Wah! Failed sourdough starter. Help please. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 05-29-2005, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
WendyLouWho's Avatar
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So, I was making a sourdough starter from the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. It's the rye starter they recommend for whole wheat sourdough.

Things were going well until the third day. When I went to stir it in the morning it smelled really alcoholic and 'off.' I'm in south Texas and it's quite hot here, but I had it in the coolest place in my kitchen.

What happened? Any advice or experience? I really want to make whole wheat sourdough
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#2 of 3 Old 05-29-2005, 09:12 PM
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Wendy! I hope you didn't throw it away!!! THAT was your sourdough. Was it a blackish-grey type "hootch" on top??? You just stir that back in and away you go

Try it again..........maybe you do need a tad cooler place, it sounds like the "beasties" in sourdough got out of hand.....but sourdough is tough stuff. I did the exact same thing you did. Used rye starter......everything going okay, til it got blackish water on top and icky-smelling. Don't leave it out so long. After day 2...I'd toss half of it...and stir in some fresh flour. That will ensure its nice and active, but not so active that the sugars have been converted into alcohol.

If you want a FABULOUS FREE starter.......send a SASE to Oregon Trail Sourdough. It was started by an elderly man, Carl Griffith (who has since passed away). He gave away thousands of sourdough starts from his family's recipe (dates back to 1847). Now since he's passed.....the "friends of Carl" make sure his legacy continues. Here's the link.....I use this starter weekly and it never fails to make world-class bread. Another book you might like, if you're into bread is "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" by Peter Reinhart. He has a recipe in there for pain l'ancienne that is out of this world.


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#3 of 3 Old 05-29-2005, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by spyiispy
If you want a FABULOUS FREE starter.......send a SASE to Oregon Trail Sourdough.


Lisa - thank you so much for posting this. I am starter-challenged and this I am definitely going to try.
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