The deal with Bud: he’s [still] alive!

Sunday was Day 10 for the Amish Sweet Friendship Bread, as in the day when you share the yeasty baby with three friends. However, you’ve probably figured out by now that the cake on Day 10 didn’t get baked. Here’s what happened instead:

Day 3: Bud developed a alcoholic liquid layer a.k.a. hooch.


This means he’s not very happy. I stirred him down as per the instructions and tried to ignore the fact that he might be dying on me.

Day 4: more hooch 😦

At this point, I decided to try and switch Bud to a mix of 1/3 rye and 2/3 white flour in water in a ratio of 1:1:1 (starter:water:flour) by weight, the method that Susan of Wild Yeast describes for capturing a wild yeast starter.

Here’s Bud on a more healthy diet (instead of living on 1 cup flour + 1 cup sugar + 1 cup water every five days).


Morning of Day 5: he looks kind of… dead, except for one or two lonely bubbles.


I just kept feeding him roughly every 12 hours in the 1:1:1 ratio and hoped for the best.

End of Day 6:


Some more bubbles, but he still wasn’t doubling in volume every 12 hours like a healthy and active starter would. So I kept feeding him and prayed some more.

Then suddenly, on Day 9:


Bud pulled through! (The mark is how much starter there was after I fed him, and before I let him rise.) Ladies and gentlemen, we have a sourdough starter! I fed Bud twice more with the mix of rye and white flour, and tonight switched him to white flour only, but with more “food” (1:2:2 ratio, so there’s twice as much water and flour per part of starter) to see if he can still double in 12 hours or less. If Bud is still bubbling away happily tomorrow morning, then I can try him out in my very first bread recipe that calls for levain, or starter. Maybe some Norwich Sourdough?

*Note: for a more detailed description of how to capture a wild yeast starter, do visit Susan’s how-to post. The only difference in my case is that I used 20g starter : ~6 g rye flour + ~13 g white flour : 20 g water (1:1:1) instead of 75 g starter : 25 g rye flour + 50 g white flour : 75 g water that she uses; i.e., I’m just doing it on a slightly smaller scale.


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8 Responses to “The deal with Bud: he’s [still] alive!”

  1. Susan/Wild Yeast Says:

    Woo hoo!

  2. paolo Says:

    Hi Jackie, congratulation…you managed your purpose….your sourdough looks great and healthy! Next step: use it! Did you know you can even freeze a part of it? Thanks for the post…i’ m looking forward to see your first loaf with your sourdough starter. Cheers from Quito, Ecuador.

  3. paolo Says:

    Me again….just wondering if you have not installed a chat like program (google talk, hotmail, skype) it would be more interactive a chat rather than just a comment on a particular subject…Let me know. Cheers Paolo

  4. toxobread Says:

    Susan: yessssssssssssssssssssssss!

    Paolo: Thanks! Yes, as soon as Bud shows he’s still happy with the 1:2:2 feedings, I’ll “archive” him for sure. I’m looking forward to baking my first sourdough too. 🙂

  5. paolo Says:

    Hi Jackie, I just read your short message….it’s ok: you’ ve got the starter…now the point is: do you know the proportion to use it? I usually use 150 gr per 500 gr of flour….see you soon. Paolo

  6. toxobread Says:

    Paolo: yep, I’ve had my eye on Susan’s recipe for Norwich Sourdough. I’m feeding my starter twice a day to keep him healthy until this weekend when I’ll be able to try him out!

  7. nick Says:

    The hooch is EXACTLY the reason why I don’t keep one of these around. I feel like I would be wishing for it to be there every night, despite it clearly not being the supposed primary intention!

    I don’t have much will power 🙂

  8. toxobread Says:

    Nick: Heh heh I’ve never tried the hooch “straight out of the jar” and I’m not really sure I want to! 😉

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