The Fresh Loaf

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David's first starter

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dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

David's first starter

Let me detail how I started my first starter.

I took some 2 year old Carl's dried starter and rehydrated it according to package directions. I used white unbleached bread flour and tap water which is not overly chlorinated..that is it does not taste of chlorine.

Day 1--no action.

Day 2--inoculated with one tablespoon of starter to 1 cup of water and 1.5 cups of flour.

Day 3--inoculated with one tablespoon of starter to 1 cup of water and 1.5 cups of flour...tiny bubbles throughout.

Day 4--inoculated with one tablespoon of starter to 1 cup of water and 1.5 cups of flour. ..fewer tiny bubbles.

Day 5--inoculated with one tablespoon of starter to 1 cup of water and 1.5 cups of flour--nothing after 12 hours. no bubbles. looks dead.

Panicked. discovered this site.

REFED after 12 hours 1 cup of water and 1.5 cups of WHEAT FLOUR

AFter three hours mixture is FULL of tiny bubbles.

The starter is kept at room temperature 72 F.

Will update and beg for help regularly.

David.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The dilemma is with whole grains you are probably adding new strains of organisms which will change the flavor of the starter. That is not necessarily a bad thing.


David

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

Hmmmmm, from the description it certainly sounds like Carl's starter was quite dead. You are essentially starting a brand new starter. :) Anyway, the Whole Wheat flour you added has lots of bran in it, the skin of the wheat berry. On the skin there are yeast(s) and cultures that are starting to munch on the starch that is in your starter from the white flour. So you are well on your way. You may consider giving your starter a stir, maybe every four hours or so, during the day of course. :) Although when I was starting my starter I actually dreamt about it. <blush> Oh well, I suppose there are worse things in life.

Rudy

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

I think it was Dr. Ed Wood said that. My thought is that what he's revived may or may not be the same starter he found mouldering in the fridge.

 

I had a year old packet of Carl's and needed a starter NOW. So, in desperation I started it up. At the same time I started two more starters. One was the same as the Carl's reviveal, only with no Carl's. The other was my usual way of starting a starter, which I've written up at http://www.sourdoughhome.com/startermyway.html

 

The Carl's revival was the slowest to get going. After wasting flour in it for a week, I pitched it. The plain flour had started but wasn't very good. MY usual approach had started a decent starter that I am still using.

Having used Carl's a number of times, this is the only time I've had a failure with it, and I attribute that failure to having kept the starter lying around for a year before using it.

All in all, I agree with the two earlier posters. When you added the whole wheat flour, you started a new starter. You probably have a good starter, but it almost certainly isn't Carl's 1847 Oregon Trail Starter.

Mike

 

 

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

Stirred the starter this AM.  It was FULL of TINY bubbles.

It smells like creamy/tangy with vinegar thrown in.

Refreshed as follows:

1 cup starter+1/4 cup tap water+3/8 cup white flour (plus 2TBS WW flour)

stired and covered loosely.

I'm pretty sure I've started a new starter acccidentally with the whole wheat flour.

It does not bubble up like the pictures I've seen of Rudy's starter.

Thanks for the comments and the info.

 Stay tuned .....

give us this day our daily bread--or maybe just some starter

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

After twelve hours the starter has a few larger size bubbles on the top..looks like air bubbles that have risen from below and is still full of tiny bubbles.

There is a small layer of hooch on top.

Refreshed/Fed starter by adding 1/4 cup tap water to 3/8 cup AP flour.

Noticed cotton ball sized white fluffy mold on the lid which i had never washed.

BTW i am washing the container between feedings....i just hadn't washed the lid.

David. 

give us this day our daily bread--or maybe just some starter

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

slight foam on top with some bubbles.

lots of tiny bubbles throughout

refed with 1/2 starter 1/4 c water+ 1/2 c AP flour

 

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

some bigger bubbles on top.

smells sour and tangy.

lots of tiny bubbles throughout.

keepin the faith.

 

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

Huge bubbles on top and bubbles throughout.

On stirring the mixture i see "pockets" instead of bubbles.

Smells like yeast.

Be still my heart.

 

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Congrats! It's always satisfying when 'new life' comes bubbling up.  Looking forward to see what you make with your starter.

Well done!

FP 

 

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

still bubbling..smells like yeast

 

btw I am feeding with 1/2 cup starter 1/4 cup water 1/2 cup UAP flour twice a day.

 

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

Hmm. That's a fairly high hydration. What is the consistency of your starter? If it lookslike crepe batter or even pancake batter it will have a much more difficult time doubling in volume. However, if it's a little dryer than that then it will have enough strength to double in volume after each feeding.

Rudy

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

it's the consistency of pancake batter.

I've been thinking about the whole doubling thing..and I've been thinking that I need to have less hydration.

How do I do that?

I'm just so happy the darn thing is finally alive and smelling like bread dough.

give me some instructions on how to proceed....

thanks.

 

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

It's actually very very simple. In your next feeding add less water. If the starter is still too wet, add still less water on the feeding after that. Until you get your starter to the desired consistency. Since I bake once a week only, my starter is kept at the consistency of bread dough. Quite firm. This way I keep it the refrigerator and only need to feed it once a week.

Rudy

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

ok so today there's no bubbles on the surface and the thing didn't rise at all with less hydration.

i'm going back to feeding as usual twice a day.

still smells like yeasty bread dough.

i'm getting impatient.

I'm starting to resent the starter and to anthropomorphise it.

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Dave.

More frequent feedings might help. You could also try feeding with a mix of AP, Whole Wheat and Rye (70:20:10 ratio). This mix is what I use, and my starter is much more lively.

