Sour dough starter


 I can't seem to get a good sour starter going. I've even bought some live from Breadtopia.

Can anyone out there help ?

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Thanks Much

186 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 January 5

Hi Larry,

I don't think you can go far wrong by following the advice given by SourDom in his beginners blog on this site.  I've not heard of anybody failing yet.  Just requires a bit of patience and application.

Let us know how you go.


CayoKath 2012 January 9

Starter can be a tricky bunch of little beasties!  Does it look still with a lot of liquid on top?  Stir it up and watch the bubbles, but then discard half and feed it.  Make sure it gets air.  I've found a glass (not ceramic) straight-sided canister with the lid ring removed makes a great starter jar.  I wash and sterilize it every two or three uses.  I've also a small rye starter in a 2-cup plastic freezer container which I've cut an X in the lid.  That's the one you'll see bubbled over in the pictures on here!  After that incident the starter stays in the fridge until the day before I use it, then I decant it to a large, clean bowl, feed it, cover with a cheesecloth and let it go...wild! When it's ready to use, half goes back in the cleaned and sterilized plastic container, onto a saucer and into the refrigerator.  


Note, if any starter gets mold (grey, green, pink), throw it out.  If it's a rye starter and gets purple stuff, throw it out. Otherwise, I've learned thanks to here that any starter can be revived with a good stirring and feeding and found it to be true.  

larrys 2012 January 13

 It wasn't alive . Found out I needed to use spring water, as something in my tap water must have been killing it !!

Now I need to know how to make it really sour, as mine is very mild.

Have you any idea how to do this ?

Thanks ,


Merrid 2012 January 9

You don't actually need to leave it open to the air, and if you're in a warm climate that can make it dry out faster and leave it vulnerable to infection.

The most important thing you need to give it is time and a bit of faith - you can get some really strange smells and activity cycles when it's just starting. Just perservere and it should come good.

larrys 2012 January 13

 Well I've finally got a good starter going. Needed to use spring water instead of boiled tap water. Now I'd like to know how to make it really sour tasting. I've only got a very mild sour taste.

Can anyone help ?



LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2012 January 13

 Yes follow my formula for Fred Bread and you can make it really sour.  The longer you let the perferment sit in that formula the more sour your bread will be.  The sour flavor of the bread gets stronger every day after it is baked for three to four days.

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