The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter maintenance - am I doing something hazardous?

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MommaT's picture
MommaT

Starter maintenance - am I doing something hazardous?

Hi,


 


I have been maintaining my starter in a bit of a different way than the 1:2:2 formula usually suggested.


Instead of discarding when I haven't used some starter, I just add equal amounts of flour/water to the starter.  This is usually ~4 oz. each.   Since I usually refresh the starter and use recipes with large amounts of preferment, I haven't run into the problem of the ever-growing starter.  It still maintains well in my 1L jar.  


However, I was wondering if this would cause a problem with balance of organisms or some other issues like that.  


So far, it always performs very well and the taste is good, if a little on the not-so-sour side (my preference).  BTW, I keep a 100% hydration starter since it's easiest to calculate from if other hydration levels are needed.


Any comments are very welcome.


Thanks,


 


MommaT

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

MommaT, it sounds like you're doing OK.  Most of us end up discarding starter (or in my case, adding it to the discard jar to use in other recipes) because our starter grows faster than we bake.  You said you add equal amounts of flour and water to your starter.  As long as you are at least doubling the volume of your starter, you should be fine.


How often do you feed your starter?  And how do you store it?  A lot of people keep theirs on the counter and feed it every 12 hours.  I can't imagine using it all in that case.  I keep mine in the refrigerator and feed it about every 4-7 days, depending on when I want to use it.


Hope this helps.

MommaT's picture
MommaT

Thanks for the feedback.  I keep mine in the fridge and feed about once per week on average.  Some weeks I bake more and it gets refreshed once on the counter (sitting overnight) and then a second time to build it up before putting it back in the fridge.


So far everything rises well and tastes good, so I shouldn't worry too much!


 


:-)


 


MommaT

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

You shouldn't worry, but you do!  As do we all.  I'm thinking of making a Sourdough Starter Pimer video, showing the process from the beginning.  It seems like many of the people who post here (myself included) start by asking questions about their attempts as sourdough starter. 


I was sure I had killed my first starter when it seemed to stop bubbling on about the fourth day, so I threw it out and started over again.  I realize now it would have come back, but I was too impatient/inexperienced at the time to know that.

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

U da man ;-)