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ElsieD

Establishing and Working with Homegrown Sourdough Starter

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Host's note: this topic was split from the topic Baking Bread from Scratch in France.

 

 

Allrighty then, I thought I would give this a go. This is what it looks like and I will cover this with a paper towel and see what happens. It is in a west facing window. Not sure what to do with it exactly if it works, but I will deal with that when (if) the time comes.image.jpg


Edited by Smithy (log)
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That's great, Elsie. I hope other people will give it a try too.

 

Couple of points. You'd be better off transfering the mixture to something like a jam jar (something made of glass that is taller than it is wide) just so you can see more easily what's going on - is it rising, are there bubbles throughout the mixture, etc. The location of the jar doesn't particularly matter - what you want is a reasonably constant temperature in the 18-25C range. So a windowsill if it gets a lot of sun or is drafty is not a good place.

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So here we are 24 hours later. I moved it to one of those big glass beer mugs and moved it away from the window and on to the counter. It looks as though it has a couple of bubbles in it although that may be wishful thinking. It took a sniff and it smells fine. I guess if tomorrow morning it has a few bubbles in it I will add 50 grams each of flour and water???? Further, I guess by Thursday morning if it has more bubbles in it I will add another 50 grams each of flour and water and after mixing, remove half of it????

Edited to add: The mixture is decidedly looser than it was when I first mixed it together.

Mick, you may have to help me out here.:)


Edited by ElsieD (log)

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Here is how it looks right now, Thursday morning. Nice and bubbly, so I am about to add another 50 grams each of bread flour and water. I am also moving it to a larger container. We'll see what it looks like tomorrow morning. I'm pretty stoked about this, as I have never tried this before.

image.jpg


Edited by ElsieD (log)
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Mick, your breads are gorgeous! I tried to make sourdough using Peter Reinhardts instructions in BBA, around a year ago, didn't work for me. I now have a rye starter that is looking nice and bubbly sitting in my kitchen, from following your thread! I'm very excited about this, thanks for all the information and encouragement!

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So here we are, about 48 hours since I first mixed water and flour together. I have attached a picture from the side of the container and one looking down on it. Not sure what to do next except see what it looks like in the morning and feed it again at which time I will pitch half of it. I guess.
 

image.jpg

ElsieD starter full size.jpg


Edited by Smithy Member request (log)
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This morning it looked as though it had doubled in size and then collapsed on itself. Is this normal? I discarded half of it and mixed in another 50 grams each of flour and water.

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Yes, Elsie, you feed a starter it bubbles up and falls back. At the moment it will be quite unstable but as it matures this is likely to occur in about eight hour cycles. For the next few days I would discard and feed the mixture once a day.

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Yes, Elsie, you feed a starter it bubbles up and falls back. At the moment it will be quite unstable but as it matures this is likely to occur in about eight hour cycles. For the next few days I would discard and feed the mixture once a day.

Will do. Thank you. It is almost 7 hours since I fed it and there are small bubbles on top but not much else happening. I will continue to do as you say and we will see what happens.

Elsie

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This is my rye starter:image.jpg

I am discarding half and refreshing with equal amounts rye flour and water each morning. How long do you keep this up before it's ready to use, and how do you know when it is ready to be used?


Edited by patti_h (log)
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I have baked bread for years but have always used fresh or dried yeast.  After reading your posts, I have decided its time to start baking bread using a starter. Oh well, here goes nothing.... (this isn't like a commitment thing is it)?

 

P1020929.jpg

 

50g of stoneground organic white flour (12% protein) plus 50g mineral water. Photo was taken after 48 hours.


Edited by Chelseabun (log)
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Well, this is getting exciting.

 

Patti, your starter looks fine. Do a test bake. I'm never sure why people are reluctant to experiment. Are you wanting to make rye bread or just use it as a general starter. Do you need a recipe or are you experienced?

 

Howdy Chelseabun. It's a serious commitment! You'll never be the same again.

 

Where we up to Elsie?

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It gave my starter a little funeral today. It was deader than a door nail. Too bad as it looked as though I had something going there. Not to be deterred, however, I have started a new one. Will report on how that one goes.

