The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Will pineapple juice help my starter 2 weeks in?

sirimakingbread's picture

Will pineapple juice help my starter 2 weeks in?

I mistakenly used up all of my trusty starter in a loaf a few weeks ago. To my great dismay, I had to begin the starter process all over again. 

Ive heard of the pineapple juice solution (and it has worked well for me before), although I just began with WW flour and water this time. I live at altitude and it’s fairly hard to find a warm spot in my house which could explain some of the delay, but 2.5 weeks later my starter still isn’t ready to bake with. 

I am wondering if adding a dash of pineapple juice at THIS point would help or hurt my starter? I feed it about once daily, I see some bubbles but never doubles in size. Has anyone incorporated PJ into starter beyond the first few days?

phaz's picture

This late into it, it won't do anything. Best bet right now is to stir a couple times a day and wait - it shouldn't be too long. Enjoy!

joe_s's picture

No, and it is unnecessarily complicated and changes the pH of the mix.  once the starter is going it doesn't need anything but the proper flour (wheat or rye)/water mixture. Temperature is key.  Rye will activate quickly; then switch to high extraction wheat. 


ps.  I super hate the capcha for everything.


Uzbek's picture

Cooler environment means longer to ferment. From my observation, the key is peaking before feed, once doughy smell first changed into flowery and then into slightly acetic. Feeding before this happened you are cancelling the process and it starts all over. It is better let it sit longer at this stage than not letting the whole thing finish its business. Watch the starter, and not the clock. And while it is still weak, don't overfeed. 2 parts starter, 1 part flour and 0.9 part water, all by weight, worked best for me, and after 3 feedings like this it should become very active. The key is again don't feed too early, it cancels and restarts.

Pineapple juice is not going to help if your feeding intervals are too short. With right approach, you will succeed with water alone, though. 

Btw, missing the peak and letting starter deflate and get too acetic doesn't hurt it as much as feeding too early (or too much, while it still develops) does. 

All imho, of course. 

Hope TFL gods will not curse me this time for being too authoritative. I think, my opinion, I think, in my case (just dropping another set of disclaimers and reservations, so readers can insert them at their will instead of PMing me with BS).