Day 05.JPG

[Photograph: Donna Currie]

From now on, it's all about feeding once a day and stirring whenever you think about it. Unlike some recipes that require each feeding to double the existing amount of starter, I feed the same amount each day. Just add one ounce each of flour and water. We won't try to double it until we're getting ready to bake with the starter.

To be brutally honest, when I'm feeding a starter, I usually just eyeball the quantities. But I measured this time just so you can follow along precisely, if that's what you want to do. Don't sweat it too much, though.

Why are we stirring the starter? It does more than just move the yeast around to available food. Stirring making it easier for the yeast to get oxygen. The yeast needs oxygen to reproduce, so while you're growing your starter, you'll get more yeast if you stir it more often. Stir vigorously, or whisk it, if you prefer, and leave it on the counter as before.

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! »
Day 4: 100% Hydration »

See the Future...

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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