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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / DEMO: How to Make a Sourdough Starter
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    DEMO: How to Make a Sourdough Starter

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    Donna M.
    Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:30 pm
    Forum Host
    Rita, sounds like your starter is off to a roaring start! Don't be surprised if it settles down and becomes less active for a couple of days. It is quite common for it to to "explode" on the 4th day. Just keep up with the feeding schedule for now and keep it at room temperature. You can feed it morning and night if it is really active. I wouldn't refrigerate it until it is 10 to 14 days old.

    In the meantime, you can use the extra starter that you are discarding in pancake batter (just add to your favorite batter), or add 1/2 cup to any quick bread recipe. I also have a sourdough dog biscuit recipe posted that works well for discarded starter. I would wait until it gets a little stronger before making bread dough.

    Oh, and proofed starter is when you mix a small amount of starter with more flour and water and then let it sit (proof) for 8 to 12 hours. During this time it ferments and that is what creates the wonderful sourdough flavor.
    Rita~
    Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:42 pm
    Forum Host
    Donna M. wrote:
    Rita, sounds like your starter is off to a roaring start! Don't be surprised if it settles down and becomes less active for a couple of days. It is quite common for it to to "explode" on the 4th day. Just keep up with the feeding schedule for now and keep it at room temperature. You can feed it morning and night if it is really active. I wouldn't refrigerate it until it is 10 to 14 days old.

    In the meantime, you can use the extra starter that you are discarding in pancake batter (just add to your favorite batter), or add 1/2 cup to any quick bread recipe. I also have a sourdough dog biscuit recipe posted that works well for discarded starter. I would wait until it gets a little stronger before making bread dough.

    Oh, and proofed starter is when you mix a small amount of starter with more flour and water and then let it sit (proof) for 8 to 12 hours. During this time it ferments and that is what creates the wonderful sourdough flavor.
    The dog biscuit recipe How long will it last? I`m thinking Christmas gifts for my 4 legged friends.

    And for the proofed starter it`s what is done whenwe add more flour and water as I did today?
    Donna M.
    Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:10 am
    Forum Host
    Yes, proofing is the same as feeding, as long as you wait the minimum of 8 hours after feeding before using the starter in a recipe.

    If you wanted to make the dog biscuits for Christmas, I'd freeze them. They probably would keep quite awhile if you let them air-dry for a couple of days after baking to ensure that all the moisture is out of them. Mine never last long enough to store for long. My dog loves them and begs for them. It is fun to use a bone shaped cutter to make them but it is quicker to just cut strips with a pizza cutter or knife.
    Rita~
    Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:08 am
    Forum Host
    Donna M. wrote:
    Yes, proofing is the same as feeding, as long as you wait the minimum of 8 hours after feeding before using the starter in a recipe.

    If you wanted to make the dog biscuits for Christmas, I'd freeze them. They probably would keep quite awhile if you let them air-dry for a couple of days after baking to ensure that all the moisture is out of them. Mine never last long enough to store for long. My dog loves them and begs for them. It is fun to use a bone shaped cutter to make them but it is quicker to just cut strips with a pizza cutter or knife.
    Before our Sega passed on I did make her treats and they didn`t last long at all. These would be for friends dogs.
    ~Nimz~
    Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:59 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Donna, my starters are starting to separate very rapidly. When I feed it at night it is usually separated by the time I'm ready to use it the next day. Am I doing something wrong? I talking about the SF and RS starters you sent to me.
    Shaye
    Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:42 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Donna, thank you SO MUCH for reminding me of this recipe/technique. I've made my starter this way since Macy first posted it on Cooks Talks back in December of 2004, but I had forgotten all about it!

    Now that fall is coming, and we're getting into baking weather, I'm really looking forward to using it again!!
    Donna M.
    Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:43 am
    Forum Host
    Nimz, how much starter are you starting out with before you feed? How much are you then feeding the starter? Try feeding it in the morning so you can watch it all day and see if it is getting bubbly and growing. It sounds to me like you either are not discarding enough old starter before feeding or not feeding enough. Try taking only 1 Tbsp. of old starter and feed it with 1/2 cup of flour & enough water to make the consistency you like.
    ~Nimz~
    Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:28 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Donna, I usually start out with 1/2 cup starter and feed with 1 cup flour and 1 cup warm water. The starters always work so I don't think they are damaged, but I'm just concerned I'm not feeding them enough. I feed them once a week.
    Donna M.
    Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:01 pm
    Forum Host
    When you say that you feed them once a week, is this just maintenance feeding or are you proofing the starter after feeding and then using it in a recipe? If I am just doing maintenance feeding, I dump out all but a couple of spoonfuls and then I feed about a half a cup of flour and enough water to make it quite thick, but stirable. I then let it sit on the counter for about an hour before putting it back in the fridge. You are keeping it in the fridge when you aren't using it, right?

