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Ok, it's about time...  I have been thinking about doing this for ages.  With the KK on the verge of being parked on the back deck providing easy access year round, the time is now.  Finally going to attempt to get a sourdough starter going.  I get the King Arthur catalog and there are many times I have thought about ordering their sourdough starter crock and starter culture.  But, decided I would just go for it tonight and improvise.  Ran to a nearby hardware store to pickup cheesecloth and found a jar that seemed perfect as well which was an added bonus.

 

So, I looked over a tutorial that says that it takes 4 days to make a starter and there's really not much to it other than feeding it once a day for 10 days.  The irony in that statement struck me (is it 4 days or is it 10???), so I have nicknamed this my "10-4" starter.  Really, I think I could just as easily consider those numbers to represent a 10% chance of having a viable starter in 4 days.  No matter which way you look at it, "10-4" works for me, lol.

 

Going against my grain, I did measure.  I was going for equal parts flour and water and used 70 grams each for my measure.  I decided to do 10% whole wheat flour, and 90% bread flour since that was what I had on hand from a recent endeavor (I hope my math was right with 7 grams whole wheat and 63 grams bread flour).  I overshot by a gram on the water... if this fails, I am solidly blaming it on that blunder that I didn't correct.  (Actually, I did try to correct it and played the undershoot overshoot a time or two and gave up - still working on the patience piece of the more exacting science of baking.)

 

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Mixed it together in my 2 quart jar.

 

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And covered with cheesecloth...  I will add another 70 grams each of flour and water (bottled) tomorrow night (already measured and sitting out to hopefully pickup some natural wild yeast in the next 24 hours - picked that up from John's tutorial).  The jar will be a better fit once I add another equal portion tomorrow night - right now it is seeming a bit big....

 

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After that I will start removing half as I had 70 more grams of each.  I think I will continue with my 10% whole wheat blend and see what happens.  Hopefully I end up with something viable to give a boost to breads and pizza dough over the summer.  

 

I'm pretty new to the baking thing, but figure I may as well throw my hat in the ring...

 

 

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You’re off to a good start (poor pun definitely intended).

 

There are a million tricks to getting a starter going: add pineapple or apple juice;  throw in some unwashed grapes; add some grains; add rye flour; etc.

 

i think patience, perseverance, and clean water (let it sit a day or so if chlorinated) are the keys. You should have a viable and consistent starter in a few days. 

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29 minutes ago, Chris Topher said:

You’re off to a good start (poor pun definitely intended).

 

There are a million tricks to getting a starter going: add pineapple or apple juice;  throw in some unwashed grapes; add some grains; add rye flour; etc.

 

i think patience, perseverance, and clean water (let it sit a day or so if chlorinated) are the keys. You should have a viable and consistent starter in a few days. 

 

LOL on the pun.... and thanks for the words of encouragement.  I sure hope you're right.  I've read about so many failed attempts I have really put off even trying this....  might look more into those tricks if it looks like I'm not doing so well after a couple of days.

 

 

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This really isn't rocket science and being off by a few grams here or there, who cares? The starter won't care. 

 

To make it easier on myself I found a small cup that holds 50 grams of water. I found a little bit bigger cup that holds 50 grams of flour. Those are my measuring cups for my starter so I don't have to deal with the scale every time I feed. And if I'm off by a few grams, who cares? The starter won't care. 

 

Recurring theme going on in this post ;)

 

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Ok ok ok... but I had a major fail eyeballing yeast not long ago and am trying to break myself of my habit of not measuring. Lol. 

 

And I’ll just add that when I started over on my failed project and measured I realized how far of my eyeballing method was. Who knew you could be so far off on such a tiny measurement by guessing....

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I have implemented a new rule for myself that anything baking related or involving fish sauce gets measured. My satay marinade for my March challenge cook was a pretty big fail as well due to my guesstimating.  And it was awesome the first time when I measured everything out and followed a recipe....

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I am all for weighing out ingredients. For most baking, i shoot for 10% of the Target. 

 

I have coached many people through the process of baking and SD starters.  

 

1)Use whole grains. Whole wheat or rye 

 

2) feed it everyday, you don’t need a large volume. 1:1:1 water:starter:flour

 

3) trust it will work, give it two weeks. Keep going no matter what. 

 

4) the bubbles you see in the first week are bacteria not yeast. This is a very common mistake. 

 

Reach out if you have any questions. 

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Ben S’s advice is spot-on. 

 

As as far as precision, starter is very forgiving as all you are really doing is growing a colony of yeast, bacteria, and maybe some other little critters that feed on the flour. If you keep a one-to-one ratio (100% hydration), you can easily adapt baking recipes based on bakers math.

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9 hours ago, ckreef said:

 

To make it easier on myself I found a small cup that holds 50 grams of water. I found a little bit bigger cup that holds 50 grams of flour. Those are my measuring cups for my starter so I don't have to deal with the scale every time I feed. 

 

 

Gotta say, I do like this idea...

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9 hours ago, Ben S said:

 

3) trust it will work, give it two weeks. Keep going no matter what. 

 

 

That’s going to be a challenge if it’s not going well... hopefully it’s fixable if I mess it up. 

 

9 hours ago, Ben S said:

 

Reach out if you have any questions. 

 

We will see what comes up first... sourdough starter or a custom magnetic knife bar or two for the side of my cabinets that would keep my favorite knives handy for me at my over the sink cutting board....  my guess is the latter. :)

 

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28 minutes ago, KismetKamado said:

 

Gotta say, I do like this idea...

 

Anything to make it easy. I'm not a baker and only use the starter every once in a while. Currently I'm running a refrigerator starter. Pull it out once a week, feed it then put it back in the refrigerator. Of course if I want to use it I have to pull it out ahead of time. Just requires a bit more planning but is a lot less work than a counter top, feed every day, starter. 

 

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