The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

starters

  • Pin It
dabrownman's picture

Ancient But Not Mini Oven's No Muss No Fuss 'Leave me Alone' Starter - 8 Days Later

March 14, 2013 - 7:49pm -- dabrownman

We took up Mini Oven's see what happens starter by mixing up some unbleached flour with some water - golf ball size, putting it into a brown paper bag with some extra flour, no peaking for 7 days, and see what you get in a week.   Paul McCool and other TFL'ers have done this before but I coudn't help but give it a go since I just love all kinds of starters and am a sucker for smart ladies with a tendency for insane thoughts :-)

kmcquade's picture

Spreadsheet for Hydration Calculation adjustments for use with starters and soakers

March 11, 2013 - 8:28am -- kmcquade

I need a few people to test out my hydration spreadsheet for determining adjusted hydrations when using a 100% starter and soakers .

Right now it only works under the assumption that you are using a 100% Starter - but I am working on that .

You can to the link and a viewer will come up , under file choose  save as excel file .

Please let me know what you think.

Thanks

Kevin

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_xic1-Lf9TDY1FWcUU1SDR5WEk/edit?usp=sharing

Curmudgen's picture

Starter Questions

April 25, 2012 - 5:02pm -- Curmudgen

While I am sure the answers to my questions are in the archives somewhere, I haven't figured out how to ask the right questions. So, here goes.

Is it necessary or even advisable to freeze a dried starter? It seems to me you would have to freeze individual packets of the amount you planned on re-activating as defrosting always results in condensate inside the package.

varda's picture
varda

A few weeks ago, I gave up on the starter I'd been tending and using for over a year, and made a new one from scratch.  Instead of trying to nurse my old starter back to health, I reminded myself that despite the considerable mystique attached to it, it's really not that hard to get a starter going - particularly a wheat one - assuming a sufficient degree of attention and patience.   I finally got it going and I've been baking with it for around 2 weeks.   I have not been disappointed, as I think I had just got used to an underperforming starter and had forgotten how a healthy starter behaves.  

At the same time I've been trying to shed same old same old practices and develop a formula that everyone in the family liked, that was repeatable, and relatively easy, so I could use it as daily bread.    I borrowed from this and that and here and there, and thank gods (I've been watching Battlestar Galactica) I think I've got it.  

The formula has a bit of spelt, a bit of rye, and the rest wheat.   I used wheatgerm and malt powder (Thank you Lumos) which seem to have a good effect but I'm not sure which does which.    The resulting bread bridges the difficult gap between light and substantial, has a light crispy crust, keeps for a few days (assuming it doesn't get eaten first) has a mild balanced flavor and isn't too holey for sandwiches.   I've made it a couple times, and it seems to be repeatable. 

But now, my biggest problem - how to keep from fiddling this to death.   I think the best way to do it is to name it but Sourdough with Spelt and Rye just seems boring.    Ergo Lexington Sourdough which is pretty boring as well.   Any tips on how to name breads?  

And now it's time to switch focus to biscuits, cornbread and pie.   Thanksgiving is nigh!

The formula:

Starter

Seed

Feeding

Total

Percent

Seed

168

 

 

 

Bread flour

92

95

187

95%

Whole wheat

2

 

2

1%

Whole rye

4

4

8

4%

Water

69

130

199

101%

 

 

 

397

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

Bread flour

450

135

585

84%

Whole rye

 

6

6

1%

Whole wheat

 

2

2

0%

Medium rye

50

 

50

7%

Spelt

50

 

50

7%

Water

310

143

453

65%

Salt

13

 

13

1.9%

Starter

286

 

 

21%

Malt powder

10

 

 

 

Wheat germ

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Method:

Take ripe sourdough - around 70% hydration - from refrigerator (should be domed and pitted) and feed as above to 100% hydration.   Ferment on counter (around 69degF) for around 7 hours until very active and bubbly.  

Mix flour and water by hand and autolyse for 30 minutes.   Add the rest of the ingredients and mix in stand mixer for 5 minutes starting at low speed and working up to highest speed.   Dough should adhere into a smooth mass during the mix.   Stretch and fold on counter twice during 2.5 hour bulk ferment.    Cut and preshape into two rounds.   Rest for 20  minutes.   Shape into batards and place in couche seam side up.   Refrigerate for 10-15 hours.   Place on counter and proof for 1.5 hours until dough starts to soften.   Bake at 450F for 20 minutes with steam, 20 minutes without.  

monicaembrey's picture

thanks

November 18, 2011 - 12:00pm -- monicaembrey
Forums: 

I want to thank each and everyone of you that took the time to answer my question. 

I tried to reply to everyone and ended up replying twice to one then couldn't remember who I replied to.  No i'm not goofy, just tired.  Lol

Mebake's picture

Starter Ripening - sharing lessons learned

May 25, 2011 - 11:06pm -- Mebake

I now believe that starters do behave in different ways when the flour fed to them is changed. I have been experiencing failures with liquid-levain-based recipes, and in the midst of all the frustration , i wondered at the reason behind such failures, particularly with Whole Wheat levain (Hamelman's Book-Levains section).

RachelJ's picture

How long does a starter live? and some other stuff :)

August 29, 2010 - 7:15pm -- RachelJ
Forums: 

Hola! I was just wondering, how long does a starter live? Does it actually ever 'die'? and... I was reading about starter and how sour they are and all that, and I have a question for those of you who have a starter for a while and know some about it. Do I have to add equal amounts of flour and water for the starter to be fed or can I add more flour, to thicken it? I read that the less liquid in your starter, the less sour it will be. My family doesn't like the whole big 'sour' taste to it, so I was wondering if that could be remedied. 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - starters