What is the best way to use my starter?
I'm trying to reform myself out of bad habits. I've just revived my starter and want to keep it alive the right way this time. My usual practice has been to bake once or twice a week, which requires about 25 oz of starter weekly. I would keep way more than 25 oz of starter in the refrigerator and just pour out what I needed for each baking, letting it reach room temperature and show activity before using it. I would then build up the starter as needed, letting it sit covered on the counter to ensure it was alive and active, then refrigerate it. I've learned that this is not a good practice. My problem appeared to be that I had too watery a starter, which required way more flour than I was feeding it.
Here are my questions:
- How much starter should I maintain?
- Should I bother refrigerating the starter if I'm going to use it twice a week?
- Or, am I doing this completely wrong? Should I be using the starter from the fridge for my bread, or should I be building my 12.5 oz of starter for each baking session?