The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Container and mixing for my Sourdough Start

  • Pin It
Mylissa20's picture
Mylissa20

Container and mixing for my Sourdough Start

I am attempting a sourdough start for the first time, and am using Manuel's Sourdough Start recipe from The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.  I am growing my start in a mason jar with the lid on and I have 2 questions:


1.  Do I have to stir my start, or can I swirl it around the jar until it is mixed? Will the more rigorous motion affect the activity of the start?


2.  Does my start need to "breathe?"  If I have my start in a jar with the lid on, and swirl it twice daily to mix, that means I am not opening it often if at all.  Is that a problem for the activity of my start?

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

...cover it loosely so it can capture any wild yeasts that might be flying around.  That's what made my flour/water starter such a lively one, I think.

arzajac's picture
arzajac

Stir your starter.  The more oxygen that you can work into the starter, the better since that will stimulate yeast growth.  Stir it three times per day until it's active.


 


Don't cover it tightly since it may blow up due to the pressure of the C02 being created, but cover it so that it doesn't dry up. 


Wild yeasts come from the surface of the flour you use, not the air.  This has been proven by trying to cultivate sourdough from sterilized flour.  It can't be done...


 

baltochef's picture
baltochef

Since the first sourdough starter that I created at the age of 16 (I am now 54), I have made several dozen others over the years..Those subsequent starters were made in a variety of containers, including Mason jars..I still feel that the best container that I have ever used, albeit not the most convenient, is a 1-gallon ceramic crock with a loose fitting lid..This is what I used that first time..I covered the mouth of the crock with a cotton tea towel held in place with a knotted piece of baling twine..I later replaced the twine with a large rubber band..The 1-gallon crock is easy to use, easy to see into, easy to add ingredients to, easy to stir when the culture needs oxygenating, etc..It is, however, heavy and takes up a bit of counter space or refrigerator space..

JIP's picture
JIP

I like the plastic Cambro containers you can get in restaurant supply stores.  I have several sizes for different needs. The one I regularly store my starter in is a 1qt they have all sizes from 1qt to like garbage can size.  I also have a 4 and 6 qt. that I use when feeding my starter prior to baking.

baltochef's picture
baltochef

I too have used the Cambro white polyethylene containers for sourdough cultures..They work great for that purpose..I have every size from the 1 qt. size up to the 22 qt. size..I use these containers primarily to keep staples in, although an empty 22 qt. container works great for breaking up large sheets of lavash, or other crackers, into manageable pieces without shattering crumbs all over one's kitchen..


The 22 qt. size I also use to keep Lindley Mills organic flours in, which I purchase through a local artisan bakery..The 22 qt. size will hold 20-25 lb. of flour (stuffed full), or easily hold 20-25 lb. of Thai jasmine rice that I purchase from my local Asian grocery store..


I purchased my Cambro white polyethylene round storage containers, and lids, which are sold seperately, from KaTom Restaurant Supply in Russelville, Tennessee..They have great prices, as well as free shipping for a lot of things, including a lot of the smallwares that they sell..


http://www.katom.com/


Bruce

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

This will make a third for Cambro.  They're also dishwasher safe.


 


Wild-Yeast

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I have all kinds of different sizes and use them for bulk fermentation. The smaller ones would be fine for your starter.

JIP's picture
JIP

I really like the clear ones as they give you a great visual on your starter and/or dough rising and if you put a little piece of that blue painters tape where it started you can get an excellent gauge of when things have doubled.  I have always used bowls in he past but have been so surprised how long it takes for something to ACTUALLY double when you have a real measurement.

Mylissa20's picture
Mylissa20

I in the Laurels Kitchen Bread Book that I should store my starter in a metal container.  Do you know why?  I love all the tips from everyone, and incidentally, I got one answer the evening after posting when I unscrewed the lid from the jar and it about blew across the kitchen! Oops! Well now I have lots of great advice to go on, thanks!