared on the top.   So I have trashed my second try at developing a starter, and will go for #3.  Hopefully I won't be three strikes and out.....

roserenaud's picture
roserenaud

Thank you HansB for the video, my third try at making a starter has finally worked and looks exactly like your did.

I'll be ready to bake my first loaf of bread tomorrow and I can't wait.  You were right, I was making it harder than I needed to.  Once I relaxed and didn't pay so much attention to exactly water/flour ratios then everything went smoothly.

 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

4 days to make a starter! 5 days old, and ready to bake. Please post images of the results.

Danny

roserenaud's picture
roserenaud

I was well into the process of finally getting a loaf of sourdough bread.   I got too excited and proofed the dough overnight in the refridgerator, with a floured kitchen towel covering but forgot to slide the batons into a plastic bag.  Yikes what a mistake, the top of the dough all dried out.    Baked it anyway, but got a flying saucer.   I won't make that mistake again.

My starter is working extremely well, so on to the second loaf try.

 

roserenaud's picture
roserenaud

Bread this morning   

 

The bread proofed overnight in the refridgerator and baked this morning.   I have attached pictures for your comments.   The bread tastes great with a nice chew and crispy crust, however, I need comments as to why I don't have the rise.   I think it may have overproofed, even though I put in the fridge at 5:00 p.m. and baked at 8:00 this morning.  What do you think?  I have also attached a picture of my starter..this is this morning 4 hours after feeding.  That tape indicates the rise from start to at the 4 hour mark, so I don't think it is my starter.  Starter 4 hours after feeding

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Rose, from the looks of your image, the starter looks super active.

As far as the oven spring... Your dough retarded for 15 hours, which may or may not be fine. If the fridge was below 40F the dough should be good. But if the fridge is much warmer, then your dough may be over proofing. The best way I know to test the temp of your fridge it to place a glass of water on the shelf where the dough is placed. After a few hours check the temp of the water. Lets us know the temperature.

Better your bread be a little under ferment than a little over fermented. 

Danny

roserenaud's picture
roserenaud

The refrigerator temperature, (tested the way you suggested) is 41F, so I will turn the temperature down a tad colder.

roserenaud's picture
roserenaud

After three failed tries to get a good starter, and 4 failed tries at making a good loaf of bread, I think I finally have success.   I've just taken this out of the oven and I'll send a picture of the crumb, but it felt right before I baked it, looks right and lets hope for a good crumb.

Bread Try #4

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Try to exercise patience before slicing into that gorgeous loaf.

Danny

HansB's picture
HansB

Well done!

roserenaud's picture
roserenaud

Here is the inside.  It tasted great, we had it for supper with a lot of freshly made apple butter.  YUM.

I was expecting the crust to be a bit more crispy.  So this morning I baked my second successful loaf and baked it a few minutes longer.  It looks great as well.

Thanks again for everyone's help and now that I'm on a roll, I might even try some of the other flavourful recipes.

Crumb of first loaf

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Your improvement is stellar!