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not enough starter for recipes

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Danni-loves-2-cook's picture
Danni-loves-2-cook

not enough starter for recipes

Hi all you sourdough experts. 


I used the Debra Wink method to make my started, and am only feeding it 1/4 cup of each flour and water to 1/4 cup starter. Most of the recipes I've looked at call for much larger amounts of starter. Do I just feed my starter without discarding any to create enough starter for the recipe and then some? My starters are very active and usually double in about 3-4 hours. I have a whole wheat one and a white one. I want to try to get some dough started this afternoon.


Thanks for your help. 


Danni

Kent's picture
Kent

Hi Danni, Just double without discarding until you have the amount you need for the recipe. Don't forget to save enough of the starter for later.

Steve H's picture
Steve H

I am new to this business of baking, so others here may be able to provide more insight than me, but here are a few comments on your post that may be helpful:


1.  It sounds like you are using recipes that call for quite a bit of starter.  Most of the ones I use call for 1/8 cup.  A notable exception to that are some of the ones that I've used the starter more as a flavor addition than a yeast (e.g., pizza crust).


2.  Starter is exponential and can get as big as you want.  I feed at a 1:1 by weight ratio, typically feed so that my amount doubles roughly, and pour out what I don't need before feeding.


3.  I pour excess starter into another container that I keep in the fridge and use it for recipes like the pizza crust, that demand a lot of starter.  I'm banking on the fact that it doesn't matter so much if the starter is a bit older for these recipes-- in fact, if anything, it probably makes the starter even more sour since it hasn't been fed and is just festering there for a while eating up the remaining food and pooping out acetic/lactic acid or whatever its doing in there.


4. I keep my starter at about 1/4-1/2 cup which allows me to start a recipe pretty much whenever I feel like it.  My starter is pretty active, so I could probably get away with much less and just feed it 12-24 hours beforehand.  I feel ok with keeping a larger amount because I am not wasting the starter, since I save it for when I make pizza.


5. If you are going for this afternoon and you have an active starter, you could probably go for more than a double at the feeding stage and be ok.  Id watch out for overflow and make sure it completes the "eating" cycle before using it.  This will ensure a high yeast cell count.  There is also the option of adding less starter, which will add some time to your fermentation stage and result in a more-sour dough.


Man.  I talk too much.


Good Luck!

SulaBlue's picture
SulaBlue

to merely doubling. You can triple, or sometimes even quadruple your starter, ie 1:3:3. Just be sure to let it get good and ripe before using. I still discard at least a small bit when doing this.

Danni-loves-2-cook's picture
Danni-loves-2-cook

Thanks for the great info. Steve, I appreciate every word you had to say. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to make the bread and today is out, so will feed again, and try for tomorrow. 

noyeast's picture
noyeast

rather than discarding starter, which seems a waste of good ingredients, I bagan yesterday, adding the "discarded" starter to my regular yeast dough and ajusting the recipe accordingly.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

I never throw out starter at all. My routine is to keep about 50 grams starter in the fridge, in a covered container. When I want to bake, I scrape the starter into a bowl and add 50 grams water and 50 grams flour, giving me 150 grams starter which I leave overnight. This is the basis of the dough.


 


To the now "empty" container I add 20 grams water and stir this about thoroughly, then tip it into a clean bowl  and stir in 30 grams flour and mix it then cover it. This is left for about 5 hours then put into the fridge - this is now my 50 grams starter which I keep until the next time I bake. 


This system has now been going for several years and it is a vigourous, energetic starter which makes a great loaf. And has the benefit of not wasting any starter at all. (I actually keep two starters going; one is a back up in case of disaster!!!)


 


Andrew

noyeast's picture
noyeast

that sounds like a great system and something I would like to adopt also once I establish a routine for baking.


You mention that your starter is vigorous, whats the typical fermentation and proof time you acheive with your regular SD ? and is this providing you with the flavour profile you want ?


Thanks.


p.s. I hope I'm not hi-jacking this thread, and that Danni, the original poster will find my questions helpful...


Paul.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

Paul,


 


typically, I'd mix the 50 grams of starter with 50 flour and 50 g water in the evening and leave it covered overnight - by morning it is very bubbly and I add 405 grams water and  675 grams flour  plus salt to make up the dough. It is generally ready to bake by the late afternoon and has a full flavour - which I and my friends like! I tend to use a mix of wholemeal, kamut, spelt, rye and white bread flours - less rye than the others - and love the flavour.


 


Andrew