Starter - on the right track?


Hi there,

You have all been so helpful to each other, I wonder if someone could help me.
I stumbled across a sourdough starter recipe by pure chance a week ago and I thought I might give it a try. On a whim.

So anyway, this recipe suggested I mix 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of water and leave it for 24 hours. After which, it said to discard half and then mix in 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup flour. Repeat every 24 hours for 4 days, by which time the starter would be ready.

OK, so I have since discovered that they can take a lot longer than that. Fair enough.

I have also read about someone feeding every 12 hours. So I started doing that.

Now I am reading about people leaving it for 72 hours inititally. So my first question is: have I been feeding it too regularly, and was initially leaving it for only 24 hours not enough?

My results have been some what promising, but I still don't think I have a mature starter.
There is a very thin foam on top and some tiny bubbles in underneath. No threatening to spew up over the edges of the jar.

This morning I discarded nearly the whole lot, save for about a tablespoon and added a mix of 30gr organic rye flour, 70gr Coles Organic white flour and 100gr water (all weighed out on electric scales, previously I had only used the Coles Organic white and measured it and the water in a measuring cup).

Anyway, this rye/white/water combo was very thick and sticky, where my previous feeds of 1/2 cup white with 1/2 cup water was very wet. Should the feed be so solid, almost not pourable???

Now, about an hour and a half later there are some tiny bubbles beneath the surface and about 10 bubbles on top (about 3mm).

Oy yeah, back on about day 2 or 3 a lot of brown liquid formed on top and was a bit stinky I poured some off and stirred a litte in. By now, day 7, it is not at all stinky, just a very, very mild, sour, doughy smell.

Am I on the right track?

243 users have voted.


lamammina 2007 December 1

Oh and just one more thing I forgot to ask.
I have tried accessing the Beginners Blog page but am denied access. Do I have to register or something?

lamammina 2007 December 1

Ok, it's just me again. But I'm quite excited! I went out for a little while and now it has been about 4 hours since I fed my 30/70 rye/wheat refresh and it has doubled in size and there are lots of little bubbles in the body of the starter (mainly towards the bottom of the jar) and plenty of bubbles on top.

It's getting very exciting.

Could I possibly be ready for baking tomorrow?

matthew 2007 December 3

My general rule for my starter is that if I refresh it by tripling (i.e. equal weights of starter, flour and water) and it doubles within 8 hours then it's ready for baking. If it's winter then I'll put it in the hot water cupboard and apply the same rule.

One thing to remember though is that even though your new starter will leaven bread it will take quite a few feed/bake cycles before it could be considered a mature and stable starter. You'll notice the difference in the bread when it is.

Have fun.

Regarding the beginners page - I think the links are just a bit awol at present. You should be able to get to the beginners blog ok, then if you start scrolling down eventually you get to the beginners articles by Sourdom.


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