Under the bonnet: Sourdough progress

On Sunday¬†Monday I finally decided to make a sourdough starter. It takes FOUR weeks of patient waiting and ‘feeding’ before you get to make a loaf.


I’m not a patient person so each time I pass I have to try very hard to resist taking a peek to see what’s happening under the lid. Sometimes I just manage to leave it alone others I succumb. So I thought I’d share these peeks with you so you too can live the joys and worries of making sourdough.

I’ll keep updating this post so come back if you want to see what’s a foot – or follow me on Twitter to hear the latest. As I add new pictures they’ll be right here so you’ll need to scroll down if you want to watch the full process.

Update 6 (above): Well the yeasty foam is disappearing day by day to reveal the pinky brown cloudy liquid – nice. The smell is just as bad each time I lift the lid – so I’m mostly staying away. Feeding commences Friday 8.00am BST so have stocked up on flour and am ready to enter phase 2 with my sourdough – can hardly wait. Date/time: 13 May 2009 2.00pm BST

Update 5 (above): its now been just over a week since I made the sourdough thing (yes its a thing). I tried not to peek too much this weekend as we had guests and I imagined they might not want to feel like they were visiting an unattended football teams sock laundry pile! Anyway today the starter is looking rather sad. Its getting a bit of the promised pink tinge but the thick yeasty foam is collapsing and glimpses of dirty looking liquid can be seen below. Ugh. Only a few more days before the phase 2 feeding ritual commences….Date/time: 11 May 23.00 BST

Update 4 (above): just clocked through 100 hours of bubbling (and waiting). Its getting smellier but so far this isn’t creeping out to fill the kitchen (a good fitting lid is clearly essential). Here’s more of a close up on all that home grown yeasty-ness. Date/time: 9 May 2009 9.30am BST

Update 3: We are now 3 1/2 days in and its smelling like a VERY ripe cheese (but still only if you lift the lid). It doesn’t look much different from yesterday so I decide to prod it with a spoon. I can tell its liquidy underneath with a thick sticky stretchy topping. Still yellow-ish coloured. This is where may patience is going to be tested severely I think…..Date/time: 8 May 2009 8.00am BST

Update 2: At 60 hours its going a bit crazy, lots of bubbling, bit more smelly and I’m worried its going to break free from the bowl: Date and time 7 May 2009 9.30am BST


First up: 36 hours old, yellowy colour, flour has settled to bottom, slightly tangy smell starting to develop (but only if you lift the lid): Date and time 6 May 2009 9.15am BST

11 thoughts on “Under the bonnet: Sourdough progress”

  1. This is something I’ve always wanted to try to make, but I don’t think my patience would last four weeks!

  2. I used mine to make bread at one week. Granted, it didn’t rise as much as I wanted it to, but it still worked.

    Meanwhile, I also use the starter to make cakes, pancakes, flatbread, pizza dough, and all sorts of other stuff, whether it’s actively bubbling and ready for bread making or not. :)

    Welcome to the insanity. :D

  3. Springtime: I’m not sure I’ve got the patience either – lets hope I last it out.

    Laurie: I can see I’m going to be tempted to use it before its supposed to be ready – I guess its just a bit less flavoursome and as you sat active. Might try a test this weekend with pizza

    Alex: No change since this morning’s picture at the moment. Not got to choc kit yet – aiming for this weekend with it.

  4. It looks repulsive – in a good way!!! I am absolutely dying to make my own sourdough. But I would have to do it at work and I suspect that would cause chaos!

    Looking forward to seeing how it all works out.

  5. Four hours – wow not sure if I have the patience for that one! Very impressive.

  6. Impressive, I will definately have a go, I made a natural yeast for ginger beer and it is still going. This is really slow food, but all the more enjoyable for that.

  7. Browners: Its looking even more repulsive now – photo update later today for all to see. Not sure your work mates would be too pleased if you started one under your desk!

    Eyes wide open: go for it its great fun and i’m looking forward to next stage – feeding starts Friday then bread in 2 weeks – yay:)

    Karen: you should its really easy so far just needs patience

  8. So when are you going to update us with some more pics? Had to rescue my starter the other day, was looking sorry for itself as I hadn’t used it in over a week but gave it a good feed and left it out of the fridge overnight. Practically exploded out of the jar when I opened it in the morning, least it’s still alive.

    Try and bake at least once a week is the moral of this story!

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