The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

sourdough starter help me please!

pompeii's picture

sourdough starter help me please!

salutations everyone.

as you may have guessed i am pretty new to this forum (this being my first post ever) and to baking. i've been on a baking spree this past week, i've been succesfull with pita bread and bagels. anyway, four days ago i decided to be brave and try to grow a sourdough starter.

day one samuel (my starter's name) had some activity after a few hours. kind of looked like pancake batter as it just starts to bubble a bit.

day two samuel had a thin layer of fluid on top. i did some research and it seems like that is natural, so i went ahead and fed him. towards the end of day 2 i had noticed that he had grown and was full of spectacular bubbles. and i fear i may have done something foolish (though i am not sure), i was so excited by the huge increase in activity that i stirred him, which made him shrink back down.

day three i awoke to see him looking like my day one starter... a few bubbles, a little bit of liquid. i fed him like i have been.

day four (today) he has activity, bubbles at the top... but no where near as many bubbles throughout as he had on the end of day two.

so naturally, i am slightly concerned that i may have done something wrong, or perhaps i just need to be patient for him to thrive again.

anyhoo, any advice or suggestions would be very much appreciated.


Srishti's picture

Hello pompeii,

You are doing great. It's normal to get a lot of activity on th 2.nd -3rd day and then die back down/

This first activity is actually not yeast but bacterial activity. Don't worry, it's absolutely normal. Mine took 8 days to start showing anything.

Just be patient and keep feeding Samuel.

Let us know how it goes


pompeii's picture

thank you very much for the reply, Srishti. i'm glad i haven't killed samuel, i am quite fond of him!

curious though, i've seen various pictures of starters when they are "bake-worthy" on this page and others, and some of them look like samuel so i am not sure how to tell when he is fully grown or not. how did you tell yours was ready?

samuel seems to be doing very well again. last night i noticed he had doubled in size. and today i dumped part of him and fed him like i do every day, and after about 4-5 hours he had already doubled in size and seems to be enjoying his food very much. ^_^

thanks again!

Trishinomaha's picture


One of the many good things I'm learnning while learning to bake bread is patience - LOLOL. I've never been very patient but when you're working with starters some just grrow and go faster than others. They can bubble quickly and then slow down for a few days and then bounce back. I grew my two starters for two weeks before I was able to bake with them. Hope this helps.


pompeii's picture

Trish, your comment was very much appreciated. i was awefully worried that i had ruined my starter since there was such a drastic change in activity. but he seems to be thriving again. today he doubled in size 4-5 hours after feeding him.

how did you tell your starters were ready after two weeks?

SourdoLady's picture

If Samuel is doubling in size then he can be used to make bread now. His flavor will continue to develop as he ages, however, so after awhile your bread will have better flavor.