A n00b attempts Sourdough and Reports

July 23, 2009

Starter – from scratch – update

Filed under: Rising, sourdough, Starter, Time — Tags: , , , , — alie0bronwynn @ 3:59 am

Ok, so – my new starter is already kicking ass and taking names.  Some “facts” though.

Starter recipe from scratch note: Within 24 hours your starter should have doubled and should have a nice froth on the top.

Starter1 has NEVER doubled in 24 hours except maybe the first time I ever made bread with it.  Period.

Starter 2 has been doubling (no froth) for the last 6 days or so.  Whohoo!  Obviously this bodes well for when I actually make bread with it.

The blue rubber band represents not only Starter 2 – but where it was this morning when I dumped most of it and added 100g of flour and 100g of water.  So just 12 hours later – OVER doubled.  YAHOO!


The other big note is that you can REALLY see the difference.  The new starter is full of big air bubbles.  I know eventually that translate into some kick butt bread that’ll be nice and fluffy.  Take a look at the other starter – hardly any air bubbles!

The only thing with starter 2 right now is no froth.  Here’s a side by side comparison with Starter 1.  Starter one DOES tend to froth more than Starter 2.

Starter 1

Starter 1

Starter 2

Starter 2

So we’ll see how that goes in the next few days.  Starter 2 is SUPPOSED to be done in a day or two…


July 14, 2009

Holy Crap – 14 days?!!

Filed under: Recipe, Starter, Time — Tags: , , , , , , — alie0bronwynn @ 3:26 pm

First off, I’d like to address something about baking sourdough bread that EVERYONE seems to think when you first start.  It takes TIME and that BLOWS.

Yes, we are usually talking at LEAST a full 8 hour day for a loaf of bread.  But let me tell you something.  Most of my cookie recipes take me at least an hour of solid work to get a batch of cookies.  mixing, preheating, putting the dough on the sheets, 8-10 minutes in the oven, transfer to cooling rack, next batch in…etc, etc.  The amount of ACTUAL time it takes me for a loaf of sourdough bread.  Time of ACTUAL working on it?  About 25 minutes.  Yeah.  That 25 minutes is spread out over hours and hours as my bread rises, but seriously.  That’s it.   So yeah, the work takes place over days sometimes, but it’s not hard work.

Ok, so far this is the BEST Blog I found for starting a STARTER.


It’s the old timey method, just flour and water – but it takes 14 days of oversight.  I’d average my “daily work” at about 3-5 minutes. Tough, right.  Poor thing.
This particular recipe uses Rye Flour and White Flour.  AND recommends Organic for both and fancy water.

I am using Organic Rye Flour I found at the supermarket and regular old Unbleached Bread Flour I also found at the supermarket.  I’m also using regular old tap water.  I’m not as hard core as this guy apparently.

One thing I am doing is using boiling water to clean of all my equipment before using it on the starter.  Apparently a new starter is VERY sensitive and easy to kill, so I’m playing it safe.

I’m currently just past Day 4 – and I had some yeast growing!!!  I’m SO excited.  The first 3 days were just flour and water, flour and water – and it just looked like goop.  This was the first day of small bubbles forming which means the yeast is growing.

It's ALIVE!!!

It's ALIVE!!!

One thing I’ve learned from all of this.  Yeast is HUNGRY.

Your STARTER is like a pet.  You have to constantly feed it to keep it alive.  The creation of your STARTER is the exact same thing.  You start off encouraging the yeast to grow and feeding it ALL the time.  At least every day for 14 days.

You will also be tossing a LOT of your flour and water.  I wish I had compost for this part.  It feels like a shame, but I know that if I can create better bread in the end, it’ll be worth it.

NOTE:  Another difference I’m doing is in the blog they cover theirs with plastic wrap.  I’ve read that yeast needs air, so I’m covering mine with a  paper towel to make sure it gets air.  Part of what makes the yeast grow IS the air – which is just one reason San Francisco Sourdough is known throughout the world.  There is just SOMETHING about the air here.  I love that I live here and get to “use” it in my bread.

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