Barb at King Arthur

February 3, 2023 at 2:09pm

In reply to by susi b smith (not verified)

Hi Susi, is this a starter you're creating from scratch? Are you following our recipe or another recipe? What day are you on? The consistency of a sourdough starter tends to change quite a bit, depending on where it is in the fermentation process. A mature starter that has just been fed is likely to be rather thick and pasty in consistency, but as it begins to bubble and rise it becomes a bit thinner and more like a thick pancake batter. Once a mature starter has risen to its highest point it will begin to fall. Eventually, if allowed to fall completely, it will return to the level it was right after you fed it, although the consistency will be much thinner and you may notice some frothy bubbles on the surface. In addition, a starter that is still in the midst of the creation process tends to thin out as it develops more acidity, which is actually a good sign, and can indicate that the yeast is about to join the party. So, consistency tends to vary quite a bit, and it may not be the best plan to adjust by adding more flour. Instead, try to keep to a regular feeding program as consistently as you can. I would stick to our unbleached all-purpose flour, and try to feed by weight, if you have that option. For our starter routine your twice a day feedings will look like this: 1/2 cup (113g) starter + 1/2 cup (113g) water + 1 scant cup (113g) unbleached all-purpose flour. If you're worried about using up too much flour during the creation process, it's fine to shrink down your feedings a bit to something like 50g each of starter, water and flour, just be sure that your container is an appropriate size and the starter isn't spread out too thinnly in a wide bowl. Aim for at least 3//4" depth, right after a feeding. Patience almost always wins out when it comes to sourdough starters, and the fact that your starter is bubbling is a good sign. For more help troubleshooting, please don't hesitate to contact our Baker's Hotline. We're here M-F from 9am-9pm EST, and Saturday and Sunday from 9am-5pm EST, and you can reach us by phone at 855-371-2253 or via CHAT. 

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