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Refreshing and storing Reinhart's barm sponge starter

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dausone's picture
dausone

Refreshing and storing Reinhart's barm sponge starter


Ahoy! So here it is, my first post here on tfl and it coincides with my first attempt at sourdough, which is no surprise, so please forgive the naivete.


 


I have a couple of questions regarding the refresh and storing periods of Reinhart's sourdough barm sponge on pages 74 and 75 of Crust and Crumb. Reinhart instructs that you feed your barm every 2 days and he also says that just after feeding the starter you let it ferment at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours, depending on climate, then refrigerate overnight before building it into dough. But if I am not going to be building dough for a few days do I just leave the starter in the fridge and take it out in 2 days for my refresh, again letting it ferment at room temperature? If so, do I have to let the starter come to room temperature before feeding or can I just feed straight out of the fridge?


 


I know the answers are probably right in front of me but I would feel a lot more confident going into this with some concrete yes or no's from those who have mastered this process. Wish me luck and thanks for the comments and suggestions in advance!


 


M.


karladiane's picture
karladiane

Hi there:


I keep a "barm" starter a la Peter Reinhart that I use for much of my baking.  I feed it once a week, to keep it alive and happy.  For feeding, I just use a 1:1:1 ratio of barm to water to bread flour.  It will usually be 2 oz. of each.  That way, when I want to bake bread, I just pull a little bit out of this refrigerator "stock", and make whatever starter I need for the specific bread I'm making (sometimes a wet one, sometimes a stiff one).


When I feed my barm, I just pull it right out of the fridge, mix in the flour and water (at room temp) very vigorously, and let it double in size at room temp - this usually takes about 6-7 hours in my apartment on a semi-warm day.  Then I pop it back in the fridge to wait until next week.


If I want to bake, I usually mix up the starter at night, and let it go overnight on my dining room table to bake in the morning.


Good luck!

dausone's picture
dausone

Awesome! Thanks karladiane!


I also found the sourdough starter 101 thread which I should have known was in the forum before posting! Oops. :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Yes


No & Yes

rainwater's picture
rainwater

I started my starter a la Reinhart, but evolved to a 75% hydration starter.  I keep about 3 pounds of starter....sounds like a lot?  I bake once a week.  Most recipes build a stiff starter from the original starter.....but I usually double this recipe.  I take one pound of starter to feed. ...and the rest I figure out how much flour and water is present with baker's math, and use this in a ciabatta or foccacia yeasted recipe......makes the fastest, tastiest bread you can imagine because of the high percentage of starter.  I feed my one pound of starter up to three pounds...it doubles/triples in a few hours, I punch this down with a quick kneading, and then store for baking next week...this starter usually triples in the fridge again.....75% hydration being a very stable starter......

dausone's picture
dausone

 


Alright! I think I finally got the hang of things. :) Thanks for the advice you guys. I have successfully made my first sourdough. It was a bit on the mild side. And I have already begun my experimentation with using my new starter... pancakes this morning, rye goes in the oven tomorrow... wish me luck!


Matt.



 


dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Those loaves look great, Matt.


Did you end up using the formula from Crust & Crumb? It's wonderful. 


If you retard the loaves in the fridge overnight before baking, they get significantly more sour.


Looking forward to seeing your rye, et al.


David

dausone's picture
dausone

Thanks David. :)


I did use the formula from Crust and Crumb and I also kept the loaves in the fridge overnight. The pancakes I made this morning had a more sour taste than the bread that I made. I am wondering if the same rule of retarding the loaves in the fridge to produce more sourness apply to the starter, the longer you let it sit in the fridge the more sour the taste? So, if I refresh my starter once a week, the most intense flavor would be on day 6 before the refresh? I remember Reinhart mentioning something about the flavors being well balanced on day 2... hmm... more experimenting I guess. Thanks for the kind words, I can't wait to see this Rye either!


 


M.


 


rye...


dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Matt.


Wow! You are on a roll ... errrrr ... on a bâtard?


What recipe did you use for those gorgeous rye breads?


David

dausone's picture
dausone

:) Thanks again David. The rye is absolutely delicious! Again, using the crust and crumb formula, opting for the addition of cocoa and plenty of caraway seed. I think I may have overproofed a tad as you can see from the rather flat shapes but this has definitely been the tastiest bread by far.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Matt.


If that's the 100% Rye Sourdough from Crust&Crumb, it was my favorite rye for quite a while. It was very sour and tasty. I haven't made it in a long time. Too long.


Your shapes look good to me. If you want a rounder cross section, stick to the "sausage cut" like the one on the right. If you are feeling adventurous, try a "herring bone cut."


See examples in The Scoring Tutorial.


David

dausone's picture
dausone

Yup that is the one David! Thanks for the link.


Ahh it makes sense with the low gluten to stick to the sausage or chevron cuts. Any advice on that herring bone? I found a picture of a chevron cut that I think I will try out next. 


dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

As far as I know, they are two names for the same pattern.


David

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

They sure are good looking breads.  Good job!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


I am wondering if the same rule of retarding the loaves in the fridge to produce more sourness apply to the starter, the longer you let it sit in the fridge the more sour the taste?



I would think so but sooner or later it will get too sour and/or the starter will need feeding.  Remember the sour flavor is coming from the lactic acid and acetic acids forming after the bacteria and yeasts break down their food.  They do eventually run out of food or build up so much by product that they choke themselves if you let them.  So, Don't you let them....(music please)...



"You just call out their name, and you know where ever they are, they'll come running, to sour again.   Winter Spring Summer or Fall,  all you got to do is feed 'em, and they'll be there. Yes they will, you got some friends...."



And (change of subject) I know of several kinds of sausage cuts! I know of a cut that spirals around the sausage, and multiple cross hatching down the sausage.

dausone's picture
dausone

Thanks Mini! Where can I see some of these sausage cuts of yours?

midogo1216's picture
midogo1216

I followed the procedure in Peter Reinhart's book Crust and Crumb to make the Barm.  I just wanted to make sure that the Barm itself should not be rising, just bubbling.  By weight its actually more water (4 parts water to 3 parts flour) so I wouldn't expect there would be enough structure to rise.  His instructions actually don't talk about rising but just wanted to make sure.  It does bubble and I do get liquid on top.  Thanks for your help in advance!