The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

WOW! Starter #2 is working!!

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Marni's picture
Marni

WOW! Starter #2 is working!!

Thank you to everyone for the advice and support!  My second starter has not only started- it is trying hard right now to raise its own little loaf of bread.  I followed Sourdolady's recipe for replacing yeast in an existing recipe yesterday morning and just finished mixing the dough a few minutes ago.  I guess I'll just watch it to see how long til it doubles and then shape, proof and bake.  Will I have bread today?  It is very exciting here.  Even my preteen son is paying some attention to this.  Everyone is learning some science from it.

This starter seems strong so I'm going to experiment with it, I divided it last night instead of disgarding and one portion looks hungry again. If there is 1/2 cup there now and I want to increase, do I just add 1/2 C each water and flour now?  Increasing until I get the right amount?  I'd like to create a good "sour" flavor, that is a matter of time, right?

I'm trying not to count on my bread before it's baked, but thanks again for getting me this far.

Marni

PS I haven't given up on the first sluggish starter, it is still just barely breathing.

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Congrats! Glad you are having some success. Will be waiting to hear how the bread turns out.

To feed your starter, you may want to thicken it up some now that it is awake. Gradually increase the size of feedings so you don't overwhelm it. Starting with 1/2 cup flour is fine. If you are going to use it in a recipe again right away you don't need to discard any but if you continue to feed without using any you will need to dump out at least half before each feeding.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I'm on day 7 of my starter, and I hate having to throw out so much when I'm refreshing it.  It looked a little flat today, so I added the 1/4 tsp. of apple cider vinegar.  If a recipe calls for, say, 1 cup of starter, will mine ever be that large?

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

You can build the starter to a larger amount after you get it established. In the early stages there is no point in building a large quantity because you would just have to discard a lot more. That is the whole point of keeping it small now.

 Once you have the starter growing well you can increase the amount of feedings and also the frequency of feedings to build it to a larger quantity.

Marni's picture
Marni

PaddyL,

My rye starter seems to get bigger as I watch it, but when I stir it down, it is barely more than originally measured out.  I have only been throwing out a tablespoon or so each time. (Although that does add up over time!)

You have my whole hearted sympathy with your starter- my first one, which I made with whole wheat, still has done almost nothing and I am on day 9.  I also added 1/4t cider vinegar.  It did nothing that I could see.  Last night I added about 1t rye to the mix when I fed it and it looks a tiny  bit puffed up now, 18 hours later.  Rye seems to be the magic bullet here.

I made these starters the exact same way in the same location.  As long as the WW one smells ok I'm going to hang in there with it a while.

Marni

Marni's picture
Marni

PaddyL,

I forgot to answer your other question.  From what I've read, (this is my first time make a starter) once the starter is very active you can build it to the amount you need by adding more flour and water at each feeding.  I'm trying that now with a portion I took from my rye starter.  I have no idea if it will work.  It seems fine so far.

Marni

raisdbywolvz's picture
raisdbywolvz

Congratulations, Marni! It's encouraging to hear a success story as I start my own starter. I'm on day #4, nowhere near ready to bake with, but having decent results, I think.

How'd the bread turn out?

rbw

 

Marni's picture
Marni

It really worked!  I baked my first loaf of sourdough bread last night and it worked!  I'm just a little surprised.  It is not nearly as beautiful as anything on these pages,(it's not even like my usual bread) but it is yummy and really did turn out fine.

The final proof was too long because we had to go out - bad planning, so the shape wasn't great.  Also I didn't use a sourdough recipe, I adapted this from a sandwich bread I make.  Should I have slashed it?  I've never done that.

The loaf is almost gone- husband loved it and kids have it for lunch.  I plan to bake again today.

Thank you again

Marni