Even just a little rye or WW might make a difference.


David

KristinKLB's picture
KristinKLB

I find that if I change my starter's habits (hydration, flour type) it will be set back a few days before it behaves normally again.

I'd never feed a starter more than 2x per day -- that just spoils him and then he will be begging for fancy organic rye all the time.

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

the mixture rose a bit today.

in the container it's about 1.5 inches tall..it rose to around 2 inches after 16 or so hours.

i'm feeding it with less water and the same ap flour.

there are scant bubbles on top..(which i think is ok since the mixture is way thicker) when i stir it down after 12 hours there are a couple of air pockets beneath the surface and various sized bubbles though not as plentiful as when the mixture was a batter consistency.

what do i have to lose...carl's is on it's way and if I have to throw this out..oh well..

I have put almost two weeks into this. I've learned a lot.

I want to keep with it and just see what happens.

it smells yeasty and more sour today...there's definitely a tang that i haven't noticed before.

 

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

Dave as you turn your starter to a lower hydration the bubbles will go away. In your post you say that it rose 50% in 16 hours. Does that mean you are not feeding it every 12 hours? Because if you keep it outside on the counter feeding every 12 hours is a really good idea especially to a starter that is just getting on its feet. And since your starter is on a high hydration side it rips through the starch in the flour a bit faster than a stiffer starter.

Also if you do one more feeding in 12 hours and see a 50% or 100% rise, it is time to bake a test loaf and see if your starter is strong enough to leaven a loaf of bread.

Rudy

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

yeah instead of feeding at 12 hours I didn't get home until the mixture was about 16 hours old...i work 12-14hour night shifts.

didn't know that wet starters eat quicker than dry ones...also thought that lack of bubbles was a bad thing..

thanks for all the info..

i am still feeding every 12 hours. (or thereabouts) it gets fed twice a day. and I am cutting back on the water with every feeding.

right now it is like very very dry mud

will continue til it's like bread dough.

thanks again rudy.

david

 

 

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

OK I understand. One more thing. When my starter was on the counter, meaning outside of the fridge. The rise would happen within 2 hours of the feeding, and sometimes even within an hour of the feeding. This isn't necessarily how every starter behaves though, but the reason I'm saying this is to make sure you don't somehow miss the fact that your starter rose after being fed. Also looking for dough trails on the inside of the container can provide a clue.

And keep the test loaf in mind, if you see any kind of rise at all.

Rudy

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

cool.

i've marked the container this time with dry erase marker.

i also made a tennis ball with the leftover starter that i normally toss....just used starter and enough flour to make a little cannon ball. rolled in wheat flour cause that's what i had.

the starter is now like really wet dough...when i stir it down the inside is just full of varying size holes.

am i right to assume that the longer it is kept at room temperature with these twice a day feedings the better and more complex the flavor is supposed to become?

i've heard people leaving them out for three months..what are your thoughts.? 

so..to recap today's lessons.

feed twice a day out of fridge.

keep it dry.

watch for rising..

thank you so much.

david

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

Well everything really depends on your frequency usage. If you bake every day, then you'll be able to keep your starter on the counter top and feed it twice a day. And not worry about throwing anything away. However, if you are like many of us who bake once or at most twice a week, then the refrigerator begins to look as a better option. Since a refrigerated strter only needs to be fed once every 5 days, give or take a day or two. The flavors you speak of will develop in the refrigerator, albeit more slowly than perhaps on the counter top. However, as we know in bread baking faster is not necessarily always better. :)

Good Luck with your Big Tennis/Little Cannon Ball. :) You may have your first sourdough bread that you made yourself. Of course, my first loaf did not have the complexity or the roundness of flavor of the later loaves, but that's fine at this point we just want to see if your starter is on the right track and is able to leaven a loaf of bread. How it behaves will tell us a little more about where your starter is.

Rudy

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

Unable to up load images for some reason.

Here's the latest:

The tennis ball burst open on one side.  The whole thing seems to have raised itself up off the plate about 1/4 inch.

The other stater (the one in the bowl) had raised itself and the whole thing was FULL of holes and when I stirred it i heard gas escape.

I fed the starter with a bit of water and UAP flour and placed in a glass container to better visualize rising.

I am starting with 1 cup of starter...we'll see.

I am extremely optimistic as the whole thing smells delicious.

Question: what do I do with my tennis ball..do I leave it out or try to refeed in 24 hours.

 

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

OK..I broke apart the tennis ball at 12 hours and it looked like some *seriously* overproofed dough. Gigantic holes throughout...smelled good enough to eat...smelled sour but more tangy than sour..if that makes any sense.

I replenished the tennis ball ..but this time it's not as dry. It is the same hydration as the dough I usually make...here's the proportions:

2 T tennis ball (very dry)

2.5 T water

9 T uap flour

rolled whole thing in wheat flour

I've had more action out of the starter since it's a lower hydration.

Still feeding twice a day.

I apologize for the absolute chaotic nature of the posts..but i'm flying by the seat of my pants.

When this is all said and done I will put it together in an organized blog format.

I have to go away for a couple of days..will take starter with me and replenish in hotel room ...I think i've crossed a line here. ;)

David.

 

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

David.

Based on your two previous posts, your starter is now ready. You are done with the process of starting it and are ready to start using it. That's all there is to it. Time to bake some bread.

Rudy

dave1971us's picture
dave1971us

i've gone from 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups in six hours.

it's really working.

thanks for all the advice and help.

when i bake with it i'll try to post the pics