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Elsie I hope your new starter goes gangbusters!

Mick I was only using rye as a starter because I read it is easier! I will go ahead and test out my starter tomorrow. I'm sure I can find a recipe. Somehow I though you had to grow your starter for a long time but really, you proved that wrong with this thread! I have never successfully made sourdough so I am really excited about this! And even if it doesn't work out, it's just flour, not gold! :)

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Patti, when did you start your starter? Looking forward to reading what you did with it.

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Elsie I think I started the day you started, or the day after. I used organic rye flour because I had read somewhere that rye starters were easier to grow. Today's refreshment I used white flour instead of the rye. I'll bake with white flour too. I'm very interested to see what comes of it!

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Patti, I keep a stiff rye starter on my counter in a covered jar. I make a new one weekly. When I want to bake I use a little of the rye starter to make a 50% hydration white starter.

 

I switched to a rye starter as a result of this blogpost: http://bewitchingkitchen.com/2013/08/09/sourdough-blues/

 

If you have not already done so, you may want to visit http://www.thefreshloaf.com/

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I'm in. I've been hesitating because the starter will be have to go untended for around 3 weeks, beginning sometime the last week of October. Tonight I decided to give it a go anyhow. If it's alive and bubbling in 2 weeks, maybe it will survive 3 weeks in a fridge without me.

Unbleached all-purpose white flour, and tap water, mixed together in a glass jar. I weighed 50g each but it's such a thick paste that I've added a touch more water to make it stirrable. It is definitely not worth a photo at present.

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I'm in. I've been hesitating because the starter will be have to go untended for around 3 weeks, beginning sometime the last week of October. Tonight I decided to give it a go anyhow. If it's alive and bubbling in 2 weeks, maybe it will survive 3 weeks in a fridge without me.

Unbleached all-purpose white flour, and tap water, mixed together in a glass jar. I weighed 50g each but it's such a thick paste that I've added a touch more water to make it stirrable. It is definitely not worth a photo at present.

If the starter works, instead of dumping half before you feed it, freeze it before you go away. Then you can thaw it and start the feeding process again, it should be fine.

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This is such a great thread! Cyalexa- thank you for the links. I have read on the Fresh Loaf from time to time but I don't find the site real user friendly (to me). I really appreciate that blog post because I may have been in tears from a kitchen flop from time to time, especially when I was first married. (I even managed to explode a corningware casserole dish)!

My starter is not looking so bubbly today...I think I will refresh with rye this evening and hopefully bake tomorrow? Can anyone answer this: when in the process do you use your starter to bake- right after you feed it, or when it is due for another feeding? Or does that part not really matter?

Cakewalk- I think freezing starter instead of dumping it is a great idea. If mine gets bubbly again I'll freeze the portion I. Supposed to discard.

Mick, if you care to share any recipes, I would love them. I am not a very experienced bread baker, but I would like to be! I have been baking my family's sandwich bread for the last couple of months, other than that it was a challah here, a pain a'la ancient there..... All passable but could be much better!

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Cyalexa- this is probably a dumb question, but how do you make your white starter? 100% white flour, 50% water, and how much rye starter? Do you bake right after mixing it, or do you let it rest before baking with it?

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Its not very vigorous.  Its on day four and has had two feeds.  It might be some time before I am baking with this starter.

 

P1030017.jpg

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Mine has started to produce small bubbles. It has had one feeding and will get another one tomorrow. Hopefully, this one will live. Chelseabun, yours looks pretty good.


Edited by ElsieD (log)

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Mine has started to produce small bubbles. It has had one feeding and will get another one tomorrow. Hopefully, this one will live. Chelseabun, yours looks pretty good.

Thanks ElsieD.  It is healthy and the aroma is ok if not a bit 'complicated'. These starters though make up to a thick paste consistancy dont you think? the bubble holes in mine seem to stay there so it looks more acive than it probably is.  I am really looking forward to baking off a loaf with this yeast. Sorry your last starter died.  I am very pleased this one is doing ok for you. What flour are you using please? mine is high protein white. Im using bottled water as our tap water i think is has a high level of chlorine


Edited by Chelseabun (log)

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