The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Oh, jeez, as if all of this weren't overwhelming enough!

mean_jeannie's picture
mean_jeannie

Oh, jeez, as if all of this weren't overwhelming enough!

My head is spinning reading tutorials and flowcharts about starters!  Lol!  I have this question:  how much starter do you keep on hand and maintain?  I have quite a nice little starter that I captured and it is two weeks old.  I can't seem to make more than about 3/4 cu worth. 


Also - for my starter being so young and as yet untested, could I start saving my discards for wonderful uses?  How long can you keep discards?  Can they be frozen?


TIA


jeannie

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

I have two starters, and I keep as little of them as possible.  My current practice is to only keep what I need to bake with.  The basic sourdough recipe I make calls for 4 ounces of starter, so I keep about 2 oz on hand, which I build up to 6 oz.  I take 4 oz out to bake with, and store the remaining 2 oz, which I then build up to 6 oz, and on and on.


Mini Oven is the queen of minimalist starter.  If memory serves, she keeps about 1 tablespoon and builds it up when she needs it to bake with.


I'm not sure what you mean when you say you can't seem to make more than about 3/4 cup worth of starter.  If you feed it, it will grow. So there's really no limit to how much starter you have.  Feed it a 1:2:2 ratio (starter:flour:water), let it sit out for about 12 hours, then feed it again.  You can keep doing this to build up as much starter as you want.  But, again, in my experience, you don't have to keep much, and you can minimize your discards by only keeping what you need and building up your starter to bake with.


Now, as far as your discards go, there is no reason not to use your discards now.  The addition of discard starter to a recipe is add flavor rather than levaning.  I have never frozen discard starter, but I don't see why you couldn't.

mean_jeannie's picture
mean_jeannie

Oh, thank you.  I guess I have always just discarded half and then replenished 1:1:1 and always just kept the same amount I started with.  Even better to realize I should start weighing.  At this moment, I am being very unscientific about it.  I barely even measure.


I like the idea of keeping just a bit of starter too.  Can you share your basic sourdough recipe?  Is it here on your blog somewhere?


Thanks for your wisdom. 

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

My standard sourdough bread recipe is Peter Reinhart's Basic Sourdough Bread from The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  I have altered it somewhat recently with the additon of grains and seeds.  I have yet to reduce my version to paper, but I will get around to it at some point and post it.


Edit:  I just added the recipe as new forum topic, Five-Grain Seeded Sourdough Bread.

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

on saturday not hardly a week into making the wild yeast culture. I added the KA waffle starter to it and on Sunday had a nice big container of mixture bubbling. I was amazed at how potent the new starter was proving to be. The waffles were fabulous. I think folks save it for quite a few days in the fridge. PR makes reference to freezing barm and starter in his BBA book. I think to get more starter you just keep feeing and you don't do a discard for a day or two. That is what I did on Sunday and then I put it in the fridge. So far so good.


 


The ones who REALLY know how this works will chime in and I will take notes too ! c


 


 

mean_jeannie's picture
mean_jeannie

Good to know I can start using my discards instead of wasting them!  I'm sure I can manage to use it before I need to freeze it but it's good to know one can. 


Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!