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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / First time sourdough maker
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    First time sourdough maker

    Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:46 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I am getting ready to make sourdough for the first time. I started a batch of starter 2 days ago and it seems to be going well. Just had a question.

    My starter was made with flour and water in a 1:1 ratio with a bit (about 1/4 tsp) of instant yeast. I know it's considered "wrong" to do this but the directions I'm following stated the baker's yeast (domestic yeast?) will be taken over by wild yeast later.

    I'm "feeding" my stater every 12 hours or so cleaning my culture jar between feedings. Adding flour and water again about 1:1. Shortly after feeding the starter puffs up dramatically then goes down again to slightly higher than before. Is this normal, or a sign I've done something wrong? The started already smells good, with that sharp sourdough odor.

    Thanks for your help.
    Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:55 pm
    Forum Host
    The commercial yeast tends to take over and once established, won't be replaced by the wild. But don't worry about that. What you are describing is normal. The yeast expands as it consumes the food, and then it falls back. It sounds like you are well on your way. You might want to look at the stickies at the top of this forum for help and hints on sourdough baking.
    Donna M.
    Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:00 pm
    Forum Host
    Hi, and welcome to sourdough!

    No, you are not doing anything wrong. That is just what it is supposed to do. If you have any whole grain flour on hand, your starter will develop better if you use a spoonful of it with each feeding. Sometimes starters that begin with yeast work and sometimes they don't. Adding the wholegrain will increase your chances of being successful. Good luck!
    Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:23 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thanks for the help! What about adding a little grain sugar? Not sure it a good idea. On one hand it will help the fermentation, but it might also encourage bacteria growth.
    Donna M.
    Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:11 am
    Forum Host
    Not sure what you mean by 'grain sugar'--granulated sugar? Sugar isn't needed or recommended. It is considered junk food for yeast. The starches in the flour will feed the yeast.

    Have you read the tutorial posted at the top of this forum on how to make a wild yeast starter? You might want to give it a try, also. Then you can compare the two different starters and decide which one you prefer. The wild yeast will have a much deeper flavor profile than the commercial yeast starter. Contrary to what many people believe, sourdough isn't always sour tasting. In fact, many times people complain that they can't achieve enough sour flavor in their sourdoughs.
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