I'm having a series of issues with Hensperger's Classic Sourdough Starter, found on pg. 120 of "The Bread Bible."
First, I've let the starter stand for four days, stirring twice a day. It seemed fine; lots of alcohol on top, clean, sharp smell, good color, etc.
The instructions say on the fourth day to feed with 1/4 c of water and 1/2 c of flour, let stand overnight then store in the fridge.
Do I do this BEFORE I take out what I need to make the sourdough bread....? That is, can I not bake until the fifth day?
Also, it says to remove the starter needed (in this case, 1 cup) and then add a cup of flour and 1/2 cup of nonfat milk. Last week I used the dry nonfat milk because that's what's in the ingredients list but it became super lumpy glop. Is that OK or I am supposed to used LIQUID nonfat milk after removing what I need....?
It also says to feed it every two weeks; is that with the 1 c of flour and 1/2 c nonfat milk, or with the 1/4 c of water and 1/3 c flour listed in the first step?
Finally, it seems like a A LOT of starter, more than can fit in a quart mason jar. Do you really need to have that much around? Is there a way to reduce the recipe or maybe just not store all of it? And, if one does that, does it change the amount the starter needs to be fed?
I realize these questions may make it seem as though I'm illiterate, but I'm honestly finding the instructions to be (for me) rather poorly written. Any help would be greatly appreciated.