The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question about when to actually use my starter

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ggriffi's picture
ggriffi

Question about when to actually use my starter

I have gotten some of "Carls Starter" and I believe that I am ready to use it. My question is after it has set out overnight (I keep it in the fridge) I will feed it first thing in the morning. Is it ready then? Should I be waiting for it to double? Or should it be like the starter from the "rustic bread" recipe here, consistensy(sp) wise  or what? I really don't know and have done some searching but couldn't find anything that answers my question.


 


tia


gary 

sourdough_guy's picture
sourdough_guy

I'm new to this too, but I think I know the answer.  After you feed the starter with flour and water, then you need to allow it to ripen.  The yeasts and bacteria in the starter need to digest their meal, and get strong again after being fed.  Doubling is a good sign as to when to use your starter to make bread.  I have tended to wait longer and I think my starter is usually overripe when I make bread, but I have had good results.

arzajac's picture
arzajac


after it has set out overnight (I keep it in the fridge) I will feed it first thing in the morning. Is it ready then?


 



You can actually take it out of the fridge and feed it immediately.  Let it ferment (proof, ripen are synonyms) until it doubles.   It will warm up as it ripens.  Depending on the vigor of your starter and the amient temperature, it may take four to eight hours.


If you let the starter warm up overnight without feeding, it may start to become underfed which may lead to excess sourness or other flavours you may not want.