I refuse to give up!


I've been working on a sourdough starter for about 3 weeks and counting!  I'm getting bubbles and some growth but it never doubles in size.  My container is clear plastic so I can see growth( I've marked it so see if it grows). The container is about 5" in diameter.  I have 8 oz of starter and I add 8 oz of flour/water (each at 100% hydration - half flour/half water).The growth varies from one feeding to another.  I'm trying to be consistent by always keeping it in the pantry but some days I have growth and others there is no growth.  It smells fabulous!  It floats!  I'm feeding it every twelve hours.  When will it be ready for me to use to make bread???  The lack of growth is keeping me from taking the plunge. I've got a dutch oven so I'm ready to go.  Also, what recipe would you recommend for a first loaf?  I've made plenty of bread and have used other people's starters but never my own.  I appreciate any help you can give me.

160 users have voted.


tsouth 2020 May 12

I am new to this also. King Arthur Flour website has a lot of info. For my first loaf I used a recipe they had which uses some yeast so it helps to guarantee a good loaf and mine turned out ok. They have a hotline number to call for questions. I don't know a lot about this but I am wondering about your room temperature. Does it vary a lot? I think that can vary the growth. I just made some waffles last weekend from discard that just turned flat and I cant figure out  why. I have made them several times and they were great. I think sourdough is quite an art and is a delicate balance probably. Maybe this helps some.

Zowe 2020 May 25

This is the one that finally worked for me. I used 1/2 rye flour and 1/2 all purpose flour. It was ready in 7 days

Balders 2020 May 17

Don't give up, it is so worth the effort.

so when I started mine a few years ago it was a disaster and I gave up.  This time with all this time in I decided to have another go.  
To be honest i did not use this sites hints and tips but I found the Good Housekeeping video on YouTube very helpful.

My starter NEVER doubles in size.  It grows a bit but I don't look for growth.  I look for the bubbles.  I keep my starter in a Kilner jar but NO seal otherwise it will explode!  Once you have done 5 days and it's bubbly then go for it! 
I only feed mine once a day and if I get to the stage that I have plenty of starter and can't find time to cook well I put it in the fridge...on day 5 it comes out and gets a feed and back to room temp.  But that doesn't happen often!

I used a Paul Hollywood recipe for my first bread but found this one yesterday ... it really does not require kneeding. My other half loves the. Taste of it and the texture is lovely.  It takes much longer to make though so you either have to start early and finish late or prep in the evening and finish it the next day.


Emily 2020 May 19


I am wondering if I should toss and start over. My starter bubbles nicely when fed, but on day 3, it smells like vomit. Help!

Erin C. 2020 May 23

I'm a novice but I've been reading the Tartine book (as well as every blog on sourdough lol) and to me it sounds like you have too much acedic acid producing bacteria. It's fixable, and a lot of sites as well as the book say your starter is never a waste unless it's growing mold in it. To reduce acedic acid, make sure you are growing it in a 65 degree-75 degree environment. If you are keeping it in the fridge take it out and feed it with a very small portion of starter compared to your portions of flour and water, use warm water, and maybe change up the feedings, like doing twice a day instead of once. 

Wail 2020 May 27

Hi try scooping a teaspoon in a bowl of water... if it floats then that is an indication of life....

look out for pink surface, if that happens just tip off the top pink layer then stir your levain before discarding everything... 

your feeding should be 10.g leftovers in your Jar against 50.g  & Flour 50.g water 

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