Sour Dough Starter from Scratch (no yeast culture)

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indaswamp

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Apr 27, 2017
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It has been ages since I have made a sour dough starter from scratch with no store bought yeast culture...over 20 years. But I have one going now. I had to freshen up on the process so I called my Cousin (Pastry Baker) and she referred me to some really great instructional youtubes. Anyways...went 4 days with a ratio 1:1:1 of starter/water/flour; then on the 5th day I switched to a ratio of 1:1:2 and I'm now on day 6. Coming along nicely.
IMG_20230131_033451.jpg

That is a quart size mason jar^^^^^. Used a rubber band to mark the initial level after feeding.

Holding the temp 75-79*F on top of a freezer (warm). It has doubled in 8 hours so it is picking up speed and the yeast are getting more concentrated while the bacteria balance is getting in line. When it doubles in 4 hours or so @ room temp. it should be about ready.
 
Looking pretty! I've always gone with 1:1:1 for the whole process. What's the advantage of going to a 1:1:2?
Are you going to give it a name?
 
Looking pretty! I've always gone with 1:1:1 for the whole process. What's the advantage of going to a 1:1:2?
Are you going to give it a name?
My understanding is that you start with 1:1:1 and that gets things going with the starter active with life, then as you change the hydration, you start to favor a better yeast/bacteria balance with 1:1:2. Lower hydration helps this process. I could be wrong on that so someone with more experience can correct this information if it is wrong.....
 
I got a packet of sourdough starter last Xmas from my wife, (hint hint). I followed the directions to a tee, the starter and 3 cups each of water and AP flour. Never got a little bubble, not one. I emailed them and they sent me a envelope with a new packet, popped it open and started all over again this morning, three hours in now, not a bubble not even a little tiny one. Keeping the house at 74º, stirring every half hour, patiently awaiting my first bubble. This is starting to look like a bust. RAY

 
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I got a packet of sourdough starter last Xmas from my wife, (hint hint). I followed the directions to a tee, the starter and 3 cups each of water and AP flour. Never got a little bubble, not one. I emailed them and they sent me a envelope with a new packet, popped it open and started all over again this morning, three hours in now, not a bubble not even a little tiny one. Keeping the house at 74º, stirring every half hour, patiently awaiting my first bubble. This is starting to look like a bust. RAY

Wow 3 cups of water and flour. Something not right there. When I do a new stater I just use 1 tsp dried and one Tbsp water and flour: Want fairly warm when just getting it going. Turn light on in oven usually about right. Mine has bread proof on it. I turn it on until warm than turn it off.

 
Thanks Brian. I put it in the micro so the light is on with the door slightly open, still nothing. If nothing happens I'll just s-can the whole idea, looking like a waste of time. RAY
 
I got a packet of sourdough starter last Xmas from my wife, (hint hint). I followed the directions to a tee, the starter and 3 cups each of water and AP flour. Never got a little bubble, not one. I emailed them and they sent me a envelope with a new packet, popped it open and started all over again this morning, three hours in now, not a bubble not even a little tiny one. Keeping the house at 74º, stirring every half hour, patiently awaiting my first bubble. This is starting to look like a bust. RAY

Give up on that on-line bought crap, Ray.
Start out with 100G of flour and 100G of good water. Mix it up and pour into a jar and let it sit in a warm place 24hrs. Your 74F house is fine. You don't need to stir it.
Then take 100G of that out and mix with 100G of flour and 100G of water (1:1:1) and let that sit 24hrs. No stirring. You probably won't see any activity for a day or two, but then you'll notice it rising in the jar. It'll rise a bit and then start falling back down (That means the yeast is developing and is hungry for more flour).
After 5 or six days of this it should be doubling or tripling in height and very bubbly.
elmo.jpg
You don't have to use 100G, that's just what I do. In fact when it's almost baking time I bump it up to 120G. I use the regular oven with the light on, not the microwave....
Dan
 
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I think you should be trying 1:2:2. Otherwise you are going to end up with a ball of dough.

It really takes about 2 weeks to get the starter safe and ready to bake with.

My main starter is around 12 years old and I bake every week or two. I have dried a few batches to give to folks (and save for emergencies). Rehydrating those dried batches usually takes about 3-5 days to get back in shape.
 
I got a packet of sourdough starter last Xmas from my wife, (hint hint). I followed the directions to a tee, the starter and 3 cups each of water and AP flour. Never got a little bubble, not one. I emailed them and they sent me a envelope with a new packet, popped it open and started all over again this morning, three hours in now, not a bubble not even a little tiny one. Keeping the house at 74º, stirring every half hour, patiently awaiting my first bubble. This is starting to look like a bust. RAY

Yeah, I'd bail on that too. I tried to use a guy on ebay who says his starter is 200+ years old.... Never worked out.

I've made my own starter a couple of times. Its kind of cool to have one that is unique to you and your own home. Whole grain flower tends to be the best to start with. Just start 1:1. I like to spread the flour out thin on a cookie sheet for 24-48 hours before starting and let it catch the natural yeast in the air. Do that for the first couple of times you add flour and you'll be hopping in about 3ish days.

Best of luck
 
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Give up on that on-line bought crap, Ray.
Start out with 100G of flour and 100G of good water. Mix it up and pour into a jar and let it sit in a warm place 24hrs. Your 74F house is fine. You don't need to stir it.
Then take 100G of that out and mix with 100G of flour and 100G of water (1:1:1) and let that sit 24hrs. No stirring. You probably won't see any activity for a day or two, but then you'll notice it rising in the jar. It'll rise a bit and then start falling back down (That means the yeast is developing and is hungry for more flour).After 5 or six days of this it should be doubling or tripling in height and very bubbly. You don't have to use 100G, that's just what I do. In fact when it's almost baking time I bump it up to 120G. I use the regular oven with the light on, not the microwave.... Dan
Thanks Mose, I got this saved! Right now I'm thinking this entire affair is a crock that I don't need, piss on it! RAY
 
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One thing I learned....tweaking a starter...

If your starter lacks flavor, you need to boost the Lactic acid bacteria for more flavor. do this by raising the hydration and raising the temperature....up to 90F.

If you have flavor, but lack CO2 production, you need to boost the yeast.
Do this by lowering the hydration and lower the temperature...down to refrigeration temps....
 
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Thanks Brian. I put it in the micro so the light is on with the door slightly open, still nothing. If nothing happens I'll just s-can the whole idea, looking like a waste of time. RAY
I would be happy to send you some of my dried starter Ray. I could also make a stiff one for shipping and just need to add some water to it. Also don't use tap water.
 
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