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I am a beginner with sourdough starters. I bought dry wild...

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Question by sabree
Submitted on 10/14/2003
Related FAQ: rec.food.sourdough FAQ.Starter.Doctor
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I am a beginner with sourdough starters. I bought dry wild yeast from San Francisco and I had it on the shelf for about a year. I decided finally to try it, but my starter took very long to form bubbles 2-3 days. I tried to make bread with it and it didn't rise at all. It tasted like San Francisco sourdough bread, but it was completely flat. I would describe my starter as barely living.  I would like to know if the problem could be that I don't live in San Francisco, but in Northern Italy close to Venice. Could this cause my yeast starter to not become a healthy starter?  I have tried your one tablespoon method 2 times, but still it is barely living. I will try again, but I was wondering if my location or because the yeast was maybe kept on the shelf to long before I tried to use it?

Answer by girwin
Submitted on 2/3/2004
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Take a quarter cup of the weak starter, add a quarter cup of water and a quarter cup of bread flour and unbleached flour... you've got to watch the starter at least every few hours to catch it bubbling. Now repeat the step once. Every time you "reduce" the starter and then add more water (use distilled) and flour, you "strengthen" the starter.... soon it will be powerful enough to create a large loaf.

If you let the starter go to long (don't check it often enough), the acids in the starter will overcome the leavening properties and the starter will go flat again... catch it when it is bubbling significantly and you'll be OK.


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