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Sat Mar 28, 2020, 08:29 AM

Have any of you made sour dough starter from scratch?

I have not been able to get any yeast for a couple of weeks now. I like to bake and decided I would try to make some sour dough starter. I started it Wednesday and have been adding equal parts of water and plain flour every day. It is the consistency of a sauce and has a rather neutral smell. It is bubbling. Does this seem like it is on the right track? I was thinking it should have had a denser consistency.

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Reply Have any of you made sour dough starter from scratch? (Original post)
alfie Mar 28 OP
samnsara Mar 28 #1
Major Nikon Mar 28 #5
Throckmorton Mar 28 #2
Auggie Mar 28 #3
Major Nikon Mar 28 #4
Aquaria Mar 28 #6
Major Nikon Mar 28 #10
Warpy Mar 28 #11
getagrip_already Mar 28 #7
Warpy Mar 28 #12
alfie Mar 28 #8
Mad cow Mar 28 #9
alfie Mar 28 #13
spinbaby Mar 28 #14

Response to alfie (Original post)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 08:34 AM

1. sounds about right....i love sourdough but the dang gnats hanging around the starter

..kind of turned me off to making it. I still have all the massive clay jugs but more for dust collectors now.

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Response to samnsara (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 08:59 AM

5. I use polycarbonate tubs from the restaurant supply

You usually have to buy the lids separately, but they work great for starter.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 08:47 AM

2. Covered my jar with cotton cloth.

Keeps the gnats, spiders, etc. Out.

I have a batch of sourdough from my own starter I made in November. I feed it weekly, and keep it refrigerated. I use the discard for this weeks baking.

I also bought a 2 lbs brick of red star yeast 4 weeks ago. That will last me 3 months or so.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 08:48 AM

3. Yes, I've made it. Sounds right to me too.

Congratulations! Happy baking!

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 08:56 AM

4. Yes, many times

If it is bubbling, then it is working. It takes about a week of daily feedings before it is ready to make bread, but that’s if you follow a defined method which optimizes development. Otherwise it just takes longer.

Feeding with some whole wheat flour is a good idea. I generally start with mostly whole wheat and then work towards less. I like to use rye, so once established I do about a 1:4 ratio of rye to white flour.

50/50 is the right ratio of flour to water to start, but that is by weight, not volume. As it develops you will throw out progressively more of the previous days batch. With a fully developed starter you will throw out almost everything leaving only 100 grams of starter. When it’s mature I feed with a 80% hydration instead of 100%, so a little less water.

Your starter should start to smell like beer eventually, and there will be no doubt it is working as it will bubble profusely a few hours after a feeding.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 09:10 AM

6. If it's bubbling and doesn't smell rotten

 

You are on the right track.

However...

When making sourdough without yeast, what becomes important is the flour and water you use. You need to use whole wheat flour, because it will have a better flavor, and—bonus—it has wild yeast in it already. Also, use distilled or mineral water, not tap water for you starter. Chlorination/fluoridation can inhibit your starter or even kill it before it gets started.

If you need more advice on a good starter, this is a terrific video for how to get sourdough starter right, every time:

https://m.

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Response to Aquaria (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 10:49 AM

10. I've always used tap water and have never had a problem

Not all municipal supplies are the same, so that may not be the experience everywhere.

Pretty much all commercial flour has wild yeast in it, but it's more difficult, if not impossible to start a batch using bleached flour. You are correct in that whole wheat flour produces a better flavor, but once you get the starter going you don't have to use 100% whole wheat. Once I have a starter going, I will usually feed with 75% of the cheapest flour I can get my hands on, and 25% good quality rye flour.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 03:03 PM

11. Same here, although I do filter mine

I'm so close to a pumping station that it sometimes reeks of chlorine, which makes my tea weird and kills off yeast.

Filtering mineral water takes most of the minerals out of it.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 09:18 AM

7. yup, sounds about right but....

remember to throw out as much as you add when it gets to be about 2 cups. Otherwise you will be wasting a lot of flour. Also, don't be tempted to use what you are throwing away. Just be patient.

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Response to getagrip_already (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 03:04 PM

12. Don't throw it out

Make rolls or yeast raised flapjacks or something.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 09:20 AM

8. Thanks

Thanks for all the replies. You make me feel better. I am making mine in a glass canning jar. I started off with whole wheat and now am adding only plain flour. I am covering it with a hand towel and so far haven't had gnats. They will probably head this way as soon as it starts smelling like beer. Mine is bubbling well. I'll keep up with what I am doing and will post later how my first batch of bread turns out.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 09:49 AM

9. I started one right before my state was locked down

Because fresh baked goods are a real treat and I have plenty of time on my hands. Your starter sounds just right.

I've been using the discard to make an easy recipe for english muffins. Somehow they make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich feel gourmet ☺

Here's the recipe for anyone interested. I mix up the first part before going to bed.

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/272371/sourdough-english-muffins/

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Response to Mad cow (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 04:33 PM

13. TYhose sound yummy

I may try those for a trial run before I try to make a loaf of bread. I love home made English muffins. Usually make them with regular yeast. I have found my electric griddle at 450 is perfect for cooking them.

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Response to alfie (Original post)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 05:03 PM

14. I used to keep a starter

One thing I learned is that, when you feed the starter, you can use what you’d ordinarily throw away in place of yogurt or butter milk in recipes. I didn’t bake sourdough bread all the time, but often used the throwaway portion from feeding starter in biscuits in place of buttermilk. They really are sublime biscuits—yeasty and flaky. I also made devil’s food cake using sourdough starter in place of buttermilk. Dang, I’m getting in the mood to grow another starter.

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