My First Sourdough Starter

Discussion in 'Bread' started by connie, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. connie

    connie Well-Known Member

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    So I have just set my first ever sourdough starter going after years of thinking I would love to do it. After all we live of sourdough. I have it for the bread in my breakfast and my lunch, so why not make my own?
    I have no idea if it will work out cheaper in the long run, but it should work out more fun if the starter gets going that is!
    The instructions I have read all indicate temperatures that are much warmer than anything we have here - we don't live with central heating, even though we have it. We used to live out of a tent, so are used to living in much colder condition and haven't bothered turning the heating on. Several times this winter our olive oil has been a solid lump in the bottle much too cold to tease it out, but it is currently liquid again, so I guess we stand a small chance of the sourdough starting. Anyhow, its a case of watch this space. Somehow I don't think I will be needing to feed it every 12 hours as some sites suggest, more likely every 24 hours of possibly even less until summer arrives!
     
    connie, Mar 31, 2015
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  2. connie

    ThatNewMommy Well-Known Member

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    Cool! Good luck! Since I read that thread about commercial yeast, I've read up some more and would love to try my own but can't for now. Cant wait to read about your progress. =o)
     
    ThatNewMommy, Mar 31, 2015
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  3. connie

    connie Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, currently the progress amounts to nothing, but that is expected in the early days and tbh, I don't think my kitchen is currently warm enough, so I have moved the starter to the living room closer to a radiator that very occasionally comes on, but happens to be a long way away from a window, so there are no even colder drafts blowing over the starter. My kitchen has a window that is permanently open... possibly why it is a rather cold environment. I have a feeling that my entire house could be too cold at the moment for a sourdough starter unless I happen to have some seriously resistant yeast, but only time will tell.

    I did the first replenish today, taking away half of the starter by weight and adding 50g new spring water (specially purchased for the starter - we don't do bottled water in this house) and 50g of my ready mixed sourdough starter. I mixed it yesterday (one third rye, one third white, one third wholemeal). We shall see what happens, eventually...

    The weather is due to get warmer soon, so so will the house eventually!
     
    connie, Apr 1, 2015
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  4. connie

    ThatNewMommy Well-Known Member

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    I hope the radiator works out! I feel like I'm reading a play by play of a live science experiment. Which I guess I am. Awesooooome.:D:D:D
     
    ThatNewMommy, Apr 2, 2015
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  5. connie

    connie Well-Known Member

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    I had 1 bubble last night, which shows that something is happening...
    This morning once the heating had been on for an hour, there were 5 new bubbles just before I did the 2nd 'replenish', so something is alive I there! The texture also looked and felt slightly different to before. But I can't really explain it yet.

    Keeping the lid completely closed in the airtight glass container seems to have helped a touch as well, though I am guessing that that simply allowed it to warm up a touch faster. I also warmed the spring water this morning, rather than putting icy cold spring water in - so did the baby's bottle approach before I went out for a walk. It was nicely lukewarm when I got back. I think that is probably going to be what is needed until the weather here warms up a touch. Our biggest issue is that we used to live in a tent, literally and lived on the road for 12 months rarely seeing 'warmth' unless we ventured into a petrol station for a warm coffee (in Eastern Europe by then), so we don't really feel the cold and don't have a warm house. They are going to have to be hardy bugs!
     
    connie, Apr 2, 2015
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  6. connie

    Trellum Well-Known Member

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    Best of luck! I've heard this process isn't easy at all! So please keep us posted :) I think it's really brave of you to try this out, at least you can be sure of one thing... if this doesn't turn out cheaper, it will at least turn out very healthy! Very healthy, actually that is my main motivation when i think of baking my own bread in the future.
     
    Trellum, Apr 2, 2015
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  7. connie

    connie Well-Known Member

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    We are at day 4-5 now and there is definite life now. There is frothing at the top and loads of little bubbles. It seems to be quite happy with the new arrangement which is basically it lives upstairs during the day which gets rather warm and it livres downstairs once the hearing trips on in the evening. I don't have the heating on in my bedroom because I sleep with the window open. The kitchen also has a window open all the time after I had carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty cooker... We have a new cooker now, but the habit remains!

    Anyhow it's alive and it smells good! Now I just have to get it well fed and strong. I think I have to wait until the end of the second week before I can use it though! It's going to be a long wait!
     
    connie, Apr 4, 2015
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  8. connie

    connie Well-Known Member

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    Today was just a removed 100g and replenish day. 33g lukewarm bottled spring water and 66g sourdough mix.
    The starter is very definitely doing things and it smells pleasant as well; this is a bonus.

    So far I have been surprised as to how easy it has been following some simply rules. The top layer if very definitely frothy and alive and doing what it appears it is meant to do. So so far, so good (now goes off to find some wood to touch....)
     

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    connie, Apr 5, 2015
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  9. connie

    ThatNewMommy Well-Known Member

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    Awesome!!! I can't wait to be able to get my oven fixed. Now I REALLY want to do this!
     
    ThatNewMommy, Apr 6, 2015
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  10. connie

    connie Well-Known Member

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    My rather active sourdough starter now looks like this after nearly 3 weeks.

    IMG_6390.JPG IMG_6391.JPG
    It has a rather sweet smell to it, but does taste sour (eventually). I am still feeding it daily at the moment, after removing just about all of the starter and desperately trying to find something to do with it. I do have a sample in the fridge which I am trying out to see how often that needs feeding - this being a backup option as well as a the 'what do I do when I am away' option. I'm also in the process of transferring the starter from one container to another, so that I can wash the original container and then return the starter to the original but cleaned container. I'm also playing this safe by running the 2 side by side until I know that it has transferred without contamination and is happy.

    I have made 5 loaves today. One lot of bread (3 loaves as it turned out) was a rescue bread from some drop scones my husband was meant to be making using some extra sourdough starter that I didn't want to throw away, so thought I would make up some drop scones with the batter. It would probably have worked if I was making them, but I wasn't. I can adlib and taste things and realise that it needs this or that adding to 'save' it. My husband can't.

    The other 2 loaves are true sourdough loaves, one white and one wholemeal. I am still experimenting here and learning the differences between the types of flour that the starter can be added to, the wetness of the dough and when to include rye or not. Great fun!
     
    connie, Apr 18, 2015
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