    Usually when a starter seems sluggish, it is because you aren't dumping out enough of the old starter before feeding. We all hate waste and it seems as though we are wasting the starter. In reality, the old starter IS waste because the yeasties have consumed all the nutrients in the flour.
    duonyte
    Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:00 am
    Forum Host
    Hi, Rita, let me jump in and give an assist. Mold can happen, it is all around us and I am not sure that what you did caused it. It is important to keep the container well covered. You were right to throw that one container out.

    Two cups of proofed starter really just means active starter. Keep increasing your starter until you have a bit over two cups, pour off the two cups to use in the recipe and then store the rest ( 1/2 cup or so is plenty) in the fridge. Before you store it, take out a tablespoon or two, spread really thin on plastic wrap or parchment and let it dry. Crumble up the dried starter into a small plastic bag, label it and seal it, and put it in the fridge. This is your backup in case something goes wrong with your starter. To use it, just let the flakes soak in cool water until they start to dissove, stir in some flour, and then start the proofing process all over. I can elaborate if you want.
    Rita~
    Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:29 pm
    Forum Host
    duonyte wrote:
    Hi, Rita, let me jump in and give an assist. Mold can happen, it is all around us and I am not sure that what you did caused it. It is important to keep the container well covered. You were right to throw that one container out.

    Two cups of proofed starter really just means active starter. Keep increasing your starter until you have a bit over two cups, pour off the two cups to use in the recipe and then store the rest ( 1/2 cup or so is plenty) in the fridge. Before you store it, take out a tablespoon or two, spread really thin on plastic wrap or parchment and let it dry. Crumble up the dried starter into a small plastic bag, label it and seal it, and put it in the fridge. This is your backup in case something goes wrong with your starter. To use it, just let the flakes soak in cool water until they start to dissove, stir in some flour, and then start the proofing process all over. I can elaborate if you want.
    Thanks! It is interesting to dry it! Is it done at room temperature? Also it is separating? there is a thin layer of liquid at the top of the starter.
    duonyte
    Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:38 pm
    Forum Host
    Ok, the liquid on top is called "hootch". It's a sign that the yeasties have consumed all the food value of the flour and are hungry for more. Stir it together, save about a spoonfull, add it to 1/2 cup each flour and water and let it proof. If you've gone through several cycles, you might be ready for it to be stored in the fridge. I usually add an extra spoon or two of flour to create a slightly thicker starter and then store it in the fridge.

    For the drying, yes, just let it set out at room temperature. It'll dry overnight.
    Rita~
    Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:03 pm
    Forum Host
    Cool icon_cool.gif Thanks!
    Chef Tweaker
    Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:24 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    First of all, let me thank you for this thread. I was interested in baking with sourdough since I was a teen but no one explained that you have to keep feeding it etc. I just mixed it up and have kept it in the back of the fridge. I haven't used it in a while but when I did it never seemed sour enough in the finished product. Now I understand more of the process.

    Personally, I've gotten into Amish Friendship batter. So I'm trying to find ways to use it. Could I just interchange it with most sourdough recipes? I realize that it is sweeter and will take that into account.

    Right now I'm proofing some friendship batter for Easy Wheat Sourdough Bread (Abm). It didn't seem like much water. Is friendship batter already thicker and I need to put more water? For the moment I'm leaving it as-is.
    Also it seems like the sponge that it makes will be too much. The recipe calls for 1 1/4 C. proofed sourdough. So why make so much to begin with? Couldn't you start with less ingredients so that the end result would be closer to 1 1/4C ?
    icon_confused.gif Chef Tweaker
    Donna M.
    Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:30 am
    Forum Host
    I took a look at that recipe and was very surprised to find that it is actually a duplicate of my recipe, Deluxe Sourdough Bread, pretty much copied word-for-word icon_eek.gif

    Yes, you can start out with less starter and in fact, I would recommend it. Take a couple of T. of your starter and feed it however much flour/water needed to make the amount you need for the recipe. By starting with such a small amount, the sugar in the friendship starter won't be an issue. Was your friendship starter made with commercial yeast or is it wild yeast? How long has it been since you created the starter? It may behave differently than a traditional wild yeast starter but it can't hurt anything to give it a try.
    Go to page << Previous Page  1, 2, 3, ... 10, 11, 12  Next Page >> E-mail me when someone replies to this
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