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I guess the title says it all! I've really been wanting to get a starter going, but I'm not really sure how to go about it. I've read very contradictory advice online, so I'd kind of like to hear the btdt experience of you wise mamas!
 

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I had to start a new starter 2 days ago, as I accidentally tossed my old one <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
Here's what I did:<br><br>
put 1/4 cup whole wheat flour in a jar, add 1/4c warm water, mix.<br>
let sit overnight. the next day, dump half of the mixture so you have a couple tbsp left, add 1/4c ww flour, 1/4c water.<br>
(A rule of thumb is to use about the same amount of flour as water, and to always add more new flour/water mixture than the amount of old that you are adding it to.)<br><br>
By the second day, my new one had little bubbles in it, and smelled slightly beery. I don't remember my old one taking off so fast. I baked bread (non sourdough) the day I started my new one, so maybe that's why? Perhaps there was lots of yeast in the air, and some got "caught".<br><br>
Once you have at least a little bit of bubbles you can bake bread with it, but you'll have to add yeast until it gets really active.<br>
I'm baking bread today with my starter that I started 2 days ago, and I added 1tsp yeast (less than half a packet) and it is rising really well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you!!!! Do you leave it uncovered while you're getting it going? I guess you'd have to so it can catch wild yeasts, so maybe that's a silly question!<br><br>
How do you know when your starter has gotten really active and won't need extra yeast? I'm a total novice at this!<br><br>
I'm sorry about your lost starter! I can't imagine the distress of having an established one that you like and know what to expect from, and then losing it like that.
 

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I am leaving mine uncovered this time. I think I've read that you can partially cover it, but not tightly. My old one, when I fed it, I just left the cover on loosely.<br><br>
I can't answer how you know you don't need yeast- I got into the habit, and used about 1tsp for a really long time. I actually just stopped a few months ago. lol. I was all worried about getting a loaf of doorstop (like I got in the beginning!) that I wasn't up for testing it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I did want to mention, though, that if you bake with it really early on (first week, at least), you won't get much sourdough flavor. I do it more as a way to not waste it (having to dump it).<br><br>
If you want, I can post my sourdough bread recipe <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Yes, yes, recipe please!<br><br>
All these sourdough starter threads are making me want one of my own. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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I pretty much do the same thing as DevaMajka, only with white flour, since that's what I have.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> I also double the amounts. I only pour out half, and add 1/2c water & 1/2 c flour to it.<br><br>
I put it in an old glass jar and rubber band some paper towel or thin cotton cloth over it. It's just to keep bugs out.<br><br>
Once there are bubbles throughout the entire flour-water mixture, it's ready to use. This generally happens around day 7. Faster in warmer weather, slower in cooler weather.<br><br>
For one loaf of bread, 1/4 c should be fine. A tip: if you want to make a bigger batch of bread, a couple days before hand add extra flour & water to your starter and leave it on the counter. This will give you a greater amount and really rev up the sourdough.<br><br>
I never really got a sourdough flavor unless I added at least a cup of starter to a loaf, but it might just be I have not as sour yeast in my area. My loaves rose wonderfully. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I used this link to get started: <a href="http://www.io.com/~sjohn/sour.htm" target="_blank">http://www.io.com/~sjohn/sour.htm</a><br><br>
Ami
 

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Here's my really basic sourdough bread recipe:<br><br>
1 c starter*<br>
1 c ww flour<br>
1 c warm (not hot!) water<br>
1tsp yeast (if you need it)<br>
perhaps 1tsp of sugar or honey<br><br>
Mix that together, and let it sit for a couple hours until it's bubbly.<br><br>
Add in:<br>
1tsp salt<br>
some sugar (I dunno, 2 more tsp?)<br>
a pinch of dried herbs if you want (I think rosemary in it is really good!)<br>
2 cups (I think- I'll check to make sure) unbleached flour<br><br>
Knead until it's well kneaded. Add just enough flour so that it's not too sticky. But I've found that too much flour makes a denser loaf, which I don't prefer. This will just be a matter of trial and error to see what you like best, I think.<br><br>
Put in oiled bread pan, let rise a few hours (common wisdom is until it's doubled in size- that doesn't seem to be that important for me. No matter how big it is when I put it IN the oven, it's always about the same when I take it out). Knowing the amount of time it takes to rise will probably just be a matter of experience and what your starter does, kwim? I have noticed that longer rises tend to make more pronounced sourdough flavor. (like the time I accidentally left it overnight- that was interesting!)<br><br>
Bake at 350 for 30-45 min (I haven't perfected the baking time yet!).<br><br>
*for the 1c of started, I usually have to add flour and water to get a full cup of starter. That's ok- freshly fed starter seems to work well. I only leave a couple tbsp in the jar. (I have issues with food waste. lol)
 

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What is the reason for dumping some out? Could't you just add double the amount the next day?<br><br>
I've been wanting to do a sourdough bread, but the problem is that I have a family of 6, and we'll eat a loaf in a day. I don't like homemade bread sitting around forever because it tends to get stiff quickly so we like to make use of it. But I also like to bake bread regularly - every other day to a couple times a week. Would I be able to do that using a sourdough starter, with having to add new flour, etc. and letting it sit a while at a time? Is it ok to use the starter shortly after putting new flour in?<br><br>
I've also read so many conflicting instructions it's been intimidating for me to try. This is the first time I've heard to dump any starter out, normally it'sb een add equal parts of water/flour and maybe yeast and let it sit a few days, adding the same amount of water/flour every day before using it.<br><br>
So confusing to me!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>StormySar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15434435"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What is the reason for dumping some out? Could't you just add double the amount the next day?</div>
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You need to add more new flour water mixture than what you already have- if you don't dump some out, or use some for bread, it would get too full really quickly. But if you are going to make bread a few times a week, then you may find that you don't need to dump any <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Would I be able to do that using a sourdough starter, with having to add new flour, etc. and letting it sit a while at a time? Is it ok to use the starter shortly after putting new flour in?</td>
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After it's active, you can do a feed then store it in the fridge tightly covered. I think you should still feed it occasioally, but I've let my old one go weeks between feeding, and it survived (but I think it would have been better if I'd fed it more).<br><br>
I often use my starter shortly after a feed, and it turns out well <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Panera has recipes for theirs on their website...I've been meaning to try it out.<br><br><a href="http://www.panerabread.com/recipes/recipe.php?category=2&id=19" target="_blank">http://www.panerabread.com/recipes/r...tegory=2&id=19</a> I looooooooove their bread <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 
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