Starter from Scratch, Day Four: Going on a New Diet

Intro • Day 1 • Day 2 • Day 3[Day 4] • Day 5 • Day 6 • Day 7 • Final Thoughts • Day 15

Starter from Scratch: Day 4:

(and once daily until it starts to expand and smell yeasty), mix . . .
2 oz. of the starter (1/4 c. after stirring down–discard the rest)
1 oz. flour** (scant 1/4 cup)
1 oz. water (2 tablespoons)

** You can feed the starter/seed culture whatever you would like at this point. White flour, either bread or a strong all-purpose like King Arthur or a Canadian brand will turn it into a general-purpose white sourdough starter. Feed it rye flour if you want a rye sour, or whole wheat, if you want to make 100% whole wheat breads. If you’re new to sourdough, a white starter is probably the best place to start.

Starter Day Four: an Overnight Jump

Yowza!! PJ has expanded a huge amount overnight! Continue reading “Starter from Scratch, Day Four: Going on a New Diet”

Sourdough Starter, Day Five: Waking Up

Intro • Day 1 • Day 2 • Day 3 • Day 4[Day 5] • Day 6 • Day 7 • Final Thoughts • Day 15

Starters, Day 5:

Starters on Day Five Starters on Day Five

Overnight activity has been noticed. In fact, at about 1 a.m., PJ had already doubled and was on the way back down so he got a midnight feed. Come feed time again today, he had once more doubled (where the dashed line is) and gone back down. Wally, on the other hand, has developed small bubbles and expanded just a wee bit. He still stinks although not quite the “OMG YUCK!” strength as before, he’s decidedly unpleasant.

Both were reduced to 1/4c of ‘old’ starter and the excess discarded, jars washed and 1 oz each (28g) of UAP flour and water added. Continue reading “Sourdough Starter, Day Five: Waking Up”

Sourdough Starter, Day Six: Breakfast of Champions

Intro • Day 1 • Day 2 • Day 3 • Day 4 • Day 5[Day 6] • Day 7 • Final Thoughts • Day 15

Day 6:


After yesterday’s feed. the starters both began to expand (up to the purple line) Wally had a pretty good rise this time, too; he seems to be catching up quite well. We may be just one or two feeds away from finishing the project. PJ is clearly well under way.

Both starters were pretty much done expanding within three or four hours before they started to collapse. This means they went for the remaining 20 or so hours “unfed”. They had, in effect, chomped through whatever food they were going to in rather short order. You can even see in the photo a very slight layer of liquid on top of the starter. This is “hootch” and it’s a normal byproduct of our friend the Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis when a starter is ‘hungry’. The solution? Feed it.

Since the amount of fresh food the starter has been getting is at a ratio of 2:1:1, we know that this is a rather slim buffet. Once again, let’s look at the weight to see what that means. Continue reading “Sourdough Starter, Day Six: Breakfast of Champions”

Sourdough Starter, Day Seven: The Kids are All Growed Up

Intro • Day 1 • Day 2 • Day 3 • Day 4 • Day 5 • Day 6[Day 7] • Final Thoughts • Day 15

Here we are at Day Seven, just a tad past 7 a.m., last day of the one week run (although we technically don’t start day 7 until 3pm and we’re therefore in the tail end of day 6) and our starters are hungry.


After getting fed late last night (1 a.m.) we see they both rose to nearly the same level (blue line) and a bit more than double. At this point they’ve begun to recede so we give them another 1:1:1 [S:W:F] ratio feeding. Continue reading “Sourdough Starter, Day Seven: The Kids are All Growed Up”

Starting a Starter: Final Thoughts

Intro • Day 1 • Day 2 • Day 3 • Day 4 • Day 5 • Day 6 • Day 7[Final Thoughts] • Day 15

2009_08_18-3.5AfterWell, it has to happen. You look after them while they are just young and then one day, before you know it, they’re all grown up and ready to go off on their own, do what they are meant to do. Sure, they may not behave perfectly, may disappoint now and again but deep down, you gave them the best start you could and you know with a little care and a good environment, they’ll do great things. And you’ll be proud to say “Those are my babies.”

The main goal of the project was to not only offer a step-by-step of building a sourdough starter but to compare two similar recipes: one using water, the other pineapple juice. Having done just that and getting both starters to the “finish line”, here are some conclusions. Continue reading “Starting a Starter: Final Thoughts”