Editor's Note: Whether you're a bread baker or a pizzamaker (or you want to be), we thought you'd enjoy following Donna Currie as she grows a new sourdough starter. She'll show us every step along the way, but it'll be even more fun if you roll up your sleeves and join her! Today is Day 4.

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[Photograph: Donna Currie]

Today I wanted to tweak the water-to-flour ratio in my starter, so I fed it one ounce of flour and half an ounce of water. Stir it up and leave it on the counter.

Now I've got a 50/50 ratio of water and flour, or if you're used to thinking in baker's percentages, that's 100 percent hydration. This is the final adjustment—I'll keep it at this thickness from now on.

At this point the bubbles are looking good and the scent has changed—the starter smells a little bit like buttermilk. Considering the bacteria is the related to the bacteria that ferments milk into yogurt and cheese and, yes, buttermilk, this makes a fair amount of sense.

How are your starters looking today? We want to see them!

Go Back in Time...

Day Zero: What You'll Need »
Day 1: A Half-Ounce Flour and an Ounce of Water »
Day 2: No Feeding, Just Stirring »
Day 3: Feed Me More Flour! »

Skip Ahead

Day 5: Keep Feeding and Stirring! »
Day 6: Keep Stirring and Feeding! »
Day 7: Feed and Wait »
Day 8: Getting Close! »
Day 9: First Harvest »
Day 10: Second Harvest »
Day 11: Time for Storage »
What Happens If You Neglect Your Sourdough Starter »

About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. She launched the blog Cookistry and has now joined the Serious Eats team with a weekly column about baking.


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