Pineapple juice perked up my starter!


Althought I'm new here I wanted to offer a help to others who are busy like me. Got distracted the week before Easter and forgot to feed my starter while it was sitting on the counter (and not in the fridge where it should have been!) When I discovered it last night and gave it a whiff it had almost an acetone smell. I remembered from my web research a food chemist who had used pineapple juice, water & flour to create a starter because the juice from this particular fruit is just the right acidity and inhibits "bad" bacterial growth. We had some fresh pineapple in the fridge so I poured about an ounce of juice into my starter and added some flour. This morning I have bubbly, foamy, happy starter and two loaves are proofing as I type.Hope this helps someone.



157 users have voted.


panfresca 2011 April 26

Hi Jeannie

Although using pineapple juice to get a starter going is a good idea - it seems to prevent the undesirable leuconostoc from developing in the first couple of days - there's also nothing wrong with the acetone smell early on.

As the starter develops it will usually overcome both leuconostoc and the acetone smell, and within a few days be smelling lovely and fruity. It's a self-balancing ecosystem.

I had both smells in different starters and time alone fixed both. The leuconostoc is a particularly unpleasant smell.

I think the acetone smell is more a natural part of the process - I'm still getting to grips with the biochemistry (that's an optimistic statement; I'm not sure I ever will completely!) but acetone, acetic acid, ethanol, lactic acid etc all come into it somewhere!


mlucas 2011 April 27

The pineapple juice is really just to help get your starter going when creating it from scratch. Once you have a starter that is mature enough to bake with, the acetone smell is pretty normal and just means it's 'hungry' and it needs some more flour & water!

Jeannie143 2011 May 4


Didn't see the request for the bread picts until we had eaten them . But the net result of using the fresh pineapple juice to give my starter a boost has been much better loaves. I like to cook about 1/2 cup of oatmeal along with some grape nuts with water to cover, cool & add that to my starter with a splash of olive oil, salt and flour. After the first proof in my gas oven where the pilot supplies the perfect proofing temp I knead in flax & sesame seeds. I've also found that reducing the amount of extra bran leads to higher loaves. 

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