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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.
    Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:50 pm
    Forum Host
    chefmick wrote:
    wow. my brain hurts from reading 4 yrs of posts all at once. I was wondering, what are some warning signs of a bad starter, such as harmful bacterias and molds. icon_confused.gif

    They say that if a starter turns pink or orange or any strange color, you should get rid of it. I, personally, have never seen one do that. Use clean utensils and container, stir frequently, use the pineapple juice (orange or apple works also), keep your fingers out of it, keep it loosely covered and you will have no problems. The hooch (liquid that collects on top of the starter) can be a grey or yellowish color and that is fine. The solids can also form a greyish layer on the top if it has been stored for a long time without being fed or stirred. Both are harmless.
    Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:15 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Very interesting way to do a wild sourdough starter, will try soon icon_smile.gif
    years ago i made wild starter from red eating grapes and believe i added a little sugar and smashed the grapes slightly. the mold on grape skin is what started the yeast action and the sugar fed the action even more. you wrap all up in towel let set one week, can check on it occassionally and perhaps mix stuff around and it was wonderful. i fed it with 1 cup flour and warm water to one cup of old starter and let set again, think it was overnight as it will ferment more quickly than first time. used this for couple years then stopped as was very busy to keep starter fresh. if you dont use within 2 weeks just take your cup away and feed and throw away the rest, if not making bread.

    will let you know how my orange and vinegar starter works icon_smile.gif

    good luck,
    Red Apple Guy
    Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:16 pm
    Forum Host
    Got one going yet?
    Enquiring minds want to know.
    This Dame Cooks
    Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:36 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Donna, I am a sourdough fanatic. My starter has been going since 2005 and I made it with green grapes. Not only do I bake bread with this starter but sourdough pancakes and morning yeast biscuits are my other standbys. Great demo, thanks for sharing.
    Donna M.
    Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:56 pm
    Forum Host
    Hi, This Dame Cooks! I'm glad you found the rest of us sourdough fanatics here on the forum. We would be honored to have you join us as a regular poster. We all enjoy hearing about what each other makes (even the flops, which we all have occasionally) and we love to see pictures.
    This Dame Cooks
    Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:33 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Tell me how to add photos to posts. thanks for the invitation and I'd love to share my blog posts with you all.
    Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:37 pm
    Forum Host
    This Dame Cooks wrote:
    Tell me how to add photos to posts. thanks for the invitation and I'd love to share my blog posts with you all.
    From Kathy at
    How to post your picture, or an icon, in your About Me page

    For members who have a Premium Membership you are allowed 10Meg (10 million bytes) of free graphic space on Zaar. This is plenty for your About Me picture and several icons if you want to switch around alot. Here are some easy steps to do this. To place an icon you will need a Premium Memebship. To place a picture without a Premium Membership you will need to have your picture on a website to link to. (See Section Below)

    1. Make sure your picture is in a .jpg format.
    2. Go to the Zaar home page and click on My Account.
    3. Click on Photos section.
    4. Find the link where it says Upload a Picture and click on it.
    5. Click on Browse in the box that comes up.
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    7. Double click on the picture and it will go into the the box.
    8. Click on Upload Picture and wait till it's done.
    8. A box will pop up that says Your Picture is available, click Close.
    9. If you don't see your new picture in the boxes click on Refresh, or hit the F5 key, and it should come up then.
    10. Under the picture you will see Set as: My Icon | My Picture | Delete | See Link.
    11. Click on My Picture if you want this to be your Main picture.
    11a. Click on My Icon if you want this picture as your Icon.
    12. After this is done go down and click on Save Changes.
    13. If your Icon doesn't show up right away in the forums or on a recipe, click on Refresh, or hit the F5 again. This is just to reset your browser.

    TIP: To find some real cool Icons do a Google search for whatever it is you are looking for. When Google comes up go up to the top and Click on Images. This will bring up new pages with pictures of your search. To copy any of them just Right click and click on Save Picture As and save it to your special folder on your pc.


    How to post a picture to a recipe.

    1. Click on the recipe you wish to post a picture to.
    2. In the left column, click the link Post a Photo.
    3. The instructions are on the page that will open.
    4. ONLY SUBMIT ORIGINAL PHOTOS. Photos copied from another website, magazine, cookbook, etc. are copyrighted material and should not be submitted.
    5. Use the browse button to locate the photo file on your computer, then click the upload picture button.

    Recipe photos must be approved before they are added to the recipe page (waiting time is about 24 hours or less).

    Recipezaar Editor's Note: All recipe photos must be taken by you (no copying photos from magazines, cookbooks, other websites, etc.) icon_wink.gif


    How to post pictures in forum threads.

    To post pictures into a forum you must upload it
    to a website that allows linking to it. Either by getting a free hosting site or a paying account with one. Free sites are great but they only allow you to upload a certain number of pictures and only allow you a certain amount of bandwidth per day. Consider bandwidth as viewing. The more your picture is viewed the more bandwidth you use. When your bandwidth is used up your picture turns into the little box with a Red X in it until the next day when you start over again fresh. If you do a lot of picture posting
    you can always use more than just one free site tho. (I use three). You have to register in all of them but that's no problem. Just remember to keep track of your user name and password.

