High altitude starter question


 New to the forum. I recently came across a book in a used book store titled "Alaske Sourdough" by Ruth Allman. Interesting book with a bunch of no nonsense recipes. 

Starter Recipe

2 cups thick potato water

2 cups flour

2 tbls sugar


Let sit three days. Add a couple of tbls flour and one of sugar. Let sit for at least 4 more days.


My question is: Does altitude affect the process? I live at 7000' and at day six there are only a few very small bubbles on the top of the starter. After making up the starter it doubled the first day and then subsided. Did the day 3 feed and forgot to watch for the rise. Comments? 



110 users have voted.


LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2010 December 27

 I have that book.  I don't think the altitude will affect the process of building a starter.  Sometimes a starter takes a while to get to the place where you can bake with it.  I would think most of us here would not make a starter as written up in that book.  If you want to change up what you are currently doing let me know.

agassiz51 2010 December 27

Don't know that I want to change what I am doing with this one as I was just trying it to see what happened. I have a starter that I have had for at least fifteen years and probably have been using incorrectly. Looking around this site has clued me into how ignorant I am when it comes to baking. Just been using a bread machine on dough cycle for many years to make daily bread as I hated the taste, texture (mostly the lack of taste and texture) and cost of grocery store bread. Extra time on my hands and a series of coincidences led me to this site. I came across this book, read an article in Mother Earth news on baking, my wife coming across a brand new grain mill at a thrift store and here I am realizing how little I know.  

steven.wales 2010 December 27



Maybe this is different / controversial, but for myself, I read / ask for information, and then adapt it to the situation I am in.


Other peoples knowledge, while good, may not always work for you and where you are, but if adapted, may be perfect. I live about one metre above sea level in the UK, so what my starters do may be fascinating, they may not be relevant to your situation, at different elevations, and climates.



bakinginquito 2011 May 18

at 9200 feet of altitude, however my sourdough is already 3 years and a half old...high altitude, in my opinion may affect in the sense that room temp may vary between day and night...that's all :-) Happy Baking Paolo

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