The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Lets get it Started

  • Pin It
HokeyPokey's picture
HokeyPokey

Lets get it Started

There are a lot of posts on activating a starter on this wonderful website and I thought I’d add my two pennies worth and get a chance to show off my hubby’s wonderful photos :)

My starter is taking over the world, well, taking overUKat least and I thought I’d share my feeding schedule with the rest of you and open a forum for questions / comments.

 

Also, I would like to know why would you keep waters (raisin water, apple water, etc.) that started popping up in a lot of recipes on this side AS WELL as a starter – whats the difference, advantages of one over another?

 Full post and lots of photos on my blog here

Comments

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Referencing your question: 

I would like to know why would you keep waters (raisin water, apple water, etc.)  ...

You may find some answers at the link below, and in the references at the end of that posting.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23441/yeast-water-amp-other-wee-beastie-bubbles-no-math

I hope that helps.

Ron

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Hello Messy Baker, I really like your post on the feeding of your starter as it uses a very small amt to start with, moreover it uses grms as opposed to cups which is a great help for beginners like me who is used to the metric system. However, I'm a little confused with regards to your starter. Your schedule on feeding is based on an active starter that you already have available but when you feed the starter, you only incl. the weight of the flour and water used i.e. 30 gr flour and 30 gr. water = 60 grms and after 2nd feed you get a total of 120 grm.  Why do you not need to incl. the weight of the tablespoon of starter that you have used?  I've been working with levains and I match the flour and water  by weight to the weight of my seed of 30 grms.  How did you create your starter and is this a fairly runny mixture?  I'd really appreciate it if you could offer some advice on how to make a starter from scratch using the least amt of flour and water possible to minimize any wastage if discarding of flour every few days is necessary. I may be asking some very stupid questions but I'm a little confused with the terms "starter" and "sourdough starter" as it appears that a starter is a more liquidy and you need to have a starter before you can produce a sourdough starter to add to the main dough.    Many thanks.  Judy

HokeyPokey's picture
HokeyPokey

Judy, yes, you are right, I should be including the weight of the original storage starter, 10g, I will update the blog to reflect it.
My storage starter lives in the fridge, and I only take a spoonful of it each time I want to bake and put the rest in the fridge. When it lives in the fridge, it develops quite a tangy "boozy" smell, looks very calm, no bubbles of anything, with a layer of liquid on top - hootch.
Once I mix my spoonful with a bit of flour and water - feed it, it doesn’t really show any activity for at least a day, its takes couple of more feeds to for the bubbles to come through and a nice fruity smell is starting to develop - it is showing you that it is alive and is ready to be used. Until that time, it just looks like a bowl full of white goo :)

I’ve created my own starter after reading this blog - http://www.sourdoughhome.com/startermyway.html, but i used much smaller quantities. To create a starter, mix equal parts of flour and water and leave at room temperature for 12 hours, loosely covered with plastic (i would say 20g each white flour and water). Carry on feeding the same volumes for two days. If you don’t see any activity, throw away half of your mixture, feed it 10g of rye flour, 10g of white flour and 20g of water, cover and leave for 12 hours again. Carry on feeding it white flour an water for the next couple of days and see it it shows any signs of activity.
If its still not showing any signs of activity, throw away half of it again (I hate throwing away ingredients, but its not much use at this stage), feed it 15g of rye flour an 15g of white flour and 30g of water. Carry on feeding it 30g of white flour and 30g of water every 12 hours for the next couple of days and you should hopefully see some signs of life by now.

I keep my starter at 100% hydration, so yes, it is quite liquid. In my mind “starter” and “sourdough starter” is the same thing. I use a term “storage starter” to distinguish between the active starter ready to bake and non-active starter that needs to be activated before it can be used for baking.

Let me know if you have any questions / comments, hopefully I’d be able to help.

 

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

You've been a great help!! The articles I've been reading uses cups mostly and I find  your measurements in grams particularly helpful.   I've tried to create a starter with the help of my raisin yeast water,  but  somehow got lost with the amout of feeding.  I'm really glad that you're starting out with small amounts as I too hate to throw out flour , esp when I've failed a couple of times and ended up tossing out a good qty of flour.  I shall give yr method a try and see if I get better results.   Many thanks again.

- Judy

 

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

After reading your post, I decided to take 10 grms of  old thick white "goo" that I created with my yeast water a while back which has been left sitting in the fridge and resembles exactly what you have described above for your storage starter.  I stirred in 20 grms of rye flour and 20 grms water & yw.  After two hrs it has doubled. I suppose what I should  do now is to continue feeding it twice a day with 20 grms of flour (I'll switch to 10/10 rye & white after the second feed) and  water for the next 3 or 4 days and thereafter discard half of it and then feed it with 30 grms of flour for a couple more days to get myself an active starter.  If I return the excess active starter to the storage starter, do I need to add equal weight of water and flour to match the excess do I just stir it in with the storage starter? 

You've made the process so much more easier to follow,  hopefully I'll get it right this time  and I can use part of the dough to bake with.  Many  thanks.  - Judy

HokeyPokey's picture
HokeyPokey

I was replying on iPod and clicked somewhere between reply and flag as offensive, hopefully it did the right thing and replied. These two options shouldn't be next to each other, too dangerous

So, if your starter is doubling after a couple of hours, I'd say it's nice and happy, just feed it every 12 hours until you have as much starter as you need, no need to throw away any of it. If it is slowing down and not looking as active as you like, increase the amount of flour and water and feeds a bit.
It sounds like your starter is doing really well and you should be ready to bake with it soon.