I thought that I would share again some information about starters that I’ve shared before in case you missed it, are new to sourdough, or to me, or in case there’s some useful reminders…apologies for the repeated info if you’ve seen it before, but I think they’re points worth repeating…
Starters do NOT need to look a certain way. Not all starters will be bubbly and vivacious, because not all flours produce that. And it doesn’t matter. Focus on growth and how they bounce back after stirring them. Look for life and activity, not appearance.
Your starter does NOT need to look like mine, and there’s no reason it should. You’re using different flour, different water, and you live in a different place, it all makes a difference to your starter. So don’t compare; if your starter looks and behaves totally different from mine but it WORKS and makes bread that you love, it’s a happy working starter!
Here’s a rule of thumb for you: if your dough grows, your starter is fine, it’s working perfectly. (If your dough is struggling in the cold, that’s another story, but it’s not about your starter.)
If yours is a new starter, new starters do not need to be a certain age before being used, they just need to be ready. That might be 5 days or 5 weeks, there is no fixed single answer here. They are all individual, just like their makers. For everyone who’s ever asked me when theirs will be ready to use, the simple answer is: it will be ready when it’s ready, its all part of the joy of sourdough. That time, that waiting and nurturing, and it’s all so worth it. And as your start to use it and work with it, it will gain strength with every use. It’s a win:win! The more sourdough you make, the more strength you build in your starter.
So please, don’t focus on how your starter looks, focus on how it behaves.
2 thoughts on “It’s not all about looks…”
This is such a reassuring reminder Elaine – you can’t repeat it too often! Neither of mine EVER look like yours, but sometimes I get a great rise & sometimes I don’t. Managing my starter is one thing I’m sure I’m not alone in being insecure about, but I am an infamous player with flours & liquids so I probably get what I ask for 🙂 You continue to be an inspiration, so thank you again!
Thank you so much x x and I’m always here if I can clarify anything for you 🥰