another newbie Q...right track?

Hi guys, I'm new on here but have been reading many posts find people on here so helpful! What a great site! I'm more or less on the right track I think but with the odd hiccup along the way as I'm sure many have had? Started my sourdough starter with unbleached plain white and water... First couple of days there wasn't much going on but then there were bubbles on day 3 then vinegar smell! Anyway I didn't understand then that I had to lose half then add the refresher! Oh I've been feeding twice a day! My other half got me some rye flour so I got some of the starter and started a separate batch adding half rye to the mix. Bubbling up in the rye mix the next day (yesterday) and today I noticed the rye mix actually doubled in size. Still a slight smell but not as bad as the white flour only when it's hungry. Anyway before I bore u guys and gals anymore than I have... I just want to know am I on the right track? Also, when will I know in ready to bake? And is the trick to grow the starter and use as u go? I don't want to refrigerate I'd rather build flavours use often! Thanks for a great forum and any help u can offer!
123 users have voted.


shasta's picture
shasta 2013 May 12

Hello and welcome!

Sounds like its going well with the starters, congratulations!

Generally I've heard that a starter needs a month of life on the counter with regular feedings to mature enough for bread. I would say if its doubling you could use it. Just keep in mind that the ability of the starter to give you a good dough rise and flavor will improve as the starter matures.

dwpeep 2013 May 13
Thank you for your reply! Yes it's actually going really well and as you may have read I've baked 2 sourdoughs without any major problems! The starter is very much active and really bubbling up! I'm actually going to store it in the fridge now as I can't keep feeding it so often and have to discard half! Would this be ok? I've read many people tend to store it this way but am I at that stage?
farinam's picture
farinam 2013 May 13

Hi dwpeep,

I think you should be fine putting it into the fridge at this stage.  What I do, is take out what I need to build a levain and replace the amount that I take out with fresh flour and water and put it straight back into the fridge.  Generally what I use for my levain build is about half of the stock (ie my stock is only a couple of hundred grams).  Some shoose to leave their stock on the bench for an hour or so before returning to the fridge.

Good luck with your projects.


dwpeep 2013 May 13
Hi Farinam, Thank you so much for the reply! I'm baking tomorrow actually (I can't wait!!!) so I got rid of some of the starter and refreshed it! For now it's in the store room where it's cooler but I think I'll take your advice and stick it in the fridge then take out what I need and build it up! Thanks again!
shasta's picture
shasta 2013 May 13

Glad to hear the starter is working it's magic for you! Congratulations!!

I agree with farinam, you should be able to put it in the fridge now. I pull mine once a week to feed it I usually go through at least two cycles of feeding (twice in 24 hrs.).

Good luck with your future bakes!

dwpeep 2013 May 13
Hi Shasta, Thank you very much! It's actually great to have got my starter going and know that it will be with me for years to come and hopefully get past down to future generations! Even though my fiancee doesn't like sourdough bread ha! I'm baking tomorrow so I'm really excited!! Also doing a "normal bread" loaf for my parents as they don't like sourdough either... I think they're all missing a trick here if u ask me! ;-) Thanks for the reply!
shasta's picture
shasta 2013 May 13

Maybe you can get them to try your bread. Real sourdough is not usually like the bread you buy in the store. They might find they like your authentic sourdough!

Happy baking!

dwpeep 2013 May 13
Yeah they tried it and it I think that's exactly the reason why they don't like it Lol they're so use to eating modern yeast breads they find the flavour overwhelming ha! I'm totally addicted and absolutely love it! Already finished my 2 loafs from last week by myself and baking another today... It's proofing as we type! :-)

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