Sourdough Saga – Day 3 through 6

Okay… here’s the scoop on the sourdough making process…  I haven’t posted for several days because I’ve been busy working on slowly digging out of my photography backlog and defusing the bombs that my clients have begun leaving in my inbox…  Not quite that bad, but I definitely have to figure out a better way to keep up with the photography side of things.

When we last saw our yeast, the party had begun.  Some strain or another had moved in and was kicking it in my little cup of goo.

I was so excited that I hung a banner outside of my house announcing that the baby yeasties had arrived.  Unfortunately, they were a bit of a preppy strain of yeast or something because as soon as the bacteria started moving in… (bacteria are half of the sourdough equation that work alongside the yeast to give the bread it’s trademark flavor)  The bacteria raise the acid content, and I guess the snobby little yeast that had moved in were too good for them.  They wanted to send the bacteria back to their homeland.  What right did those obnoxious little critters have eating their leftovers.  It got really political, but eventually the bacteria must have made more babies or something because the yeast apparently just moved away.


For about 3 days, my bowl of dough just sat there smelling consistently more funky.  I fed it daily by replacing equal parts by weight of rye and wheat flour along with the same amount by weight of water.  (25 grams rye, 25 grams wheat, and 50 grams water.


Did I mention that the smell was funky… one day it smelled excessively like vinegar, and another day it had a really fishy smell.  I was contemplating making an executive order and just bull dozing the entire neighborhood and building a suburb, but eventually a new strain of yeast decided to visit for a while.  They apparently weren’t prejudicial to the bacteria that were currently living there, because after a little rise on the first day, the second daythey were getting along really great together. 20110627-100155.jpg

This is what I found the next day – That looks like some serious cooperation.  The smell was still a little off, but more like yeast than before.  Since I was getting some good rise out of the starter, I didn’t remove any on the next day.  Instead, I just added to it.  I also have slowly started getting away from the rye flower, and have started adding in some regular bread flower.  Currently, here’s what I added.  (25 grams stone ground wheat, 25 grams bread flower, and 50 grams water)  I need to slowly increase the amount so that I’ll have enough to make the first batch of bread, and have enough starter to keep the batch going.


As you can see below, the starter is working beautifully now.  The yeast and bacteria have now formed an alliance.  They work together now to make the starter a safe place.  They keep potentially harmful bacteria away, and slowly produce the flavor of real sourdough bread.  (at least that’s what I’m hoping… as you should already know, this is my first attempt at sourdough bread starter from scratch.)


In case you’re wondering about the other batch of starter in the green bowl.  I continue feed it daily and it has a beautiful fragrance that smells exactly like sourdough.  It has been going for a week now, so I may try to make my first batch with it tomorrow.  Pictures will definitely follow.

With my completely ‘wild’ starter, I need for it to rise a few more days before I’m comfortable using it to make bread.  I’m also going to slowly stop using the stone ground wheat flour entirely and only use the bread flour.  This is only because I am not a big fan of stone ground, whole grain, or wheat bread.  If I’m making my own, it’s going to be something I like.

Once again, if you find this and are interested in giving it a try, I highly recommend this website.  It seemed to be the most informative and yet not too technical to be mind numbing.  Here’s the link:

About the Author

Jeremy BinnsWhen I'm not trying to save the world from the coming zombie invasion, I love my wife, hug my daughters, write, photograph, listen, observe, explore, and worship.View all posts by Jeremy Binns →

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

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