    Below I've put some links to some of the free sites. You can check them out to see which one, or more, suits your needs. Each one has a different limit as to the amount of pics, bandwidth, size, etc in its free section.
    You'll want to look closely at the FAQ's to get an idea as to how the site operates. I also advise you to have a graphics editor program, or use MSPaint, in order to resize your picture if need be. Each site has a limit as to the bytes you can d/l per picture. This must be done before you can Upload. Several will do this automatically for you.

    Once you have choosen your website to use, the rest is
    pretty easy to do to post your pic to a Zaar thread.

    If you are on a website and like a picture or a graphics just Right click on it and click on Save Picture As and d/l it to a special place on your pc. If you already have a picture on your pc your all set as well.

    Most of the sites above work the same way. You log in and go to your photos or album and then:

    1. Locate the link to Upload A Picture and click on it.
    2. Click on Browse and locate the picture on your pc.
    3. Double click on it and then click Upload.
    4. Each site will vary a bit but you want to find the picture you uploaded and find it's URL. Some may have more than one type.
    If so look for the one that says to use with forums, boards, ebay, etc.
    If they show [ ], { }, or whatever, choose the one with the [ ] brackets.
    Some will have a link to Copy URL with the picture, if so click on that.
    That copies it to your clipboard to use on Zaar. Others you may have to Highlight and Copy the URL under the picture, once again saving it to your clipboard.
    5. Once you have the URL copied go the Zaar thread you want to insert the picture at.
    6. Click on Reply or Quote, whichever is appropriate, and at the top of the message box Click on Image. This will put [img] in the message box.
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    10. Click on Post to send it, or Click on Preview to see how your picture will look on the thread. After a Preview, Click on Post.
    11. You are now done and can go back to the thread.

    TIP: When you are in Zaar and wish to post a picture you have on a website, it's easier to do if you have TWO windows open. While you are in Zaar hit
    Control+N, or click on File/New/Window and open one. Use that window to go to the website with your picture. This way you are able to work between the
    two sites by clicking in the task bar at the bottom to switch back and forth. It's far more easier to keep track of what you are doing and a lot faster.
    Donna M.
    Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:45 pm
    Forum Host
    Thanks, Dee! I was just about to post the same info!!
    sloe cooker
    Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:20 am Groupie
    wave.gif Hi Donna M. I just started day 5 on this starter. I smelled the starter (before proceeding with the steps for day 5) and it had a faint smell of fingernail polish remover, not a strong smell. The starter had lots of small bubbles. No discoloration or noticeable mold.

    I remember reading in one of the sourdough threads, how to make starter flakes. What I don't remember is at what point in the starter process do you make this? I do want to save the flakes for future use as needed, or to share.
    Donna M.
    Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:18 am
    Forum Host
    Don't worry about the smell. It will go away in a few days. It happens sometimes. You don't want to dry your starter until it is mature, probably 3 to 4 weeks old at least. When you are ready to dry some, you will need to give it a good feeding first and then wait unti it has reached its highest peak. At this point line a sheet pan with some waxed paper, parchment, or plastic wrap and spread some of the starter in a very thin layer all over it. The back of a spoon works great as a spreader. Put your pan somewhere safe & free of dust to dry. I like to put mine in the oven with the door ajar. Mine usually dries overnight, but I live in a dry climate. After it is completely dry it will peel right off in chunks. I put the pieces in a ziploc bag and roll over it with a rolling pin to pulverize it. You don't have to do that, though. You can just crunch it up with your hands.
    sloe cooker
    Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:00 pm Groupie
    Thanks Donna, will be saving the flakes when appropriate.
    sloe cooker
    Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:57 pm Groupie
    My starter is not very active. For the last few days there has been hooch on top. It developed rather quickly after last nights feeding. I noticed that after about an hour or so, there was near 1/4 inch of hooch.
    Not sure if I need to give it vinegar or start feeding twice daily.
    It does not smell strong of yeast yet, and is on day 8.
    Today I have a little more than 1/3 cup of starter and a little less than 1/4 cup of hooch! Think I need help icon_redface.gif
    Red Apple Guy
    Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:18 pm
    Forum Host
    It's hungry. Feed more often or larger quantities.

    I threw several good starters away thinking that finding Hooch on top every night was bad news. It just means the population is dense enough to consume all the goodies in the flour and then start making hooch in the time allowed.

    sloe cooker
    Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:03 pm Groupie
    Thanks Red. I will feed this hungry starter now!
    Donna M.
    Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:22 pm
    Forum Host
    Be careful at this stage not to overwhelm it with too much food! It is only 8 days old. You can try feeding twice a day, but don't increase the amount of flour per feeding just yet. If you aren't seeing a lot of bubbly activity within a couple of hours of feeding (or sooner) the yeast colonies need more time to multiply. You didn't mention bubbles, but did say that you aren't getting much yeasty smell. This leads me to believe that it just isn't quite ready yet. Feeding it too much now will only dilute what yeast cells are there even further, and cause it to take even longer to activate.

    Try warming it up. By this I mean sit your container in a bowl of hot tap water, or heat a bowl or large cup of water until almost boiling in the microwave and then place your sourdough container in the micro a few inches away and close the door. The microwave method will stay warm longer and the bowl on the countertop will need to be refreshed with hot water as it cools. That may be all it takes to get it rolling. You are almost there.....don't give up.....patience is key here!
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