It would depend on how much you start with, how much your recipe needs, and how much you want to have kept back at the end to start your next starter batch.

Your best bet is to feed 1:2:2 ratio of old starter, water and flour. So 10 g old starter, 20 grams water (mix), 20 g flour (mix). As you can see, starting from 10 grams, you finish with 50 at the end of that feed. If you then use that 50 as your first part, you’d add 100 g water (mix well) and 100 g flour (mix again). Now you’re up to 250 g total. Here you’d check how much starter your recipe wants; say it’s 400 g (just an example). Obviously you don’t want to start that with 250 g old start since that would end with 1,250 g starter, far above the 400 you need.

So at this point, you could cut it back to (410 ÷ 5 = 82) 82 grams of old starter and feed that 164 g each of water and flour. Now you’re up to 410, put aside 10 grams into a small container and give the remaining 400 g to the dough. Feed and keep that 10 grams (+20 +20) for the next starter batch.

If you have a standard formula you make for your “regular” bake and that formula requires 635 grams of starter, it’s a simple matter to figure out how much you should start with and keep at all times>

So let’s do some quick math. We start, again, with 10 grams of “old” starter in our initial feed. We add 20 g each flour & water and we have 50 total.

Feed 2: 50 + 100 + 100 = 250 g

Feed 3: 250 + 500 + 500 = 1250 g total.

So we know that 10 g >> 1250 or 125 x increase.

We can go backwards too. Your “go to” bread needs 635 g of starter so 635 ÷ 125 = 5.08 g of starter to begin.

On the first fee, that would total 25.4 total

Obviously that 5.4 g is way too small an amount to handle, so you can start with 10 + 20 + 20 or 50g total, then cut THAT back to 25g for feed two.

25 + 50 + 50 = 125

125 + 250 + 250 = 625, just ten short of the required recipe amount. In this case, I’d say you’d be fine to feed a little more on that last one, say 270 each, getting you 665 g total, so 635 for the dough and 30 extra to get the new starter going again.

I’m not entirely clear what went on with your first try at starter, other than you said you added instant yeast, in which case, what you ended up with was not really sourdough starter.

How to try and start it up again? I’d say follow the instructions I’ve set out with photos. And give it time. As I say a fair bit, the most important ingredient in sourdough bread making is patience. It’s not an instant process and will take time to get to where you’d like to get it.

And please be sure to WEIGH your ingredients, not use volume measures. Equal *volumes* of water and flour is NOT the same as equal *weights*. So if your starter was “runny” as you say, I’d suspect flour to water ratio was not exactly spot on; ¼ cup of flour weighs a lot less than ¼ cup of water so that final product would not really be the desired 50/50 mix. A cup of flour is about 120 grams; a cup of water is 237 grams, so nearly twice as much by weight.

That issue would leave you with runny starter and you’d not see much movement, even if it was developing just fine because any rise in it would be gas bubbles that easily float to the top and escape where in a stiffer starter, they’re trapped by the thicker starter and will then visibly rise.

See my post about digital scale weighing and this one about flour volumes,

]]>I have questions about sourdough starter.

My sourdough starter not rising, just bubble after 7 days. There is no activity just bubble after feeding. I discard some starter and feed on day 2 and day 5 but nothing happens. I added instant yeast then it rises, so the texture is not the problem cause my sourdough texture is runny and watery like tomato ketchup but raising after instant yeast work. Now I already discard all cause it rise natural. I want start again, so what should I do to make rising natural? Thank you ]]>

So you fed your seater, let’s say it was 50g, I presume then you fed it 100+100g so you had 150g total, then discarded half, leaving 75g at the end.

You should have halved your original 50g taking you to 25g. Feed that 50 + 50 gets you 125g at the end.

Otherwise, the starter was fed correctly (double its weight in each flour and water) the only difference being your end starter’s total weigh was a little too small. Plus you added flour that you then threw away the next minute. A small amount but not an earth shatteringly huge problem.

As long as you’ve switched back to the correct feed process, you’ll be fine except you may want to bump it back up to the 50g “old” starter level before feeding again – so take only 25g out of that 75g small batch and you’ll be back to 50 grams. Carry on from there as usual, it will all be good.

]]>You mention that you use 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup of flour, etc., so this means you’re measuring by volume and not weight. What you’re building there is not going to be 100% hydration starter, which in *your* recipe may be fine. But a lot of recipes DO call for 100% hydration starter which is going to be closer – if you insist on doing volumes and not weight – to almost a full cup flour per 1/2 cup water. Flour is lighter than water, so you’d need more of it to be closer to the same weight as your water.

1/2 cup of flour is about 60 grams (depending on how it’s scooped), where 1/2 cup of water is about 118 grams, just a touch under 120 grams or almost double the flour weight.

Just something to keep in mind should you need actual 100% hydration starter in another recipe. But as noted already, if this works for you in your current recipe, and you like the bread you’re getting, then absolutely do keep using it. I would expect this recipe was likely designed specifically with a wetter starter in mind and adjusts the water in the final dough to balance the water in the starter, which is perfectly logical.

Keep at it and do what works and gets you bread you like which, in the end, is THE most important part of bread baking!

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