The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is this starter safe to use?

Lynn Nicole's picture
Lynn Nicole

Is this starter safe to use?


I left this starter in the fridge for around 2 weeks without feeding it. When i removed it it had formed a hard skin on top. I discarded that and saved about 1 tablespoon and fed that. Its been 2 days and it seems to be showing signs of life. I a just scared that it developed some type of bacteria in it that is unsafe to eat because it looked like it was growing maybe mold or something on top? Does anyone have any ideas about this?

Any help, ideas, or input would be greatly appreciated.

clazar123's picture

As long as you scraped off a thick layer of the top and took your tablespoon from normal looking/smelling starter, your fine. It is ok if it smelled like acetone-that just means the starter is starving. However, if  the neglected starter smelled like old socks, cheesy or sewer-like, that would be a different story. It is a smell that would have hit you in the face as soon as you opened the jar. Start over in a clean jar and carry on.

BTW, did the neglected jar have a lid on? Usually a covered jar doesn't form a dried skin.

phaz's picture

I've seen a lot worse than that. You got the right plan to revive, a heavy feed and just stir till it come back. Enjoy!