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Jan 19, 2010 02:28 AM

problem with sourdough starter

I followed Mark Bittman's recipe to create my own sourdough starter, and while the resulting bread has a nice thick chewy crust, chewy interior and the right texture, it's not very sour. In fact, it's not sour at all. It does taste quite delicious, but it isn't sour.

The starter was made with active dry yeast, which was on hand, proofed to activate it and mixed up according to the recipe. It sat half covered on the kitchen counter for 3 days, stirred religiously every 8 - 12 hours and did its bubbly, frothy thing.

Used unbleached AP flour and filtered tap water (Brita pitcher). What can I do to make my starter more sour or should I just try to make a new one?

PS. I'm a novice bread baker. This is the first time I've turned out bread worthy of eating. All other loaves have been turned to croutons (eating lots of salads!) or donated to the local ducks!

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  1. I haven't read Bittman's recipe, but it seems most sourdough starters need about 12 days to 2 weeks of tending (feeding, stirring, pouring off, etc) to achieve a sour state. It's not surprising that there was little to no sourness after just three days.

    1 Reply
    1. re: janniecooks

      Ya, from all the reading I've done, the longer it lives, the stronger it'll get.


    2. Keep going with it. The more you use it, the more it will mature. Alternate milk and water when replacing the starter you've used, and if you want to speed the development of sourness, replace starter with milk more often.

        1. Thank you for the information on The Fresh Loaf and the encouagement to keep using the starter. I just fed it and will be baking again tomorrow, so let's see how long it takes for the bread to be more sour.