Managing Your Sourdough Starter


(Eric) #1

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(saarsalem) #2

Is it okay if I leave my starter in room temperature all the time as long as i feed it once a day?


(Eric) #3

Yes. Some bakeries do it that way since they’re using it daily. But it can be a little tricky unless you are using it to bake daily. If you’re not drawing from it daily then just a little bit of feeding probably won’t be enough and the right amount of feeding may result in you ending up with a ton of starter before long. It may just take some experimenting to find a routine that works for you and your starter.


(saarsalem) #4

thank you very much.


(Jennifer) #5

I returned from vacation the other day and when I took my starter out of the fridge to feed it the top 1/2" had turned an unhealthy-looking bluish-grey color. Rather alarming! I skimmed the discolored portion off and fed the starter as usual, but is it safe to use…?


(Eric) #6

You did just the right thing. You might want to feed it once more now just for good measure, if you haven’t already. Your experience isn’t unusual and your starter will be fine. Not unsafe to use.


(Katrina) #7

I would like to give a friend some starter but have a couple questions. … 1. should I feed my starter before I give it to her, or give her the cup unfed for her to feed? 2. If I do not feed it before I give it to her, how soon should she feed it? 3.Should she let it sit on the counter to bubble up before storing in fridge? 4.Lastly, I had read that a thinner starter will have a more sour flavor, is this true?


(Eric) #8

I would feed it before giving it to her and tell her she should keep it in the fridge and feed it again within a week. Then I’d direct her to this page so she can learn how to manage it.

I’ve read that a thicker starter will produce a more sour flavor. :open_mouth:


(richard) #9

Jennifer, I can relate…I was horrified the first time I saw that blue-grey liquid, or “hooch”, atop my very first jug of starter. And I’m certain it’s a felony, the way I abuse and neglect my starter at times…but those wild yeast critters are amazingly forgiving, at least those here in the Pacific Northwest. So now I actually welcome that liquid because I learned that by stirring it back into its “mother” increases the sourness. I lost all fear of the hooch when I saw some Youtube instructor sipping it like a fine wine. Yeah, I did, too.


(Jennifer) #10

Really?!! I had no idea! It’s happened more than once, and I thought, like you, that I’d neglected it criminally and it had turned on me.:anguished: Next time I will coolly mix it right back in and bake up a loaf. Maybe it will improve my bread! Thanks so much!


(asfogel748) #11

My sourdough starter is alive and well but is not very sour

How can I get that real sour dough flavor

I keep mine on the counter and feed it twice a week


How To Make Sourdough Starter
(Eric) #12

Feeding your starter that infrequently at room temp usually promotes a stronger sour in the bread. But how you manage the bread making itself probably contributes more.

Prolonging the rising times by proofing at lower temps is supposed to help and often does. Proofing in the fridge for several hours or overnight and then resuming at room temp may work.

Additionally, or alternately, you can use smaller portions of starter in the recipe which prolongs the time it takes until it’s ready for baking, allowing more time for souring.


(jlynn550) #13

I was told not to use anything metal on the sourdough starter. That by doing so it will prevent the dough from rising. Is this true?


(Eric) #14

No, it’s not true. It’s a persistent myth about sourdough starter. I don’t think it would be a good idea to store starter long term in a metal container as the acid in the starter might react in an undesirable way with the metal over time. But otherwise, using metal utensils or metal bowls to mix and proof the starter isn’t going to hurt it any.


(gibsterl) #15

I had an unusual thing happen to my starter, it was in the refrigerator and I had neglected it for a couple of months, maybe 2 months and when I took it out it had green mold all over it. Curious to know how or why that would happen? I’ve never had a starter mold before.


(galveznt) #16

I was left in charge of my girlfriends sourdough starter when she went out of town. I misunderstood some of her directions and put way too much water into the starter and then I left a metal spoon in the container. This all happened yesterday. Did I kill the starter or will it be okay?


(jyn510) #17

I was generating a lot of whole wheat starter (a 3 week old refrigerated starter had gone through 2 feedings) and instead of throwing away part of it, I made
Nancy Silverton’s sourdough pancakes. It put a lot of starter to good use! The pancakes were so light for being 100% whole wheat.
(Mix 1 lb 2 oz (about 2 cups) white (or whole wheat) starter, 2 TBSP maple syrup, 2-3 TBSP veg oil, 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp B Soda, 1 tsp B Powder.)
I diluted the batter with a little milk is if it was too thick.


(jyn510) #18

I would give her an unfed amount - about 1/2 to 1 cup of starter. She does not need to feed it before putting it in the refrigerator.
She could keep it in the refrigerator until she is ready to start feeding it in order to time it for an actual bread bake.
When she is ready, then she can take it from the refrigerator and give it the first feed, say early in the morning. By mid- late afternoon, she could have finished 2 feedings and have a yield of at least 2 cups of starter.
She can then add flour and the rest of the ingredients, knead (or stretch and fold), and let the dough rise. It would be possible to bake in the evening.


(Milo) #19

A friend of mine gave me 2 quarts of 100 year old starter. I have it in a 6 quart container in my fridge. How often do I feed it and how much do I give it at each feeding time? Thanks


(Carter) #20

Hi, I have a small shop in NZ where I make a organic seeded sourdough bread. It has been fairly hot here 27C in the day and 20 overnight. I feed my starter at 4.30pm and then make the dough up at 6am. Is this too long to go between feedings of my starter to make the dough? My bread has not been rising as much. Or it rises then collapses a bit before it is baked. :frowning: I need some help!!! Thanks so much. Carter