Barb at King Arthur

March 28, 2022 at 4:01pm

In reply to by Stephanie (not verified)

Hi Stephanie, we're sorry to hear you're having trouble getting your sourdough starter up and running! Are you weighing your ingredients and following our sourdough starter recipe? If so, a typical feeding should look like this: 1/2 cup (4 ounces/113g) starter + 1/2 cup (4 ounces/113g) water + 1 scant cup (4 ounces/113g) unbleached AP flour. The 4 ounces confuses some bakers, so it's important to note that this is a weight measurement rather than a liquid ounce. In order to avoid producing that thick skin on the surface of your starter I would start by covering your starter container more securely. The reason we say to "cover loosely" isn't because the starter needs airflow in order to ferment properly (it doesn't), but because fermentation gases can build up in a tightly lidded container and cause the top to pop off. As long as you have room for the starter gases to collect above the starter level, and you vent the gases now and then by opening the jar, it will work fine to use a lid or plastic wrap. Once you've eliminated the thick dry layer, pay attention to what the starter is doing. Is it bubbling at all? Are you seeing any rise? The starter should start out being the consistency of a thick but easily stirrable paste right after a feeding. As it begins to rise and ferment it will eventually develop bubbles throughout and should thin out in consistency (more like a thick pancake batter). If the starter isn't rising at all, it's fine to only feed once a day, but once the starter begins to rise it's important to resume twice a day feedings, which will help encourage more vigorous yeast activity. For more help troubleshooting your sourdough starter, please don't hesitate to give our Baker's Hotline a call at 855-371-BAKE (2253). We're here M-F from 9am-9pm EST, and Saturday and Sunday from 9am-5pm EST. 

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